There are approximately 6 million car accidents in the United States every year. Thankfully, most of these only result in damage to property and not to the people involved. But unfortunately, people do get hurt. Statistics show one out of three automobile accidents result in personal injury and two in every ten result in death. If you are in an automobile accident and there is personal or property damage as a result, there are several things you should know to in order to protect yourself. Let’s take a look at them:
Do not leave the scene
Even if it is a minor accident, do not leave. A hit and run accident is where a driver hits another vehicle, object, or person, and leaves the scene without contacting law enforcement or providing aid to those injured. This is a criminal offense in Kentucky.
Check yourself for injuries
If you are injured, call 911 if you are able or ask someone else to call. Do not move until emergency workers arrive.
Check on passengers/other parties
If you can move without furthering injury to yourself, check on the passengers in your car and the other vehicles involved.
Create a safe scene
If possible, it is a good idea to help ensure no more damage or injury occurs. You can do this by turning off your engine, turning on your hazard lights, using a flashlight, setting up flares, and moving to the side of the road or a sidewalk.
Kentucky law states that you must file a report with the Kentucky State Police if the accident results in injury, death, or property damage over $500. This must be done within 10 days of the accident and failure to do so may result in a fine or suspended license. You must also file a report to obtain insurance compensation for your losses.
Provide an accurate record
When the police arrive, they are going to investigate the accident with both parties. If you do not know something, say you do not know. Do not speculate, guess, or falsely state any facts. Some injuries are not noticeable until hours after the collision. If you are not sure if you are injured, tell the officer you are not sure versus saying no. Also make sure the statements made by the other individuals involved in the accident are correct as well.
If you have access to a camera, take pictures of any visible damage and injuries. If you do not have access to a camera, take them as soon as you get access to one.
Sometimes it takes the police a while to respond. Use this time to exchange information with the other party. The most important information to get is the name, contact information, insurance company and policy number, driver’s license and license plate number, vehicle description, and location of the accident. You should also get the names and contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident so that you can provide it to your attorney if needed.
Report the accident
Call your insurance company as soon as possible. Know what your policy requires in terms of reporting and coverage. Some companies require immediate reporting.
Get medical attention
A lot of accident victims report they feel the worst pain days after the collision. Unless you know for certain that you did not get injured, you should go to the emergency room or see a physician. It doesn’t take a major accident to sustain injury. Concussions and spinal injuries can cause long-term damages if left untreated.
Create a file for all your information, bills, expenses, and other documents related to the accident.
Protecting yourself means protecting your rights. Contacting an attorney is the best way to protect your rights and ensure your get compensated if you are injured and have damaged property.
Have you been injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident? Curtis Legal Services has been fighting to protect the financial future of personal injury victims in Kentucky for over 30 years. Give us a call at 606.324.5434 for a free, no-obligation consultation. We are compassionate, skilled, and experienced and we will fight for what you deserve. When you choose Curtis Legal Services, you can rest easy knowing you will not have to pay unless we win or settle your case. We make them pay for their mistakes.