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Car Accidents: What You Need to Know

Jun 16

Car accidents unfortunately happen every day. No matter how safe a driver you are, it’s impossible to know how another driver may respond behind the wheel. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 43,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2021 alone–the highest the fatality rate has been in 16 years.

Experiencing a car accident is often traumatic and chaotic. It’s completely normal to not be able to think clearly when you’ve been in an accident. With so much going on around you, it can be difficult to know what to do next. Having a plan in place can make it easier to know the steps to take if you get in a car crash. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know when a car accident occurs.

1. Calling the Police is the First Priority

After an accident occurs, if you’re physically able, call the police immediately. In many cases, if an accident appears to be minor, people hesitate to call the police. However, with adrenaline running high after an accident, sometimes the full extent of any injuries isn’t yet clear. It’s crucial that law enforcement surveys the scene and files a full report of the accident. Be sure to ask for a copy of the report for your records as well.

 

2. Taking Photos of the Scene Can Help Protect Your Rights

Take as many photos of the scene as you can. If you have any visible injuries, take photos of those as well. Documenting any damage caused is important for helping you receive the compensation you deserve.

 

3. You Can be Compensated for Emotional Distress

Compensation that you may be entitled to after an accident includes economic and non-economic damages. Things that are easily quantifiable are medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and property damage.

In addition to these, however, you may also be entitled to compensation for emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life. These are far more subjective, which is one of the many reasons it’s beneficial to have experienced car accident lawyers on your side, such as THE702FIRM injury attorneys.

4. Uber and Lyft Accidents Happen Far Too Often

Unfortunately, rideshare accidents are a relatively common occurrence. Though it may seem clear to you who was at fault, large companies like Uber and Lyft often do all they can to avoid responsibility for an accident. In many cases, however, the rideshare company’s insurance will cover damages. If you’re injured in a rideshare accident and are unsure of how to proceed with your case, be sure to reach out to experienced attorneys for support.

5. Distracted Driving is the Most Common Cause for Accidents

Distracted driving can include texting while driving, grabbing something from the floorboard, and even changing the radio. It only takes a split second, and it can have horrible consequences. If you were injured in an accident and believe the other driver may have been texting or on the phone, ask witnesses at the scene what they saw. Your lawyer may also be able to request their phone records from the time of the accident.