If You’ve Been in a Crash Like One of These, Our Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys May Be Able to Help
In 2009, there were 10.8 million motor vehicle accidents in the United States. Automobile accidents are a relatively common and even inevitable occurrence. The average driver will be involved in a collision every 18 years or so and will experience an average of 3 crashes in his or her life. Abrahamson & Uiterwyk offers a 100% FREE consultation to all injury victims seeking help. Call one of our representatives right now at 1-800-753-5203 for your free case evaluation.
Every accident is as unique as the individuals involved. We’ve provided some valuable information on the various types of crashes to help you be better prepared and knowledgeable in the event of an accident. Common types of car accidents include:
- Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of car accidents.
- Head-on collisions involving the front end of two vehicles colliding with one another, often at high speeds.
- Intersection accidents can involve rear-end, head-on or side collisions.
- Parking lot accidents typically involve property damage but may result in serious injuries.
- Rollovers result in a vehicle tipping over onto its roof or its side.
- Hit and run accidents in which a driver leaves the scene of a crash.
Fatality Statistics In The US
Fortunately, only about 0.3% of crashes result in a fatality. US fatality statistics from 2009 can be broken down into the following figures.
- Total deaths: 35,900
- Fatalities from non-collision accidents: 4,000
- Fatalities from collisions with motor vehicles: 13,900
- Fatalities from collisions with pedestrians: 5,300
- Fatalities from collisions with fixed objects: 11,600
What To Do After a Car Accident
Motor vehicle accidents are an unfortunate fact of life, and every driver who takes to the road knows that there’s a real possibility of being involved in a crash. It’s the rare driver that won’t experience at least one accident. Luckily, most accidents in the United States only result in property damage to the cars involved. Yet auto accidents are also one of the leading causes of death and injury to Americans.
The Grim Toll of Auto Accidents
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2014, the last year in which national statistics were collected, there were over 29,000 fatal auto accidents causing more than 32,000 individual deaths, and 2.34 million people were injured.
The statistics vary greatly from one state to another due to factors such as number of vehicles on the road and the prevalence of rural versus urban roads. The fatality rate as measured per 100,000 people was the lowest in Washington, D.C., with 3.5, and highest in Wyoming, with 25.7. The state of Florida was in the middle with 12.5.
Not Knowing What To Do Can Hurt You
Yet even though auto accidents are a common occurrence, they are always unexpected when they happen, and often leave the drivers who are involved in a state of shock and temporarily disoriented, which can easily lead to them making the wrong decisions and taking the wrong actions after an accident. This state of confusion can itself lead to a fatality or a worsening of injuries, as well as to significant legal and monetary ramifications.
Every driver should know what to do after an auto accident. Here are eight specific things to keep in mind. Printing this list and keeping a copy in the glove compartment for review after a crash would be a good idea.
Prepare for an accident. Invest in a safety kit consisting of road flares, reflective triangles, bright orange cones, a flashlight, and a basic first aid kit, and keep it in the trunk of your car at all times. And of course always have a charged cell phone at hand.
Call the authorities. Check the occupants of all vehicles involved for injuries and call 911. Even if there are no injuries and the vehicle damage is minimal, you should still call the police to ensure a police report is filled out for insurance purposes, and also to ensure proper roadway cleanup to prevent damage to vehicles passing the area later.
Don’t leave the scene, and take steps to protect it. Never leave the scene of a crash, even if it’s only a minor fender bender. Doing so can result in serious legal trouble. Prevent further accidents by turning on the vehicle’s flashing hazard lights and deploying the flares, triangles, and cones from your safety kit. If it’s a minor accident and the vehicles can safely be moved off of the roadway, you should do so.
Keep the record straight. When giving the police officer the information to fill out the report, be as accurate as possible about what happened. If you don’t know the facts, tell them so. If they ask if you’ve been injured, say that you really don’t know, which is the truth. Often the symptoms of an injury don’t appear until hours or even days after an accident. Saying you don’t have any injuries on the official report could hurt your case if you decide to file a suit for compensation later. It’s also a good idea to have a medical checkup as soon as possible just to be sure.
Exchange contact and insurance information. This information will be available on the police report which all drivers involved in an accident are entitled to a copy of, but if for some reason the police aren’t called, make sure you exchange personal contact and insurance company info, as well as license plate numbers. If there are any witnesses to the crash, collect their contact information also.
Take photos if possible. If you have a camera or cell phone, take pictures of the accident scene from different angles, as well as the damage to the vehicles. Also take photos of any injuries you’ve suffered.
Notify your insurance company. Many policies require you to report an accident as soon as possible, and they’ll be able to provide you detailed information on your coverage.
Contact an attorney. The only way to protect your rights immediately and in the future is to consult with an attorney before making an official statement to your insurance company and other interested parties. They can assess the facts and evidence in your case and advise you how to proceed in pursuing compensation for property damage and injuries.
If you’ve been involved in an accident in the Greater Tampa Bay area or anywhere in Florida, especially if you’ve been injured, contact the law offices of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk for a free and confidential consultation.