Modern cars are safer than ever. However, car accidents still happen every day, even with all the safety features. Even if you're a careful driver, a collision can still happen. Someone else will be driving drunk, under the influence, reckless, fasting, or negligent while driving a car. Drivers may be distracted by texting while driving. Crashes can result from this.
You need to be familiar with the applicable laws as a motorist, especially if you are involved in a serious traffic accident. It is important to know how to gather evidence, what to put in an accident report, and when to contact insurance companies.
What you actually do right after a car accident can determine whether your car is repaired or medical bills are paid. It also helps you avoid breaking Mississippi state laws and keep your driver's license suspended.
The following steps should be taken after an accident:
- Move to a safe location
Move your vehicle to the shoulder if it is safe. Obstructing traffic can result in further injuries to you and other victims of an accident.
- Don't admit that the accident was your fault.
Even if the accident was your fault, it is important not to admit any wrongdoing.
It could be that you are wrong. Mississippi's "pure relative negligence" standard may make it clear that the other driver could be partly to blame. This standard states that each driver is responsible for their respective liability or percentage of the accident's fault. Even apologizing for an accident can lead to misunderstandings that prevent you from obtaining the compensation you need from the insurance company.
If the driver needs medical attention, however, it's not wrong to inquire about his condition.
- Contact emergency services
Do not wait to get medical attention, regardless of how minor your accident injuries were. You can call 911 or have someone else call you. Get medical attention for your injuries. Document your symptoms and any onset of new ones. Seek medical attention for treatment and documentation of your injuries. This will allow you to document your injuries, which can be used to help you file a personal injury case.
- Take photos of the accident scene.
Your car accident lawyer can use photos of the accident scene and vehicles to help them determine what happened. These photos can help you avoid false claims that you are responsible to repair or replace the vehicle.
- Document your own version of the accident as soon as possible.
Write down as much information about the accident as possible, regardless of how trivial. It is important to record details as soon as possible, because you may find it difficult to recall vital information after the accident. This information could include, but not be limited to:
- The accident date and time
- Each vehicle's cross streets and travel direction.
- The best estimate of each driver’s speed.
- Traffic light colors
- Anything that could cause adverse road conditions, such as potholes and bad weather.
- Document your injuries.
You can either take photos of visible injuries using your phone or camera or ask someone else to do so. Ask a nurse to take photographs of your injuries if you need medical attention.
Write down your thoughts and take photos as soon as possible. You have a better chance of getting the benefits you deserve if you have more evidence.
- Submit a police report
Mississippi law requires that the accident be reported to a law enforcement officer. The law requires motorists who are involved in an accident involving an automobile to notify the police department if there is an injury, death, or property damage.
You are also required by most auto insurance policies to contact the police following a motor vehicle accident. It will benefit your case as the police will keep an official record. The officer will arrive at the accident site, assess the damage and surrounding areas, collect insurance information and personal details from all involved parties, and question any witnesses.
- Share contact information with other drivers and witnesses.
Ask for the registration, license, and insurance card of the other driver. Note down the numbers. You can also take a photograph of these documents. You should obtain contact information from anyone who was present at the accident or had a witness to it.
Get the name of the law enforcement officer who arrived on the scene and take it with you. No matter who is at fault, make sure to give your information to the other driver.
- Keep track of details about the other vehicle/s.
After you have taken care of the vehicles (if necessary) and/or received medical attention for any injuries, take photos or write down the following information.
- The license plate number for every vehicle that was involved in the accident.
- The year, make, and model of the vehicle, as well as its color.
- If possible, provide the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the other vehicle.
When you file a police investigation, you will need this information. It is crucial that you keep a record of this information for your personal injury lawyer to win your case.
- Don't claim that you haven't been hurt.
Injuries from car accidents are not always obvious. Do not tell the other driver that you believe you were not injured, even if you feel you are. You may not notice some physical injuries, such as whiplash or soft tissues injuries, right away after a car accident. If you claim that you were not injured, your driver's insurer may offer to pay you less than what you are entitled to. If not, you can deny your claim. You don't have to lie if you are not eligible for a lower amount of compensation. This can damage your credibility. It is possible to simply state that you don't know of any injuries but will have your medical records checked.
- Call your Gulfport personal injury lawyer.
A local personal injury lawyer can help you protect your rights and determine if you are entitled to compensation. If you are unable to afford treatment, our injury lawyers can help you find a doctor that will accept a medical lien. You may be offered a settlement offer by our skilled lawyers if you also send an insurance demand letter.
Contact our Gulfport personal injury firm if you or someone you care about was in a car accident. The Healy & Jordan Law Firm has extensive experience in handling personal injury cases. They will work hard to get you the compensation that you deserve. For a free consultation, call us at 228-575-4005.