The Course of Action to Take After a Car Accident
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, there were over 140,000 vehicle accidents in the state during 2007.
More than 65,000 people were injured and more than 1,000 were killed.
That factors into some startling statistics:
- Almost three people were killed every day in vehicle crashes in Arizona.
- One person was killed every 8.
- Almost 180 people were injured every day.
- Motor vehicle crashes accounted for more than $3.
4 billion in total economic loss.
If that's the case, you need to keep a few basic steps in mind to protect your rights, and suggestions for these steps appear below.
Step One - Get to Safety If you have been involved in a crash and you can safely move your vehicle, do so and get it to the side of the road and away from traffic.
If you are not sure, do not take an unnecessary risk - simply get yourself and any passengers out of the vehicle and off the road as soon as possible, as the longer you're in the way of traffic, the more danger you'll invite.
Step Two - Contact Authorities As soon as you and your occupants are safely out of the way, contact the police immediately to come to the scene.
You'll need them to secure the area and to file a report that details what occurred.
Do not assume that someone else will contact them - make sure you do so yourself.
Step Three - Exchange Information After everyone is safe and you've contacted the authorities, make sure that you exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver.
Do not, under any circumstances, discuss the particulars of the accident, even if the other driver begins to do so.
Regardless of the other driver's mental state, remain calm and polite, as the police will be there shortly to handle any additional problems.
Step Four - Obtain Medical Attention As stated above, thousands of people are injured every year in vehicle accidents in Arizona, and some of these injuries do not present themselves immediately.
In fact, certain brain injuries may seem like nothing more than a slight pain before it becomes much more dangerous.
Even if you feel uninjured, get yourself and anyone else in the car checked out thoroughly to make sure that there aren't any medical problems.
Step Five - Contact a Car Accident Attorney Even if it seems clear who was at fault for the accident and all you'll need to do is negotiate with the insurance companies involved, you need to contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Arizona's laws of liability can be complicated, and you don't want to risk unnecessary exposure based on lack of experience.