You’ve been in a car accident. Now what?

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You’ve been in a car accident. Now what?

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS), 2017 brought a 74-year-low in car accident fatalities. Overall, 358 motorists lost their lives on Minnesota roads – a number down from 392 in 2016.

Despite a decrease in fatalities, the total number of reported traffic crashes remained staggering at a nearly 79,000. Although the official Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts Report for 2018 has not been finalized, initial findings indicate a rise in car accident fatalities for the year to 380.

In response to these numbers, certain measures are being taken in the state legislature to make Minnesota roads safer. Sen. David Osmek R-Mound announced in December his desire to implement similar punishment for drivers who cause injury or death in crashes triggered by distractions as those charged with driving under the influence.

As distracted driving incidents are on the rise, a hands-free cell phone bill has passed its first committee stop in the State Legislature. The bill would require motorists to use hands-free devices when talking on the phone while driving.

While these represent positive steps in reducing the amount of car accidents on Minnesota roads, the fact remains that accidents do and will happen. If you find yourself in a car accident, you need to know what to do.

Here are some basic steps to take to help handle the situation.

Safety

  • Turn on your hazard lights.
  • Check to see if anyone in your vehicle has sustained injuries. If so, call for help.
  • Exit your vehicle if it is safe to do so. If safe, check that the driver and passengers in the other vehicle(s) are unharmed. Again, contact emergency services if anyone is injured.
  • Avoid conflict with the other driver or passengers. Accidents are an emotional experience. If someone becomes agitated, verbally or physically abusive – walk away.
  • If your vehicle is still mobile, carefully move it out of traffic patterns onto the nearest shoulder, curb or parking lot.

Thoroughly Report It

  • Call the police to report the accident and have a report taken. Doing so will provide insurers, investigators and lawyers with the facts while they are still fresh.
  • Take photos and notes of the accident scene. Note exactly what happened, as you recall it, including the time, date and weather conditions.
  • Exchange license, insurance and plate information of the car(s) involved.
  • Gather any witnesses, getting names, addresses and telephone numbers should further investigation prove necessary.

Take Legal Precautions

  • Do not discuss the accident, from your perspective with other drivers or witnesses.
  • Never admit liability, as any comments or admissions made at the scene may be used against you later.
  • Stay at the scene until the police arrive and release you to go.

If you are injured or your vehicle damage is extensive, call a qualified personal injury attorney for a free consultation. Don’t delay in seeking legal advice. Cases are stronger when an attorney is involved early.

Call and speak with one of us now: 1-888-632-3495.

 

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