Last year, the number of fatal car accidents that occurred in Alabama rose by 25% percent over 2015 figures. In 2,016, there were an estimated 1,058 traffic fatalities, compared to the 849 people whose lives were taken as a result of a traffic accident.
Total car accidents for 2016 rose only slightly, with the 152,532 crashes in 2016 representing only a 2.1% increase over the number for 2015, which was 149,339. Odds are that you may find yourself involved in a vehicular crash at some point in your life, and when you do, there are some important things to remember. Of course, the first thing you should do is to ascertain that no one has been hurt; if they have been, call an ambulance immediately. You’ll also want to contact the police to ask them to come out, examine the scene, and make a report.
Second, don’t admit any fault to the other driver or to witnesses, even if you think you were at fault.
Third, take pictures of everything that may be important to establish the facts of the accident. Your car, the car or cars that were also involved, any damage to surroundings, or any road conditions that may have contributed to the accident. These can be useful to prove your case, should you need to go to court.
Fourth, exchange insurance information with the other driver. If there were witnesses to the accident, you should also gather their contact information in case they need to be called on at a later date to give their impressions of what happened. The police will likely want to speak with them too, but they may not be able to stick around until the police show up, so getting their information is crucial.
Fifth, when the police arrive, keep calm and tell your side of the events, as calmly as possible. Don’t point fingers at the other parties, deny your involvement, or be unruly. Cooperation with the police will go a long way toward establishing your credibility, in the event that it ever comes into question. Once the police have made their report, they will present you with a copy of it. You may need to have your vehicle towed and arrange for a ride home, but if not you will then be free to drive away.
Sixth, and the most important step to take after being involved in a car accident is to contact an automobile accident lawyer. Unless your crash was a simple fender bender, which the insurance companies can hash out with the help of the police report, having an attorney on your side is a valuable move to make.
Generally, attorneys won’t charge you for an initial consultation. During that consultation, they will take a look at all of the documentation and pictures, read the police report, and let you know whether they think you may have a case.
If you do, the attorney will be there, every step of the way, as you fight to get the compensation you deserve.