In the state of Wisconsin, car accidents are much more common than many would assume. According to the Wisconsin State Department of Transportation, approximately 144,212 car accidents occurred statewide, throughout 2018 alone. After being involved in a car accident, it is important to remain calm and composed. Your actions in the immediate aftermath of an accident can impact the safety of yourself, other passengers, and the possibility of securing financial compensation for damages or injuries suffered. Below we will examine how you should react to a motor vehicle collision.
The Aftermath of a Vehicle Crash
Whether it happens pulling out of a parking spot, at a local intersection, or traveling on the highway, colliding with another car can be unexpected and frightening. It is essential that you do not panic and try to stay calm while assessing both physical and vehicle damages. Here are a few important actions to take after an automobile collision in Wisconsin:
Seek medical attention: After being involved in a car accident, the first step you should always take is seeking medical attention for any injuries suffered. In Wisconsin, an average of 30,000 car accidents resulting in injury occur each and every year. Delaying medical attention can lead to further injury and potentially fatal medical complications. If you are able, call 911 as soon as you have removed yourself from the collision. If emergency responders request that you leave the scene and receive further medical attention, do not resist.
Gather information: If you have not suffered injuries in the collision, it is time to begin gathering information. If possible, speak with the other driver and document his or her insurance information. If the driver is uninsured, this information could impact the manner in which your attorney will seek compensation. After gathering information from the other driver, seek out witnesses of the collision. Witness testimony can be critically important in proving fault in a vehicle accident case. While hit-and-run accidents are fairly rare if the other driver attempts to flee the scene, documenting the license plate number and model of the driver’s vehicle can assist police in an investigation.
Remain composed: In the immediate aftermath of a collision, it is important to remain calm. When speaking with the other driver, simply act in a professional manner. Rather than using accusatory language, let your attorney prove that the driver’s negligence caused the accident. Your ability to remain composed throughout the legal process is also imperative to securing fair and just compensation. It is likely that an insurance company will offer you an initial settlement that may not cover all medical expenses or property damage. Trusting in your attorney’s judgment can ensure that you receive the compensation that you need and deserve.
The Importance of Preserving Evidence
Important evidence can be lost if not obtained within a very short time. Recorded calls to 911 can provide valuable information, including the identity of witnesses, or damaging statements made by responsible drivers, but counties are only required to keep calls for 120 days. Cities and towns may have video footage of intersections or portions of highways, but footage may be deleted within days of the accident. If questions arise about fault for the accident, and a reconstruction engineer is needed in order to prove the case, the markings on the highway, actual vehicle damage, and debris from vehicles on the roadway can all provide valuable clues that an engineer may need to better reconstruct the accident. Time can be of the essence when you are involved in an accident and getting help right away can make a critical difference in your ability to recover appropriate damages.
Insurance companies, including your own, will often contact you and ask if they can record a statement. You are not required to give a recorded statement to any insurance company other than your own and rarely is it in your best interest to allow a recorded statement. The insurance adjuster wants the statement to hurt, not help, your case and if such a request is made, it is clearly in your best interest to consult with an attorney first.
Contact an Appleton Car Accident Lawyer
In the aftermath of a car accident, it is entirely common to experience an array of emotions and be confused as to what actions should be taken. As you and your family heal physically and emotionally after the collision, you need an attorney you can trust to help you seek compensation for your pain and suffering. At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., we are dedicated to helping our clients through every step of the legal process. To schedule a free consultation with our knowledgeable Green Bay, WI personal injury attorneys, call us today at 920-739-7366.