What to do When You’ve Been in a Wreck

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No one really plans on being in a car wreck. You try to prepare for it, but at the end of the day, there’s only so much one can do, and the timing is always a surprise. Motor Vehicle collision rates have been steadily declining over the last ten years, and over that same period, traffic fatalities have been reduced by almost 25%. And, while drunk driving incidents are declining nationally, Utah consistently posts much lower numbers than the national average.

This is by all means good news, but the fact is that automobile collisions are still something of which the average person has to be wary. According to the above link, the number of people injured yearly in collisions remains above two million. That’s why it’s so important to be informed about what to do before you are ever in a crash, because it can happen at any time and always without warning. And, logically, the more you drive the higher the chances are of being in an accident.

There are some things you should have in your car at all times. The old bit of common wisdom used to be to keep a disposable camera in your car, this is probably good advice if you can find one, but the phone in your pocket is going to be good enough for the job. The point is that documentation is going to be very important, no matter who appears to be at fault.

You need to document any and all damage or you’re going to have a hard time convincing either insurance company to cover the damage. You should also have a pen and paper to take down phone numbers, insurance policy numbers, and anything else that might be relevant.

Second, and this one may sound strange, but you should never apologize. Most people know to never admit fault either to the other driver or to a police officer, but something as small as an apology can be taken as an admission of guilt. It’s much easier said than done, but try to stay as neutral as possible.

The above suggestions are to prepare you for fender benders and minor traffic accidents. If you have been injured, or suspect you’ve been injured, then a different protocol needs to be followed. Do not wait to get medical assistance or try to “walk it off,” instead clearly describe the accident and your injuries to your physician; some of the most serious injuries may not be apparent until hours or days after the accident, and even low-speed collisions can have lifelong consequences. It’s important to contact a personal injury attorney so that you, your lawyer, and your doctor can carefully document your injuries and treatments so that you can get a fair settlement from the insurance company. Our attorneys know Provo and they know the Utah Valley, they have the knowledge and the commitment to support your claim.

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