Personal Injury Law: What to Do in an Accident in Tennessee
If you are wondering what to do in an accident, continue reading to discover what the experts at InjuryTN conclude as the most appropriate way of handling such a traumatic event.
It’s important to remember that it could happen to you at any moment while driving. Almost 100 people fall victim to fatal car accidents every day in the US, which is nearly four people every hour. Hundreds of thousands more are injured by accidents each year. In Tennessee, car accidents take almost 1,000 lives every year. The course of action taken immediately following a car accident can have a massive impact on the result of your specific case.
The Associates at InjuryTN would like to encourage and remind you to study this guide to determining what to do in an accident, print it out and keep it in your car if necessary. It is also important to keep an image capture device in your car such as a cell phone, disposable camera, or any other type of visual recording device. Follow this step-by-step guide to ensure you are appropriately prepared for the potential event of a car crash.
1) Stop Your Vehicle
If you don’t know what to do in an accident, the first thing you should do is stop your vehicle, as Tennessee law requires that motorists stop if they are involved in any type of motor vehicle accident with another person or vehicle. Accidents should be reported to the appropriate law enforcement. In the event that you have been involved in an accident with another driver, you should immediately call 911 to report the location, severity, and basic details of the crash.
Afterwards, you should wait for assistance from the reporting authority. Failure to report a crash can result in criminal charges as well as affect your ability to file a claim against your insurance company.
2) Remain Safe
Often, the aftermath of a serious crash can cause even more secondary car accidents to occur at the scene of the wreck. Following the event of a car crash, you should move your vehicle away from any disabled vehicles; typically moving to the nearest empty lot away from traffic is the best option available. If possible, communicate with other involved drivers and/or passengers about where you should move your vehicles, but your prime concern should be remaining safe while awaiting help.
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3) Accept Medical Treatment
If medical help is offered, you should accept it. During the immediate aftermath of an accident of any severity, the adrenaline you experience may cover signs or symptoms associated with typical car accidents. And, with some severe injuries to the head, such as concussions or traumatic brain injuries, you may not develop symptoms for some time. Allowing the medical staff that arrived to examine and advise you should be your point of focus.
4) Always Comply with Law Enforcement
Whatever emergency responder arrives at the scene of the accident will have to create a report that will be the most pertinent source of information in the event that you need to file an accident and/or injury claim. Cooperate with them, but also be aware of what you are saying to them.
Admitting fault is the first mistake a motorist will make after experiencing a car crash. By law, those involved in the accident are not qualified to determine the responsible party. So remain calm and be polite, but avoid offering unnecessary information such as personal opinions on the accident. If you think you may have committed any kind of criminal offense, you should first contact a criminal defense lawyer before answering any questions.
5) Generate Your Own Record
Pay close attention and take notes about any statements that were made by other individuals at the scene of the accident. Create your own record of what happened immediately following the incident, while it is still fresh on your mind. Accident claims may not be resolved for months, or even years, to come. Your testimony will be the most reliable while you have just experienced the accident.
Make sure to document the contact information of parties involved as well as any witnesses who may have been present. Take plenty of pictures to later help visualize the scene of the accident and make a rough sketch of what happened if you can. Any obstructions, overgrowths, inoperable construction equipment, potholes, present or missing street signs or lights, or otherwise notable circumstances which may help in determining fault.
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6) Managing Communication with Insurance Companies
Nearly all cases will require you to report the accident to your insurance company and failure to do so could lead the insurance company to deny your claim. Often times, you’ll also be required to produce a statement regarding the case for insurance purposes. Nevertheless, you should never provide another insurance company or the at-fault driver’s attorney with a statement.
7) Ongoing Records
It is in your best interest to continue documenting events, such as conversations, phone calls, or interviews with attorneys, insurance companies, or law enforcement, after the accident. Maintaining a log of the date, time, and subject matter of all correspondence is also imperative when taking any notes.
8) Pursue Legal Counsel
It’s never a bad idea to contact an attorney following any kind of vehicular accident. An experienced Nashville personal injury attorney will be able to tell you what actions can be taken after the incident. He or she should also assist you in guaranteeing your fair treatment by insurance companies, who hire their own legal counsel whose sole purpose is to maximize profits and minimize costs if their client is involved.
Contact Our Experienced Car Accident Attorneys Today
Your primary concern following any accident should be on your health and well-being, not on filing claims and dealing with insurance companies. Ensure you are taking the right step towards recovery by reaching out to our professional personal injury lawyers at InjuryTN. Call today to set up your free and confidential initial consultation, we take care of everything while you focus on getting better!