Car Accidents: Common Causes and Steps to Take After a Collision
By Space Coast Daily // July 14, 2023
Car accidents are unfortunate incidents that can happen to anyone on the road. Whether you are an experienced driver or a novice, it is crucial to be aware of the common causes of car accidents and know the necessary steps to take after a collision occurs.
Here, a Decatur car accident lawyer will discuss the various factors that contribute to car accidents and provide a comprehensive guide on what to do immediately following a collision.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Common causes of car accidents include:
One of the leading causes of car accidents today is distracted driving. With the rise of smartphones and other electronic devices, drivers often find themselves diverting their attention away from the road. Activities such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, or adjusting the radio can significantly impair a driver’s focus, resulting in accidents.
Excessive speeding is another major cause of car accidents. When drivers exceed the speed limits, they have less time to react to sudden changes on the road, making it difficult to avoid collisions. Speeding also amplifies the severity of accidents, increasing the risk of injuries or fatalities.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs remains a prevalent cause of car accidents. Intoxicated drivers have impaired judgment, decreased coordination, and reduced reaction time, all of which contribute to a higher likelihood of collisions. It is essential to never get behind the wheel while under the influence and to designate a sober driver or use alternative transportation options.
Reckless driving encompasses a range of dangerous behaviors, including aggressive maneuvers, tailgating, illegal passing, and running red lights. These actions endanger both the driver and other road users, often resulting in accidents with severe consequences.
Inclement weather conditions, such as rain, snow, fog, or ice, can create hazardous driving conditions. Reduced visibility and slippery roads make it challenging to control a vehicle, leading to an increased risk of accidents. It is crucial to adjust driving habits accordingly and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles during adverse weather.
Steps to Take After a Collision
Steps to take after a collision include:
The first priority after a collision is to ensure the safety of everyone involved. If possible, move the vehicles to a safe location away from traffic and turn on hazard lights. Check for injuries and call emergency services if necessary. If the accident is minor and there are no injuries, it may be appropriate to move the vehicles to the side of the road to avoid obstructing traffic.
Exchange contact, insurance, and vehicle information with the other party involved in the accident. Obtain their name, phone number, address, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance details. It is also helpful to gather contact information from any witnesses present at the scene.
Document the Accident
Documenting the accident is crucial for insurance purposes and any potential legal proceedings. Take photos of the scene, including the vehicles involved, damages, and any relevant road conditions. Note down the time, date, location, and a detailed description of how the accident occurred, as this information will serve as valuable evidence later.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. Provide them with accurate details of the incident and follow their instructions regarding the next steps. Be prepared to provide the documentation and photographs you gathered at the scene.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you believe you have not sustained any serious injuries, it is essential to seek medical attention after a collision. Some injuries may not manifest immediately, and a medical professional can identify and treat any hidden injuries. Additionally, medical records will be necessary if you decide to file an insurance claim or pursue legal action.
File a Police Report
In many jurisdictions, it is required to file a police report after a car accident, especially if there are injuries, significant damages, or disputes regarding fault. Contact the local law enforcement agency and provide them with an accurate account of the accident. Obtain a copy of the police report for your records.
Notify Your Attorney
If the accident resulted in significant damages, injuries, or legal complications, it is advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney. An attorney can guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and help you pursue any necessary legal action.
Cooperate with Insurance Investigations
Insurance companies will conduct their own investigations into the accident. Cooperate with your insurance company and provide them with all the requested information promptly. Be cautious when discussing the accident with the other party’s insurance company and avoid admitting fault without proper legal guidance.
Repairing the Vehicle
Contact a reputable auto repair shop to assess and repair the damages to your vehicle. If the insurance company is involved, follow their procedures for obtaining repair estimates and authorizations. Keep records of all repair-related documents, invoices, and receipts.
Follow Up on Medical Treatment
If you sought medical attention after the accident, follow up with any recommended treatments, therapies, or appointments. Document all medical expenses, including bills, prescriptions, and transportation costs related to your treatment.
Be Mindful of Time Limits
Be aware of the statute of limitations for filing insurance claims or personal injury lawsuits in your jurisdiction. Failing to file within the specified time limits can result in the loss of your legal rights to seek compensation.
Practice Defensive Driving
After experiencing a car accident, it is natural to feel anxious or cautious while driving. However, it is important to regain confidence and practice defensive driving techniques. Stay alert, obey traffic laws, maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, and anticipate potential hazards on the road.
Contact Us for Help
Car accidents can have significant physical, emotional, and financial consequences. By understanding the common causes of accidents and knowing the necessary steps to take after a collision, you can better protect yourself and navigate the aftermath effectively.
Remember to prioritize safety, gather information, document the incident, notify the appropriate parties, and seek professional assistance when needed. By following these guidelines, you can minimize the impact of a car accident and ensure a smoother recovery process.
With a law degree under his belt, Mark Scott understood very early that law communication was a relatively neglected area. He decided to help people by “translating” the language and offering information and advice in a clear, useful, and actionable manner. For this reason, instead of finding him in court, you will most likely find his name online, where he is very active and thriving as a legal columnist. His part of making the world a better place is to make the law a less convoluted maze. He aims to make it easier for people to understand when and how to seek legal counsel, how to proceed in a significant number of legal matters, and to find the proper resources so they can stand up for their rights.