Driving a car is as much of a responsibility as it is a necessity to get from place to place. Once your driver’s license is placed in your hand, you have a duty to practice safe driving and be attentive to what is happening on the road. However, there are times when you cannot prepare for what another driver is doing and it may lead to you receiving a serious injury in a car accident.
In 2021, data from the Missouri Department of Transportation showed that Missouri’s car accident fatalities surpassed 1,000 — a 2% increase over 2020. While many people assume a car accident is not in their future, it is important to understand what you should do if it does happen. Our car accident lawyers want you to be prepared with our list of the top four things you should do if you receive a serious injury while driving.
Assess Your Injuries
The first thing you may feel after a car accident is shock at having been in one. Take a moment to breathe. If you are able, look around, process your surroundings and see if you have a serious injury. If you do, immediately call the authorities and seek medical attention to treat your injuries. Some symptoms, such as a traumatic brain injury or internal bleeding, may not be as apparent at the scene and arise hours after the accident.
Some of the most common serious injuries after a car accident include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Internal Bleeding
- Broken or Fractured Bones
- Neck, Back and Spinal Cord Injuries
- Burns and lacerations
Collect Information If Your Health Permits
It is better to document evidence rather than relying on your memory alone after a car accident. If you are physically able, take photos of your car damage as well as other evidence of how the crash occurred.
After an accident, you should write down or take photos of:
- The exterior and interior damage to the vehicles;
- The position of the vehicles following the crash;
- The damage of surrounding areas following the crash;
- Tire skid marks and debris on the road if seen;
- License plate numbers;
- Driver’s licenses and auto insurance cards;
- Road conditions; and
- The time of day.
If you are unable to physically take photos, be sure you or someone else notifies the police to build a statement and conduct a full accident report.
Save All Medical Records and Receipts
In order to have a higher chance at receiving compensation for the serious injury you sustained during a car accident, you must provide extensive documentation of your injuries. The best way to prove your injuries were a result of the crash are through medical records and medical expense receipts.
After visiting the hospital or your primary care doctor, make sure they take down extensive notes of your injuries and provide you with receipts detailing the procedures you required and the medications needed to resolve your pain. These along with receipts for tow trucks, car repairs and pay stubs from lost wages may help you build a stronger case for a personal injury claim.
Contact a Missouri Car Accident Lawyer
After a car accident, you should take as many precautions as possible to protect yourself after sustaining a serious injury in Missouri. When you are harmed as a result of someone else’s negligence, it is in your best interest to consult a car accident lawyer. They will be able to help you understand your rights, assess your damages and prepare a case that will help you maximize your compensation.
In Missouri, there is a five year statute of limitations for a personal injury case that begins on the date of your car accident. This means you have five years to get your documentation together and file your personal injury case in court.
Car Accident Lawyers Who Care
When a serious injury leaves you wondering where to turn, MHM is here to navigate your next steps after a car accident. In every case, we put our clients first to help you obtain the compensation you need to get back on your feet. Contact our team today to get started with a free consultation.