An accident by definition means an incidental and unplanned event that had circumstances been different, changed, recognized, or acted upon then the event could have been likely prevented.1 When you are talking about a car accident the factors that contribute to the unplanned and incidental accident can be numerous: driver behavior, road design, vehicle manufacturing, environmental conditions, and interaction with other vehicles, obstructions, and pedestrians. This means that by its very nature a car accident can be caused by so many potential factors that it is practically impossible to be prepared enough to prevent the accident’s occurrence. However, you can take some steps and be informed on how to comply with the authorities and protect your interests and rights should you be involved in an auto accident.
How to Be Prepared When Behind the Wheel
The basic requirement before getting behind the wheel is that all drivers have their registration and insurance information with them before operating the vehicle.2 There is several emergency precautions that can be taken such as creating an emergency first aid kit, keeping a note of emergency contacts and medical conditions in your glove box, or carrying accident materials such as warning triangles and flares in your vehicle. Beyond these precautionary steps, most actions will be taken after the car accident has occurred.
What to Do After a Car Accident
Once an accident has occurred the initial steps are to guard your safety, the safety of other drivers or passengers, and that of passing vehicles by staying in your vehicle, using emergency signals to notify oncoming traffic, and making any potential efforts to safely notify medical or emergency personal. Even if you believe there are no injuries you are legally required to stop at the scene of the accident. Notifying the police or medical services is also a requirement after an accident though the police have discretion as to whether or not respond to an accident if injuries are minor or nonexistent.3 If the authorities do arrive, questions should be answered truthfully and fully, but information should not be given up freely for questions not directly asked. If the authorities do not respond to the scene of an accident then it is still important to file a report with the police department as soon as possible.
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
After these steps have been taken it is essential to get professional advice on the circumstances of your car accident. An auto accident claim can involve complicated issues related to insurance policies, liability, emotional trauma, lost wages, punitive damages, and medical expenses. An experienced auto accident attorney can determine what claims should be filed and protect your rights and interests as a victim of a car accident. To contact an auto accident attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.