Indianapolis Attorneys for Auto Accidents Injuries
Acting in Your Interests Following a Car Accident
Of course, no one ever intends to be involved in a car accident and suffer injuries as a result of that accident. Those who find themselves in this situation must always remember to act in their own best interests because it is unlikely the insurance company will go out of their way to do so. This is the primary reason it is so important to contact an experienced car accident attorney as quickly as possible following an accident. Roadway accidents are much more common now, due in part to the greater number of vehicles on the road. Add to that the fact that in the United States we are always in a hurry and are frequently distracted while driving and you will find that car accident continue to rise, despite more and more safety features on newer cars. In fact, there are as many as six million car accidents each year, although some of them are relatively minor fender benders. About thirty-seven thousand people die in auto accidents every year, with another nearly 2.5 million sustaining moderate to severe injuries. There are several issues you must deal with following your accident, and each of these is vitally important—both to your health and to your future recovery of expenses and damages. Having a knowledgeable Cohen & Malad, LLP car accident attorney helping you every step of the way can make a tremendous difference in the outcome.
Distracted Driving—the Fastest-Growing Cause of Auto Accidents
Drivers are simply not taking the issue of distracted driving seriously enough. While most drivers recognize that distractions in the car can be dangerous, they also believe that they are able to handle distractions without compromising their safety or the safety of others. Yet at least 10 percent of fatal car accidents, and 15 percent of car accidents resulting in serious injury are related to distractions. Distracted driving crashes are vastly underreported because no one wants to admit they were doing something they knew to be dangerous while driving. Further, teen drivers, who have a fatal crash rate three times as high as drivers over the age of 20 are the group most likely to engage in driving distractions. Talking on a cell phone, texting, making changes to the GPS, changing music selections, eating an entire meal, turning around to see what the children are doing in the back seat, leaning down to pick up a bottle or a toy—all of these are extremely serious driver distractions which can lead to a very serious (or even fatal) car accident. According to a University of Utah study, those who use a cell phone while driving are 5.36 times more likely to be involved in a car crash, and people who talk on their cell phone while driving are as impaired as a driver with a BAC of 0.08 percent. These are sobering statistics which all drivers should take to heart, avoiding distractions while driving.
Injuries Sustained from the Accident
The primary issue those who have been in a car accident should be concerned with are the injuries sustained by the drivers and passengers. Many times, people suffer injuries from a crash, but because of the adrenaline rush brought on by the accident, they are unaware of the extent of their injuries and refuse medical attention. Hours, days or even weeks later, they may become aware of a specific injury which was caused when the vehicles collided. When there are no obvious injuries, blood or broken bones, some people are embarrassed to ask to be transported to the hospital in an ambulance and insist they are “fine.” Neck and back injuries in particular often manifest after the excitement of the accident has passed. Whiplash is common and is a very real and painful injury. Back injuries are also common results of an auto accident. People involved in car accidents could end up with an injury which causes pain for a very long time, and if a doctor was not seen after the accident, it can be harder to receive compensation for the injuries.
What to Do Following an Auto Accident
Once all injuries are tended to, then people who are physically able should “take stock” of the scene of the accident. Information must be exchanged with the other driver, including insurance information, name, address and phone number. With cell phones with cameras so readily available, photos of the scene should be taken when possible. Close-ups of the accident, as well as other photos which show the area surrounding the accident are important, particularly if inclement weather or another type of hazard caused by the accident. If there are witnesses to the accident, names, addresses, phone numbers and statements could be an immense help for a future claim. The police should be contacted, even if the accident is relatively minor, and even if the other driver is in a hurry, and just wants to exchange insurance information and go on their way. Having a police report following an auto accident can make a huge difference in receiving an equitable settlement for injuries and damages. Once you are home, it is highly advisable to write down detailed notes about the accident—anything you remember later can be added. People involved in an auto accident should keep all their notes, photographs, medical expenses, medications, vehicle damages and any type of receipt related to the accident together in a file. When the insurance company is called, it is important to offer only the facts of the case and avoid giving more information than asked for. Many people inadvertently say something which later is taken out of context and can hurt their claim. If an insurance company offers a quick settlement—beware. Insurance companies primary goal—despite the commercials you see on television which tell you your insurance company is your “friend”—is to ensure a healthy financial balance at the end of each year. This means they are much less concerned with your injuries and your future than with their financial bottom line.
Getting Help from Cohen & Malad, LLP
Once all the details of the car accident have been attended to, finding a highly experienced personal injury attorney to take care of obtaining a fair settlement for your injuries is the next issue you should be concerned with. Having a knowledgeable Cohen & Malad, LLP personal injury attorney by your side can go a long way in ensuring your interests—and your future—will be well-taken-care-of. People involved in auto accidents may feel overwhelmed and unsure of which direction to take which can lead to costly mistakes. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will handle all the details of your case and allow you to concentrate on healing from your injuries. Your case is of the utmost importance to us—we will work with accident reconstruction specialists and design engineers to identify crash factors and prove your claim. While we will use our efforts to negotiate a fair settlement, we are never hesitant to litigate a claim if necessary. Our firm has represented clients in nearly every county in Indiana, from South Bend to Evansville, and all counties in between—we have a long history of working hard to help fellow Hoosiers. If you or a family member have been injured in an Indiana car accident, contact Cohen & Malad, LLP today for compassionate, experienced representation.