What You Should Do After An Auto Accident

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There are serious and non-serious auto accidents around Jackson, Ridgeland, Madison the City, and throughout Mississippi every day. Then when it rains the number of auto accidents increase even more. At Coxwell & Associates we help people with serious accidents involving cars, 18 wheelers, trucks, boats, motorcycles, and any other type of accident causing serious or permanent injuries. The word serious means we help people who are injured. If a person has a “fender-bender,” and no serious injury, then with a little good legal advice they can deal with the adjuster and handle the case themselves.

If you are involved in a traffic accident immediately stop you automobile. Never leave the scene of an accident. Leaving the scene is a crime. (Miss. Code Annotated, Sections 63-2-401 through 405). Nowadays law enforcement requests that you move your car out of the lanes of traffic if possible. If one person does not appear at fault then it may be wiser to leave your car until the law enforcement official arrives and notes the locations. If the accident involves death, injury or damages of $250.00 or more the police will file an accident report. If is usually good advice to ask for a police report in every instance.

If possible warn oncoming motorists with blinking lights or reflectors. It is not expensive to buy a safety kit at one of the major discount stores and keep it in the trunk of your car. These kits typically have reflectors, lights, and other types of equipment for stalled cars. Remember, you want to protect others and yourself. You should also call the police even if no one seems injured. Many times serious injuries may not manifest until weeks or months after an accident. At Coxwell & Associates we have seen many cases of auto accidents causing ruptured discs in the cervical or lumbar areas of the back which went undiscovered by doctors until months after the accident when the people eventually obtained an MRI.

It is always good advice to remain calm even if the other person is at fault and you are angry about the accident disrupting your plans or damaging a favorite car. When the police show up they are not going to be emotional. There have been many, many instances when an angry motorist who was not at fault went to jail because of a bad attitude. You might also anger the police so much that he misses important details of the accident.

If you are injured as a result of the accident you should obtain immediate medical attention. Tell the medical attendants, including ambulance drivers, where and what hurts. Many people do not know ambulance drivers and medical professionals usually write down much of what is said by the patient. Therefore, if you are hurting and you say everything is “fine,” they are going to write down that “patient said he/she was fine.” Remember, your goal should be to take care of your health. You may also wish to call an attorney immediately if the injuries are serious. At Coxwell & Associates we handle serious injury cases. We can have an investigator on the scene within minutes in order to take photographs, measurements, witness statements, or anything else we feel is valuable for your case.

After an accident you also want to get the names and address of witnesses. Write these down even if you also see the officer taking notes. At Coxwell & Associates we recently had a case where a 7 year old boy was hit by a car while standing in his yard. The boy’s house was across the street from a church where a revival was taking place. There were dozens of people outside but the officer did not get a single witnesses’ name. Why is this important? Because the boy was so close to the edge of his yard that I could tell the driver was going to claim the young boy stepped out in front of him. We found witnesses to confirm the driver of the auto lost control and swerved into the yard, but it would have been quicker if the officer had written down statements or someone with the boy’s family, or if they had called Coxwell & Associates immediately after the accident.

When you are on the scene it is usually better to avoid comments about fault. If you have been rear-ended by another car, it is not going to hurt to say the other person hit you. But there are going to be accidents that are not clear cut. This is a tough position to be in because the office may want to speak with you. It is always important to be truthful but sometimes after an accident people can be shaken up and making comments before you speak with a lawyer may hurt your case. I want to emphasize it is very important to speak with a lawyer before you speak to any insurance adjuster. Don’t forget the insurance adjuster for the other side wants to pay a little as possible. He is out to help his company, not you. If an adjuster calls do not discuss anything with him until you speak with an attorney. It is unfortunate but this is the advice we see violated most often. People will speak with the other side’s adjuster and even give the adjuster a “carte blanche” right to get their medical records, including private, personal medical records that may not be relevant to the accident.

These are the major things to remember in every accident case. The more serious the accident or the more serious a person is hurt, the more these guidelines should be followed. It is usually good to discuss serious accidents with your family members and have a plan in the event a tragic accident happens. That way someone can take the steps necessary like calling the lawyer so an investigator can get on the scene or notifying other family members or the family doctor. Call your lawyer and do not talk to the other side’s adjuster. Get the medical help you need and explain in detail to all medical providers what problems you are having after the accident. If you do these things you will be on your way to having a better legal resolution of your accident case.

Coxwell & Associates is a family law firm focusing on serious injury cases of all types, criminal defense, consumer bankruptcy, and predatory lending. The law firm represents individuals, families, working men and women, children, housewives, and it does not represent large corporations or the insurance industry. The firm secured a 149 million dollar verdict in one accident case, has settled millions of dollars worth of cases for injured people, and recovered millions on behalf of people defrauded. Coxwell & Associates is comprised of lawyers who like their clients and enjoy helping them quickly solve legal problems.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.

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