Since there are hundreds of vehicle collisions in Minnesota every single day, the odds of being in some sort of traffic incident during your lifetime are pretty high. Even a minor accident can leave you feeling scared, panicked and worried. If you don’t know what to do following an accident you can end up carrying a heavier financial and legal burden than you should.
Know How to Handle It
As soon as your car makes impact with another car, person or object, you need to immediately react with the future in mind. If you know that you are responsible for the car accident, you may feel like you must apologize to the other driver or victim. However, you should remain calm and be careful with your words. It is fine to check on the other driver and ensure that they are injured but you should not say anything that admits fault.
You should immediately contact the authorities so that a police report can be taken. However, if you have suffered a personal injury, 911 should be called and an ambulance will also be dispatched. When the police arrive, assuming that you are not severely injured, they will talk to everyone involved in the car accident along with witnesses. When you are describing the accident, you should not lie to the police officer but remember not to admit fault.
What Happens Afterward
Depending on the severity of the accident and the circumstances, the police officer reporting the accident could handle it in a few ways:
- Determine fault on the spot
Many times if everyone’s story matches, it is easy for the officer to determine who is at fault. If it is you, you could be given traffic tickets and/or fines. Your license could be affected. Furthermore, you may be required to appear in court on the charges.
- Determine fault after further investigation
Sometimes the officer may need more time to determine who is at fault, especially if a statement wasn’t obtained from everyone involved in the accident. In this situation, it is possible that you could be sent tickets or charges at a later date if you are found at fault.
- Determination of no fault
There are some car accidents that are truly accidents and not caused because of recklessness by any of those involved. A no fault determination likely means no tickets or charges will be issued; however, another person involved could still point the finger at you legally.
- Arrest the person at fault
If it is found that one of the drivers who caused the accident was at fault because of reckless endangerment, DUI/DWI or another serious charge, it is possible that they could be arrested on the scene.
If you, the other driver or anyone else involved in the accident have any pain, this is the time to go to the hospital. It is important to go to the hospital right away so that your injuries are documented. Sometimes you will not feel any neck pain until several days later, and it can turn out that you have whiplash which is a painful injury.
Look for Help
After reporting the accident to your insurance company, you should contact a car accident attorney to go over your options. No matter if you are considered to be at fault or not, you could still be sued by the other driver or those involved in the accident.
The insurance company of the other driver can come after you to pay the costs associated with the accident including repairs of their vehicle, medical costs for the injured party and their car accident injury attorney fees. These could reach into the tens of thousands of dollars, and without car accident attorneys helping you, you can be found liable.
At Barna, Guzy & Steffen, LTD., we have personal injury car accident attorneys with more that 50 years combined experience in the field in the state of Minnesota. We can give you the proper representation you deserve. Simply give our office a call and you will have a free consultation with one of car accident attorneys to go over your options.
Accidents are never planned but they do happen. Luckily, you can count on us to be on your side and to help you get through it every step of the way.