While the Fourth of July is a festive occasion, it can also be extremely dangerous. Too many people take their celebrations too far and take to the road when impaired due to alcohol or drug use. In fact, nearly 1,500 people died in a Fourth of July car accident across the U.S. between 2017 and 2021.
If you suffered an injury or tragically lost a loved one in a July 4-related car accident, the attorneys with The Eberst Law Firm will be ready to help. Our firm has extensive experience in helping car wreck victims obtain maximum compensation. We’re standing by to do the same for you. Please call 1-800-CALL-JON or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
In the meantime, here are a few steps to remember after the accident. Following these steps will help protect your health and your case.
Call 911 if Needed
The first thing anyone should do after a car accident involving injuries is to call 911 immediately. Check yourself and anyone else involved in the wreck to see how badly they’re hurt. The more information you can provide the dispatcher, the better-prepared emergency personnel will be. The better prepared they are, the better job they can do of providing medical help.
When you speak to the dispatcher, ask them to send a police officer to the accident scene. When the officer arrives, tell them what happened as best you can. However, you should never admit even the slightest amount of fault. If you do, that statement will appear in the police report. The other driver’s insurance company will use that statement against you.
Exchange Information if Possible
If you can, get the other driver’s insurance and contact information. But be very careful doing this. If that other driver is intoxicated, they may become belligerent. You don’t want to inflame an already volatile situation further. Try to get a feel for that other person before you request any information. If you don’t feel comfortable, try to write down their license plate and wait for help to arrive.
File a Police Report After Your Fourth of July Car Accident
You should also file a police report. As mentioned earlier, the other driver’s insurance company will use any admission of blame against you. But if you stick to the facts, the police report could be crucial evidence in your favor. The following is a brief look at what the typical police report contains:
- Description of the accident: The police officer will provide a narrative description of how the accident occurred based on their observations, statements from involved parties, and any available evidence. This section may include diagrams or sketches of the accident scene to illustrate the positions of vehicles and other relevant details.
- Vehicle and damage information: The report will note the vehicles’ make, model, and license plate numbers. It will also describe the extent of damage sustained by each vehicle.
- Citations and violations: If any traffic laws were violated leading to the accident, the report will document these violations and note any citations issued by the officer. This may include speeding, failure to yield, or driving under the influence.
- Witness statements: If there were witnesses to the accident, their statements may be included in the police report. This section will typically list the names and contact information of the witnesses and summarize their observations.
- Officer’s observations and conclusions: The police officer may provide their professional opinion on factors that contributed to the accident, such as speeding, negligence, or driving under the influence. They may also include any additional remarks or recommendations.
Either you or your attorney can obtain a copy of the report. Again, it could provide powerful evidence of your efforts to obtain the money you deserve.
There are several other types of evidence you’ll need. If possible, try to take photos of the accident scene using your phone. Get pictures of everything you think is relevant, such as the following:
- Your injuries
- Damage to all vehicles
- Damage to guardrails or street/highway signs
- Fresh skid marks
Skid marks can be essential because they can show the at-fault motorist was speeding and tried to slam on their brakes to avoid the wreck.
Your attorney can obtain other evidence as well. For example, they can get footage from nearby cameras that may have captured the accident. Your lawyer may also be able to obtain the other driver’s phone records if it appears they were talking or texting when the wreck occurred. You must get legal help as fast as possible so an investigation can begin before crucial evidence disappears.
Talk to Witnesses
There’s a pretty good chance someone saw what happened. If there were any witnesses to the accident, collect their contact information. They may be able to provide valuable statements or testify about what they saw, which can strengthen your case.
All you’ll need is their contact information (name, phone number, and email, if possible). You won’t need to worry about interviewing them. That will be your attorney’s job.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
You might feel fine after an accident. But that’s probably because you have a lot of adrenaline running through your body. Once that adrenaline wears off, you’ll realize how badly you’ve been hurt. Please see a doctor immediately so they can perform a thorough examination.
Getting examined isn’t just vital for your health. It’s also essential for your case. If you don’t see a doctor, the at-fault driver’s insurance company could claim that you’re faking an injury or that you were already hurt before the wreck. Getting medical help will establish that you suffered an injury due to the other driver’s negligence.
Don’t Speak to Insurance Companies Alone
That other motorist’s insurance company will send an adjuster to talk to you. Adjusters are notorious for trying to trick accident victims into admitting fault. But that won’t happen if you have a lawyer by your side. You can refer all insurance company questions to your attorney. That way, you can focus on your recovery without having to endure any harassment.
Hire an Attorney After a Fourth of July Car Accident; Hire The Eberst Law Firm
The professionals with The Eberst Law Firm will protect your rights and work to help you get every dollar you have coming. Schedule a free case review by using our online form or calling 1-800-CALL-JON.