According recent statistics produced by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, there has been over 41,000 accidents investigated in 2015 (just through August 9th). This is an increase from the 2014 statistics during the same time period. Despite this high number of accidents, most individuals do not know what to do at the scene of an accident or what information to obtain.
Here are some simple steps to protect yourself in the event you’re involved in an accident:
- Have Proper Insurance and Adequate Coverage. First, R.C. 4509.101, requires all drivers and/or owners of a vehicle driven within the state to mainatain insruance in an amount equal to $25,000. However, given the sometimes catastrophic nature of injuries, this state minimum amount may not protect your personal assets in the event you caused an accident. Moreover, for this same reason, it is equally important to have proper uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage. (UM/UIM). The UM/UIM policies protect you from drivers who cause you injuries but either (1) have no insurance or (2) do not have enough insurance to cover all of your injuries. Without UM/UIM coverage, you may be left holding the bag for your injuries.
- Know What To Do At The Accident Scene. If you are invovled in an accident, here are some simple do's and don'ts:
- DO: Assess your injuries and that of the other driver
- DO: Contact the police and, if necessary, EMS
- DO: Exchange the following information with the other driver: name, address, phone number, driver's license, license plate, car make/model, and insurance information
- DO: Get the names, addresses and home and work phone numbers of all witnesses
- DO: Diagram the accident scene, write notes of what happened, and use your phone to take photographs and video
- DO NOT: Discuss the a ccident with the other driver, take blame for it, or apologize
Know What To Do Afterward. It is important to seek prompt medical attention; even if you don’t think you have significant injuries. Often, injuries are not known for several days after the accident and it is better to get check out than risk further injury. Moreover, now is the time to contact Scott as he will help collect evidence, interview witnesses, prepare your claim, and explain your rights.
Even if you are an excellent and cautious driver, the risk of being in an accident is present as you cannont control the actions and abilities of every other driver on the road. Knowing what to do in the event of an accident, as well as having proper insurance and coverage, will minimize your personal exposure and maximize your potential recovery and compensation.
If you have been injured in an automobile accident, please contact Scott for a no cost, no obligation consultation and case evaluation.