Auto accidents can happen to anyone. Following the rules, being prepared, and using caution can help prevent accidents, but sometimes there’s nothing that can be done to stop them.
Also, they can happen at any time. In 2015, the most common time was on Fridays between 5:00 and 6:00 PM. However, many accidents were at all other hours of the day and night.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s usually a wise choice to seek legal assistance.
Driving in Oregon
Oregon is a beautiful state with a wonderful road system. There are more than 8,000 miles of state highways, and over 700 miles of the Interstate Highway System. When you combine this with all of the smaller city and country roads, it’s clear that you can easily get around the state while traveling in a vehicle. The only downside is that many people drive often, so statistically there will be many accidents.
Accident Statistics in Oregon
- 28,647 non-fatal car accidents
- 410 car accidents with fatalities
- 41, 675 car accidents with injuries
Car accidents might include one driver who only injured himself when going off the road, or can be a 50-car pileup, such as this recent accident caused by the slippery roads in the freezing rain.
Accidents Don’t Just Include Those Inside of Cars
Car accidents can include pedestrians, cyclists, and anyone else on or near streets.
Main Pedestrian Mistakes
Pedestrians are often seriously injured when hit by a car, but it’s not always the fault of the driver. There are of course cases where drivers break the rules and injure or kill a walker, but pedestrians themselves can be at fault because for failure to use a crosswalk, not paying attention to traffic signals, and many other situations.
Common Causes Made by Cyclists
As with pedestrians, cyclists can be victims of auto accidents. Cyclists are also required follow traffic signals and stop signs, and they should also ride in the direction of traffic while on the shoulder of the road.
Know What to do Immediately After an Accident
If you’re involved in an auto accident, there are many things you should specifically do. The most important is to get out of the way of any more danger, and check on the health of everyone involved. Next, you should alert the authorities, and make it clear if anyone desperately requires medical attention.
Before leaving the scene, file a report with the police to help determine who is at fault. Also, you need to get contact and insurance information from anyone else involved.
Get Legal Help After an Accident
No matter who was at fault or what happened, it’s a good idea to get the assistance of a legal expert after an auto accident. They can help prevent others from taking advantage of you, and they can fight to get you any compensation that you deserve.
Also, even if you think the accident was your fault, you shouldn’t say this at the time. A legal expert may be able to prove otherwise, but this is much more difficult if you’ve already said the opposite.
Here to Help
If you or someone you care about has been involved in a car accident, I encourage you to reach out to me. As a firm that specializes in personal injury and car accident cases, we can help you get your life back on track with as little difficulty as possible.
Being involved in a car accident is something that we all hope to avoid, but it can, unfortunately, happen to anyone. To be on the safe side, it’s best to be prepared in case you find yourself in such a bad situation.
Do you know what to do if you get into a car accident in Oregon? Follow these pieces of advice, and you’ll be much better off.
The first thing you should always do, no matter how serious the accident is, is to not panic. You or the people you care about could be injured, and you’ll need to be thinking clearly to help. Even without injuries, minor mistakes can cost a lot of money or legal trouble down the road.
This one is fairly obvious, but driving away from an accident is one of the worst things you can do. No matter how severe the accident or who’s to blame, you have to stop and assess the damage with anyone else involved. You can get into serious trouble if you don’t follow the appropriate procedures.
Find Out if Anyone is Injured
Checking on the health of everyone is the first action you should take after a car accident. If anyone is injured, getting them medical attention is the top priority.
Move Out of Traffic (In Non-Serious Accidents)
In very serious accidents, or those in non-crowded areas, you may not have much choice but to leave your cars where they are. But, if you have a minor accident on a busy road, it’s usually best to move your vehicles to a safe area. If possible, take pictures before moving, but don’t risk your safety by remaining somewhere where other cars may hit you.
Place Warnings Signs
To help keep yourself safe, you should set up flares, traffic cones, traffic triangles, or any other noticeable objects on the road behind where your cars are.
You should plan ahead for this. You can buy these at any automotive shop, and you should keep a selection inside your car to be prepared. At the same time, it’s wise to keep a first aid kid and some emergency clothes in case of inclement weather.
Inform the Police
You’re required by law to inform the police about any accident you have. Also, it doesn’t matter who you believe is at fault, you should tell them everything with complete accuracy. They’re likely to find out the facts eventually, so any lies you tell could come back to haunt you.
It’s also a good idea to record the names and badge numbers of any police officers that are at the scene of the accident. This can sometimes be helpful later on if there are any problems.
Call a Lawyer
If you’ve been injured or sustained serious damage to your car, you should absolutely call a lawyer immediately. There are certain actions that need to be taken, and many of them need to be done as soon as possible.
Even if it seems relatively minor, it’s a really good idea to consult with a lawyer to make sure you aren’t missing anything. A legal expert will be able to tell you if you are eligible for any benefits, and they’ll be able to prepare for any trouble you might face.
Exchange Insurance Information
Even if the police record the insurance information of the other people involved in the accident, make sure you get it, too. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to get out of paying, and you need to be able to tell them exactly who the other drivers were.
Also, make sure that all the documents match. If the registration or insurance of the car doesn’t match the name of the driver, record all of the different names and contact information.
Don’t ever rely on others (including the police) to send you photos after the accident. If you need to prove the truth about what happened, it’s best to take them yourself.
Don’t Admit to Anything
As already mentioned, you should be completely honest with the police. But, that doesn’t mean you have to admit to being at fault for anything. It’s natural to want to apologize in a traumatic situation, but there are many cases where you may think you’re the one who caused the accident, and the law doesn’t. Tell what happened, but don’t ever say you were responsible for the crash.
Look for Witnesses
Witnesses can be incredibly valuable after a car accident. They are normally unbiased, and they had a different view than anyone involved in the wreck. Record the names and contact details of anyone who saw what happened.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you have any pain or injuries, immediately seek medical attention. But, you may have suffered some form of injury even if you don’t feel it. Many issues take time before you’ll notice the symptoms, so it’s best to go get checked by a doctor as soon as possible after the accident.
This is extraordinarily important because as time goes on, it’s much harder to prove that the accident caused your health problems.
Don’t Be in a Hurry to Leave
It can be tempting to want to get away as soon as you can, but be patient to make sure you do everything necessary before leaving the scene of the accident.
You Don’t Have to Go Through This Alone
No matter how severe, car accidents are traumatic experiences. The good news is that with a quality lawyer, you have a caring expert by your side through the whole process. I’ve helped a ton of people through situations they hoped never to be in, and I understand how hard it is. But, please know that the sooner you contact me, the better legal assistance I can offer you.