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You’ve Been In A Car Accident. Now What?

By Burg Simpson

What to do After a Car Accident? – Personal Injury Settlements – Wyoming Burg Simpson

February 20, 2018   Wyoming Blog, Wyoming Personal Injury

Motor vehicle accidents are an everyday part of life. In 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, drivers were involved in nearly 14,000 auto accidents in Wyoming – 100 of them were fatal.

The most frequent auto accidents included:

  • Moving vehicles accidents.
  • Animal crashes.
  • Fixed-object collisions.
  • Non-collision incidents.

Anyone involved in a motor vehicle accident needs the help only a personal injury lawyer can provide.

What to Do At the Scene?

Immediately following an accident, it’s best to move vehicles from traffic, if at all possible, and make sure the engines aren’t still running. This not only makes things easier for first responders, but could prevent any additional accidents as well. In that same vein, drivers involved should stay out of the roadway so as to avoid further injury.

If any kind of utility pole was hit in the accident, play it safe by avoiding any contact with the pole or downed lines. Also, if you’re a smoker, avoid the urge to light up as a way to de-stress. There could be gasoline on the road or fumes in the area.

Finally, if possible, try to warn approaching traffic, especially if it’s dark. Flares are always the best option.

What to Do After an Accident?

If you’ve been in a car accident, the worst thing you can do is leave the scene, since motorists have what’s called a “duty to stop.” The penalties, in addition to the loss of driving privileges, can be steep: In an accident that results in an injury or death, the fine can be as high as $5,000 and can come with a prison sentence of up to one year.

Immediately after an accident, all of the involved parties have a “duty to give information and render aid,” according to Wyoming law. Which means that everyone must exchange names, addresses, vehicle registration numbers, and driver’s license information. Though not required by law, it’s also a good idea to exchange insurance information. Additionally, if necessary, drivers must offer aid to anyone who’s been injured, “including the carrying, or the making of arrangements for the carrying, of the person to a physician, surgeon or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that the treatment is necessary or if the carrying is requested by the injured person.”

What Do the Police Do If They’re Called?

Under certain circumstances, you must report the accident to the Wyoming Department of Transportation within 10 days of the accident. Those include:

  • The accident resulted in an injury or death.
  • The accident caused property damage of $1,000 or more.

Failing to do so can incur a fine of up to $200, a 20-day prison sentence, and a license suspension.

You should also contact law enforcement if you’ve convinced that the other driver committed a moving violation that led to the accident. And if you’re in doubt whether the incident constitutes a real emergency, you should err on the side of caution and dial 911.

Making sure a police report is filed will help determine liability as well as speed along your insurance claim. It will prove vital if any damages aren’t discovered until much later.

Seek Necessary Medical Care

If you think you have been injured go to the Emergency Room or your treating doctor that day and give a full report of where you are feeling pain or think you may be hurt.  Don’t play tough and wait too long to seek care.  Soft tissue injuries may take a day or two to become painful.  It is important to document all medical problems.

If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident because of someone’s careless behavior, you deserve justice. But there is a time limit. In Wyoming, the statute of limitations on filing a claim for either personal or property damage is four years. So don’t wait. Contact the accident injury lawyers at Burg Simpson in Wyoming as soon as you can by calling 307-527-7891 or filling out a Free Case Evaluation Form right now.

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