10 Tips to Help You When Involved In an Accident

fender_bender-300x199

1. Safety: Make sure that you and your passengers are not injured. If an injury occurred, call 911 to report the injuries.  If there is serious injury or major damage, do not move the vehicles.  Wait until the police arrive so they can properly document the scene. This will help the police and investigators determine who is at fault if there is any question of liability.  If the accident is minor, move the vehicle to the side of the road to a safe location.  Do not get out of the vehicle unless it is safe.  Stay in the vehicle if you are injured or surrounded by moving traffic.   What seems like a minor injury could be much worse than it seems and trying to move could make things worse.  Your best bet is to stay in your vehicle with your seat belt fastened, turn on your hazards while waiting for help to arrive.

2. Call the police: Don’t ever let anyone at the scene try to convince you otherwise. A police report will be very important alter on.  Get the police report along with the name and number of the reporting officer.  In some cases of minor crashes, the police will not respond unless there are serious injuries or property damage; if that is the case, you will need to file an accident report at the local police station as soon as possible.

3. Exchanging Information: Get the other drivers name, phone number, insurance company, policy number, drivers license number, plate number, and address. Note the make and model of the other vehicle including color and visible damages.

4. Witnesses: Get the name and contact information of any witness that saw the accident. Do this as quickly as possible so you can get as many witness testimonies before they leave the scene.  Ask them to give a statement to the police.  If they are in a hurry to leave, contact them later to get their testimony.

5. Photographs: Take photographs of the entire scene as well as the damages done to each vehicle. Get a photo of the license plate number of the other vehicle, along with a picture of the other driver.  It might be helpful to take pictures of the surrounding area as well.  This can be helpful to your insurance company and attorneys during the future proceedings.

6. Do not discuss fault: Never admit that the accident is your fault to the other drivers or the police. Do not even say that you are sorry, it could make you look guilty even if you are not at fault; it could be used against you later.

7. Personal records: Make a written record of all the information that you gathered at the scene of the accident. Write down everything you remember.  How the accident happened, what the road conditions were like, weather, and make a diagram if possible.  This will help later while you are filing a claim with your insurance company.  It will also be helpful to your attorney.

8. File a claim: File a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. You should already be aware of what your insurance policy covers, so you won’t have to worry about what charges have to come out of your pocket, such as towing from the scene of the accident.

9. Contact the DMV: The DMV requires all drivers to file a report of an accident, regardless of who is at fault. For more information, visit the DMV Website.

10. Protect your rights: Contact Phillips and Lyon immediately. There will be questions such as: How am I going to pay for my medical expenses, and what to do about your damaged vehicle, or replacing a damaged vehicle?  An experienced attorney can help you through these processes while protecting your legal rights.  The insurance company will have their own attorneys who will have their best interest in mind, not yours.  It will be important to have a defender on your side.

Driving while distracted? Think twice.

Distracted Driving

According to the CDC’s Injury Prevention and Control Center, there are over 1000 accidents involving injuries and 9 deaths a day on the roads due to distracted driving.  According to the CDC’s distracted driving study, 69% of drivers in the United States reported that they talk on their cell phone while driving; and 31% had read or sent text messages while driving.   With today’s technology, the distractions are only growing.  Here are some helpful tips on how to stay focused while getting to your destination safely.

Texting while driving

Types of Distracted Driving

Texting and phone conversations: Cell phones are a way of life now, it’s inevitable.  A few seconds of inattention can cause a major accident.

Eating: Sometimes we have a lack of time on our hands.  Why not grab a snack to go or run through the drive through.  These meals on the go can cause you to take your hands off the steering wheel for a couple of seconds.  Preventing a drink from spilling or dropping an item of food can cause a jerk reaction, which can be devastating.

Grooming: Combing your hair or applying makeup is an easy way to meet another driver’s bumper.

Passenger interactions: You may feel a little left out of the conversation, but paying attention to the road is more important.  That way, you’ll be left out of the grave too.

Phones: Chances are that phone call or text isn’t really important or pressing; wait until you get to a safe place to check your cell phone.  If it’s an emergency, pull over to talk on the phone.

Tiredness: Most people might now realize that being tired behind the wheel is just as bad as being intoxicated behind the wheel.  You can actual get a DUI for driving while too tired.  Being tired affects your reflexes in the same way that alcohol does.  Driving while tired represents about 20 to 30% of all accidents.

Roadside Distractions: There are a lot of these out there today.  Flashing billboards, sign spinners, the crazy person on the corner dancing a jig; it’s important to stay focused while driving, you can watch all the craziness later on the internet.

Day Dreaming:  This is the easiest way to get into an accident.  Just space out, think about your loved one or an upcoming vacations and BAM! You drive right into the car in front of you.

Pets: We all love our pets and our pets love a good ride in the car.  Don’t let that be the end of you and your pet; letting your dog or cat wonder around the car while driving can have serious consequences.  Train you animal to sit still during the car ride.  Don’t let your dog or cats sit on your lap while driving, they could get in your line of sight or prevent you from reaching one of the controls or steering wheel.

If you’re ever the victim of a distracted driving accident, contact the personal injury experts at Phillips & Lyon today!

Have you been in a motorcycle accident and need help?

 

Hello, my name is Greg Lyon.  I’m a senior partner in the law firm of Phillips and Lyon and have practiced in the field of personal injury for 30 years.  In addition, I ride motorcycles.  Mostly Harleys, but I’ve spent a fair amount of time riding metric cruisers as well.  I represent riders who’ve been involved in accidents with other vehicles, or often times, as a result of hazards in the roadway.  Because of my motorcycle experience, there are a lot of things a new client doesn’t have to explain to me.  For example, I know that the fair market value of your motorcycle can not be measured by a number that appears in a book or online.  Since part of the joy of owning a motorcycle is adding your personal touches, we must inquire further about the aftermarket parts and accessories added to the bike that often times increases the value by thousands of dollars.  I also know the types of defenses that will be used by the insurance company’s lawyer to prevent the biker from receiving fair compensation.  Having taken several motorcycle safety courses and having logged many thousands of miles in traveling all over the country, I can anticipate and be prepared for these defenses.  Motorcycle accident claims represent different issues than a car accident case, and therefore, require a different approach in order to obtain a good result for a client.  Knowledge of helmet laws, the geometry of a motorcycle, the way modifications affect the handling of a bike, are only a few of the areas of expertise that are often times used in the handling of these claims.  Also essential is making sure the rider has access to the various medical specialists that may be called upon to treat, or express opinions, as to the permanent nature of your injuries.  We can assist you in finding doctors that will await payment until the case is over so that your recovery is not compromised.  If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important to hire an attorney who not only has personal injury experience, but also has firsthand experience with motorcycles.  Ride safe!

Should you hire an accident injury lawyer?

 

Hello.  My name is Greg Lyon and I’m a Senior Partner in the Law Firm of Phillips and Lyon.  Many people ask me whether they should hire an attorney versus handling an injury claim themselves.  The answer depends on great part of the seriousness of the injury.  If the injury involves an emergency room visit and a follow up with a family doctor, I generally feel you are better off without an attorney.  There’s not much I can do to significantly enhance the value of the claim and justify reasonable fees and compensation to my client under those circumstances.  However, in the instance where the injury results in ongoing treatment, surgical procedures, or disability; a great deal more proof is required to legally support each component of that type of claim.  People unfamiliar with the law often times will not know what proof is required, or how to acquire it.  Without such proof, you have little chance to receive maximum compensation.  The hiring of medical experts to support claims of medical disability, or economists and vocational rehabilitation experts to support loss of earnings are some examples of the level of proof required in those cases.  At Phillips and Lyon we will also help our clients find doctors who will await payment until their case is over so you don’t have to worry about paying medical bills, or expensive co-pays.  Perhaps the most daunting task of an unrepresented client is answering the most critical question of all: “How much is my case worth”?   At Phillips and Lyon we have been evaluating cases for over 30 years, carefully gauging jury trends, as well as arbitration results.  This experience is invaluable in properly advising clients whether to accept, or reject, an offer from an insurance company.  Another consideration in hiring an attorney is whether you are able to determine which insurance policies can be used for compensation.  Many times, more than one insurance policy can be used to provide and injured party full compensation.  Unless you are well versed in insurance law, you may overlook valuable additional sources of compensation.  What are you going to do when the insurance adjuster calls demanding recorded statements and the signing of documents?  An attorney is there to quickly inform you of the do’s and the don’ts.  We settle hundreds of cases a year, and rarely do our clients get interrogated by the insurance company’s adjuster.  Another example is when that same adjuster is asking that you sign a medical authorization.  Personally, I feel that this is an invasion of privacy, especially when the requested records have nothing to do with your injuries.  I hope you see the value of hiring an attorney to guide you through your personal injury claim.  When you hire Phillips and Lyon, you really do hire Phillips and Lyon.

Need help after a motorcycle accident?

 

Hello, my name is Greg Lyon.  I’m a senior partner in the law firm of Phillips and Lyon and have practiced in the field of personal injury for 30 years.  In addition, I ride motorcycles.  Mostly Harleys, but I’ve spent a fair amount of time riding metric cruisers as well.  I represent riders who’ve been involved in accidents with other vehicles, or often times, as a result of hazards in the roadway.  Because of my motorcycle experience, there are a lot of things a new client doesn’t have to explain to me.  For example, I know that the fair market value of your motorcycle can not be measured by a number that appears in a book or online.  Since part of the joy of owning a motorcycle is adding your personal touches, we must inquire further about the aftermarket parts and accessories added to the bike that often times increases the value by thousands of dollars.  I also know the types of defenses that will be used by the insurance company’s lawyer to prevent the biker from receiving fair compensation.  Having taken several motorcycle safety courses and having logged many thousands of miles in traveling all over the country, I can anticipate and be prepared for these defenses.  Motorcycle accident claims represent different issues than a car accident case, and therefore, require a different approach in order to obtain a good result for a client.  Knowledge of helmet laws, the geometry of a motorcycle, the way modifications affect the handling of a bike, are only a few of the areas of expertise that are often times used in the handling of these claims.  Also essential is making sure the rider has access to the various medical specialists that may be called upon to treat, or express opinions, as to the permanent nature of your injuries.  We can assist you in finding doctors that will await payment until the case is over so that your recovery is not compromised.  If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important to hire an attorney who not only has personal injury experience, but also has firsthand experience with motorcycles.  Ride safe!