What should you do after an automobile collision? Ask the Attorneys at Althauser Rayan Abbarno for help! The number of deadly wrecks nationally has skyrocketed by 14 percent to 40,327 from 2014-2016, the largest two year hike in 53 years.

“One way to help protect your family from an injury or fatality is using the proper safety restraints,” said Peter Abbarno, partner with Althauser Rayan Abbarno. “One study by the CDC indicated more than 618,000 children ages 0-12 rode in vehicles without the use of a child safety seat restraint at least some of the time. That trend needs to change!” Unfortunately not all accidents or injuries can be prevented.

Another startling statistic is that one out of every six drivers in the state of Washington is uninsured. “The National Highway Transportation Safety Board recently estimated that the average claim for medical costs in a personal injury auto collision is more than $15,000 with little recourse without an attorney,” said Todd Rayan, partner with Althauser Rayan Abbarno. “Even with insurance, victims of automobile collisions often need to hire an attorney to protect their rights and receive fair compensation.”

Here are 6 things you should do if you are involved in an automobile collision:

1. Call Law Enforcement
The at-fault driver may dispute their role in the collision leaving an injured motorist or passenger struggling to prove their innocence. Law enforcement is not required to prepare an accident report in every case; therefore, call law enforcement in the event of a collision and ask that they take statements and prepare a report. You don’t always know the extent of vehicle damage or injuries until days later, and sometimes memories fade, so you should make a complete record of the incident at the time that it happens.

2. Exchange Information
Be sure to exchange driver’s license, insurance and registration information with the other automobiles involved in the collision. “Too often we are tracking down information about other drivers, cars and witnesses,” said Abbarno.

3. Get More Information
Take photographs of the automobiles and scene, and get the name and contact information for any witnesses to the collision. More and more insurance companies are denying liability or trying to assign contributory fault to the innocent victim. Witness information is invaluable in many cases. Even without witnesses, experienced personal injury attorneys know how to get information. “Newer vehicles have Event Data Recorders (EDR),” said Rayan. “Our experience with these EDRs make a huge difference in cases because they record information about the collision that can prove or disprove facts of the case.”

4. Seek Medical Attention
Many health insurance policies specifically exclude coverage for injuries suffered in car collisions. That’s a huge hole in your insurance considering that roughly a quarter of all accidental deaths in America result from road wrecks. “Unfortunately for the injured victim of an automobile crash, some insurance require full reimbursement before the victim sees a dime, like ERISA plans,” said Rayan. “We help the victims and their families to be made whole and work to protect the rights and benefits for our clients.”

5. Report the Collision to Your Insurance
While you have no obligation to speak with the insurance company of the at-fault driver, you do have an obligation to cooperate with your insurance company to provide basic information about the collision. “Speaking with the other driver’s insurance company will not help your case,” said Rayan. “We advise our clients to not speak with the at-fault driver’s insurance company until such time as they are finished treating or ready to make a formal demand for damages.”

6. Call Althauser Rayan Abbarno for a Free Consultation
Althauser Rayan Abbarno’s injury attorneys offer free consultations to victims of automobile collisions. “We want victims of automobile collisions to focus on their health,” said Abbarno. “We want to provide as much information about the process, so that potential clients can make informed decisions about their health and case.” Althauser Rayan Abbarno also offers free glove box injury cards to anyone wishing to pick it up at their Centralia and Olympia offices.

Althauser Rayan Abbarno, LLP is honored to assist their clients in a wide range of legal matters; including personal injury and worker’s compensation. Their experienced and knowledgeable attorneys are trial-ready and prepared to fight for your rights and benefits.
Contact Althauser Rayan Abbarno at (360) 736-1301 to schedule a FREE consultation. For more information, visit their website at CentraliaLaw.com.