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Wrecks, injuries, and lawsuits: how to prepare for the worst and protect yourself

Personal Injury attorney explains the steps everyone should follow after a crash
More than a dozen crashes happen in the U.S. every minute
Posted at 2:06 PM, Mar 01, 2024

We all know driving is dangerous, but most of us still have to get behind the wheel every day. According to government data, an estimated 14 wrecks happen every minute. That’s frightening, but it helps to be prepared in case it ever happens to you.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports car crashes costs Americans $340 billion a year, injuring 4.5 million people.

Adam Maniscalco is a personal injury attorney. He says anyone who's been involved in a crash should get checked out by a medical professional within 24 hours, even if they're not immediately in pain. "First of all, don't just assume that you're fine," he said. "When people get in accidents, they've got adrenaline rushing through their system, sometimes they might even be in shock and in the end, you don't really know if you're okay or not."

Based on insurance claim data, the average driver will crash three to four times in their lifetime. While most of those wrecks will be minor, the Alabama-based attorney says you should still try to take pictures and talk to witnesses, if you can safely do so.

"You just want to gather enough information, enough documentation, so that if there is a dispute that comes up about whose fault this accident was, you're ready to counter it," Maniscalco explained, emphasizing the importance of getting a police report.

If another driver files an injury claim against you, contact your insurance provider for help. "They're going to have a duty to defend you," Maniscalco said, pointing to his list of sixteen crash dos and don’ts for further information.

"It can be through no fault of your own and that's no reflection on you."
Adam Maniscalco

Keep in mind, even if you don't want to, you may find yourself in a situation someday where you’re forced to file a claim against someone else.

Maniscalco says the law is set up to ensure that if someone hurts you, even by accident, you won't be injured again by having to pay for your recovery out of pocket. "This is about justice," he said. "This is why the insurance companies exist. They're on the hook for these situations, not the person themselves."