Auto Accident Attorney
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Foley & Small – Experienced Auto Accident Attorneys
Foley & Small has years of experience handling automobile accident and injury claims. We have helped injured drivers, passengers and their families during a difficult period of medical treatment and recovery, coordinating insurance and other coverage benefits, dealing with loss of pay claims, issues a permanent impairment and your overall recovery from the difficulties that arise from a motor vehicle accident. Foley & Small works with a variety of auto accident experts. These include accident reconstructionists, civil engineers, safety specialist, human factors experts, doctors and therapists, economists and other damages experts. Investigators are often retained to assist in information gathering. Foley & Small as experienced attorneys, legal assistants and other staff who work with our clients and their families. We help our clients and their families through what can be a difficult time and assist them to return to a normal life.
Why Foley & Small?
Our Attorneys each have 30+ years in the practice of law.
Our Attorneys each have the highest rating from their peers.
We have a history of successful jury trials and maximizing settlements.
We do not handle thousands of cases, but a select few; providing our clients with individualized attention assisted by a kind and caring staff.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT STATISTICS
- In 2020 there were 38,680 people killed in motor vehicle crashes on U.S. roadways.
- There were 5.25 million police-reported crashes in 2020.
- In 2020 0here were 21,276 passenger vehicle occupants who lost their lives. Fifty-one percent of these people were not restrained.
- The nation lost 6,516 pedestrians and 938 cyclists in motor vehicle crashes in 2020.
- Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 30 percent of total fatalities – 11,654 alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities in 2020.
- In 2020 there were 1,885 young drivers 15-20 who died in traffic crashes, a 17-percent increase from 1,616 in 2019.
- Distracted driving was reported in crashes that killed 3,142 people in 2020.
- At least 633 people died in 2014 in crashes reported to involve drowsy drivers.
- In 2020 there were 11,258 people died in speeding-related crashes.
*Source: Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) 2020 Annual Report File (ARF). Injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes remain a major public health problem. These injuries cause tremendous human suffering and untold economic costs. They can be prevented, or reduced, but only if we understand their type and severity in relation to the characteristics of the crash, vehicles, and persons involved. Governmental entities, law enforcement, motor vehicle and equipment manufacturers and others have and will continue to make strides in reducing the number and severity of motor vehicle accidents. Beyond these efforts, however, perhaps the greatest and most immediate steps that can be taken to improve motor vehicle safety is improving the quality of the driving employed by each of us in the operation of our car, truck or motorcycle.
Motor Vehicle Driving Safety Tips
- Before driving a car, do a simple safety check. Turn on the lights and walk around the vehicle to ensure that all lights are in working order. Also check your blinkers for proper operation. Look for any fluid leaks or things hanging from the vehicle. Check that the tires are properly inflated.
- When you get into the car, adjust all mirrors and seats before placing the key in the ignition. To properly adjust the left mirror place your head against the left window and adjust the mirror so that you can just see the left side of the car. For the right, move your head towards the center of the vehicle and adjust the right mirror in the same way. When you are sitting correctly in the driver’s seat, you will not be able to see your vehicle, but your blind spots will be greatly reduced!
- Always wear your seatbelts.
- Always drive with your headlights on. A car is visible for nearly 4 times the distance with it’s headlights on even during daytime hours.
- When stopping at a stop sign, come to a complete stop before proceeding. Always turn your head to look left, then right, straight ahead, then left again before proceeding.
- When a light turns green, look left, then right, straight ahead, then left again before proceeding through the light. Notice all vehicles and ensure that someone else is not going to run the light.
- When making a right turn onto a two-lane highway or road with the right of way, not only look to your left for traffic oncoming in the right lane, but also to your right to see if there is a vehicle passing another and using your right lane to complete the pass.
- Keep your eyes moving. Notice what is happening on the sides of the road and check behind you through your mirrors every 6-8 seconds.
- When driving on a two-lane road that allows parking on the right, stay toward the centerline to allow for room if someone were to open their door to exit their vehicle in front of your car. This forethought will help you from swerving to miss an opening door. If there is no parking allowed on the road position your car toward the right to allow for more room between you and oncoming traffic.
- Expect the other drivers to make mistakes and think what you would do if a mistake does happen. For example, do not assume that a vehicle coming to a stop sign is going to stop. Be ready to react if it does not stop.
- Every time that you re-fuel, check your oil and other fluid levels. Look for noticeable leaks throughout the engine compartment.
- If your car begins to malfunction or stall, without delay, immediately pull completely off the roadway. Put on your warning flashers. Call for roadside assistance if you have a cell phone. Do not leave your car. Wait for the proper authorities to come to your aid. Do not let someone talk you into leaving your vehicle.
- When traveling behind other vehicles, there should be at least a 4 second space between your vehicles. When the car in front of you passes a stationary object, slowly count to yourself. If you pass the object before the allotted time, you should back off. When traveling at night or inclement weather, these times should be doubled.
- Don’t talk on a cell phone or text while driving. Phones detract from your ability to concentrate on the road and increase your chance of a collision by nearly 400%. If you must use the phone, pull over to a safe, well-lit parking lot and place your call there. After completing your call you may continue on your way.
- Take a lesson from pilots. When leaving for an out of home trip, be sure to give an itinerary to someone back at home with the route of travel, approximate time of arrival and a contact number at your destination. Do not deviate from this plan without informing your at-home contact. If you are traveling a long distance, check in throughout the trip with a current location and any changes in your route or times. If something were to happen, this information may be used to narrow the search.
- When being approached by an emergency vehicle, pull to the right shoulder of the road and STOP. Put on your hazard lights to allow others to see you better.
- Carry in your vehicle, in an easy to find place, all contact numbers that you may need as well as Emergency contact information, personal information and any outstanding medical needs that you may have.
- Leave early; plan to arrive 10 minutes before the appointed time. Speeding does not increase your ability to arrive on time; rather it only increases your chances of not arriving at all.
- When traveling on a multiple lane road, keep in mind that the left most lanes are for passing only. If not actively passing a vehicle, stay in the right lanes, allowing others to pass.
- Avoid the “No-Zone” with trucks or busses; they cannot see you from many areas. Remember if you cannot see the driver in the truck’s rear view mirrors, they cannot see you! Also remember that trucks make large right turns.
- There is an old saying… “If the roads are wet, then drive like it’s snowing. If the roads have snow, then drive like they’re icy. If the roads are icy, then don’t drive.”
- In inclement weather, if it is necessary to reduce one’s speed, the brake should be applied slowly without making sudden moves. When making sudden moves it’s much easier to lose control of your vehicle.
- Remember as your speed increases so does your braking distance. If you double your speed, you quadruple your braking distance. If you double the weight of your vehicle, you double the stopping distance.
What to Do After an Accident
- Take some deep breaths to get calm. After a crash, a person may feel a wide range of emotions — shock, guilt, fear, nervousness, or anger — all of which are normal. But take a few deep breaths or count to 10 to calm down. The calmer you are, the better prepared you will be to handle the situation. This is the time to take stock of the accident and try to make a judgment about whether it was a serious one.
- Keep yourself and others safe. If you can’t get out of your car — or it’s not safe to try — keep your seat belt fastened, turn on your hazard lights, then call 911 if possible and wait for help to arrive. If you can drive your car and are in an unsafe spot or are blocking traffic, find a safe and legal place to park your car (like the shoulder of a highway or a parking lot). If a car cannot be moved, drivers and passengers who cannot exit the vehicle should keep their seatbelts fastened for everyone’s safety until help arrives. Those who can safely exit should warn oncoming traffic of the accident. Make sure to turn on hazard lights and set out cones, flares or warning triangles if possible.
- Call the police/ambulance. If you, a passenger or a passerby has a cell phone, call 911 for the police to respond to the accident and an ambulance, if necessary. An ambulance can be quickly called to the scene to attend to the injured. The police can secure the accident area so other accidents do not occur, attend to injury response, call for a wrecker service and clear the accident scene. A police report will be helpful to everyone in accumulating and documenting what occurred with the collision.
- Exchange Information. After the accident, exchange name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, driver license number and license plate number for the driver and the owner of each vehicle. If the driver’s name is different from the name of the insured, establish what the relationship is and take down the name and address for each individual. Also make a written description of each car, including year, make, model and color.
- Photograph and Document the Accident. Use your camera to photograph the accident scene and the vehicles. The more pictures the better. If there were witnesses, try to get their contact information; they may be able to help you if the other drivers dispute your version of what happened.
- File An Accident Report. Although law enforcement officers in many locations may not respond to accidents unless there are injuries, drivers should file a state vehicle accident report, which is available at police stations.
- Know What Your Insurance Covers. The whole insurance process will be easier following your accident if you know the details of your coverage. For example, don’t wait until after an accident to find out that your policy doesn’t automatically cover costs for towing or a replacement rental car. Generally, for only a dollar or two extra each month, you can add coverage for rental car reimbursement, which provides a rental car for little or no money while your car is in the repair shop or if it is stolen. Also check with your agent to ensure your have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. You also should evaluate your coverage amounts and cost. Increased coverage can often be obtained without a significant increase in your premium. Check your policy and with your agent for specifics.
- Keep an Emergency Kit in Your Glove Compartment. Drivers should carry a cell phone, as well as pen and paper for taking notes, a disposable camera to take photos of the vehicles at the scene, and a card with information about medical allergies or conditions that may require special attention if there are serious injuries. Also, keep a list of contact numbers for law enforcement agencies handy.
- Contact Foley & Small. If you or a family member has been injured in an accident due to the fault of an another you have available to you the right to assert a claim to have your medical bills paid, to pay your lost wages and income and to recover for the pain, suffering and related losses resulting from your injuries, including recovery for any permanent injury. Let the attorneys and staff of Foley & Small use their experience and expertise to help you and your family. Clicking on the link at the top right of this page for a live chat with a member of our staff or email us from our Contact page. You can also call us at 800-276-2525.
- Accident Aftermath. While the crash itself can be tragic and upsetting, dealing with the aftermath can be too. In the hours or days following a collision, some people may still be emotionally shaken. They may be beating themselves up over what happened — especially if they feel the crash was avoidable. Sometimes, people close to those who were involved (like families and best friends) can experience some emotional problems too. These feelings are normal and usually improve with time.
In some cases, however, these feelings can get stronger or last for longer periods of time, keeping a person from living a normal life. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur when a person has experienced a devastating event that injured or threatened to injure someone. Signs of PTSD may show up immediately following the crash, or weeks or even months after. Not everyone who experiences stress after a trauma has PTSD. But here are some symptoms to look out for:
Avoiding emotions or any reminders of the incident
Constant feelings of anxiousness, crankiness, or anger
Avoiding medical tests or procedures
Constantly reliving the incident in one’s mind
Nightmares or trouble sleeping
If you notice any of these symptoms after you’ve been in a car crash, check with your doctor, counselor or psychologist, as they should be able to help.
Reporting the Incident
Check on everyone involved in the crash to see if they have any injuries. This includes making sure you don’t have any serious injuries. Be extremely cautious — not all injuries can be seen. If you or anyone involved isn’t feeling 100%, you should call 911 or any other number your state uses to request emergency assistance on roadways. Be ready to give the dispatcher the following information:
Who? The dispatcher will ask for your name and phone numbers in case the authorities need to get more information from you later.
What? Tell the dispatcher as much as you can about the emergency — for instance, whether there is a fire, traffic hazard, medical emergency, etc.
Where? Let the dispatcher know exactly where the emergency is taking place. Give the city, road name, road number, mile markings, direction of travel, traffic signs, and anything else you can think of to help them know how to find you.
Make sure you stay on the line until the dispatcher says it’s OK to hang up.
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