You’re traveling through an intersection. You’re paying attention and following all traffic laws. You slow and prepare to stop at an upcoming stoplight. Suddenly, another car appears in your peripheral vision and—before you have time to react—crashes into your vehicle. What do you do after a collision at a stoplight? If you were hurt in a motor vehicle crash in Mississippi, Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law can help you look into legal options for recovery.
What Is the First Thing You Should Do After a Collision?
Like all car accidents, there are certain steps you should take in the immediate aftermath of a collision at a stoplight. Most importantly, you’ll need to make sure everyone involved is safe and out of the way of danger. Even after a collision has already happened, you, the other driver, and any other involved parties are still at risk. When the collision occurs at an intersection, it’s especially important to move out of the way of traffic as soon as is feasible. After a car accident, the following steps should be taken:
- Make sure you, the other driver, and any passengers, pedestrians, or bicyclists are safe and not injured.
- If anyone is injured (or may be injured), call for emergency medical assistance immediately.
- Take photographs to document the vehicle damage and surrounding conditions.
- Move the vehicle to the side of the road and out of the path of traffic if possible.
- Call a local police station to report the accident, giving as many specific details as you can.
- After an officer arrives on the scene, get the name of the police officer and obtain a copy of the police report.
- If possible, put out flares or triangles to make sure other drivers see the vehicles.
- Exchange information with the other driver. This should include your names, contact information, driver’s license numbers, vehicle license plates, accident location, vehicle make and model, and insurance policy information.
- Call a tow truck if needed.
- If there are any eyewitness of the crash, ask if they are willing to provide their contact information to give an account of the accident later.
- Don’t discuss fault. Even if you think you may be partially at fault, there are many details that may be out of your control or knowledge. Don’t discuss liability until you have spoken with your lawyer.
When you are filing an accident claim with your insurance company, you will need documented evidence like the kind listed above to support your claim. No matter how minor or severe the accident, you will need to notify your insurance provider immediately. Once you begin the claims process with your insurance company, the hope is that things will go smoothly, and you will be able to receive compensation for your losses promptly and appropriately.
But if there are any complications with your insurance provider, you may need the help of an experienced lawyer. Too often, insurance companies are not completely honest and forthright when it comes to providing compensation to policyholders after an accident. If a company puts profits above the needs of accident victims, an attorney can defend your consumer rights and help you obtain what you are entitled to under the law.
One of the ways an insurance claim can become complicated is when liability is disputed. If you and the other driver both claim the opposing party is at fault, your lawyer will work to evaluate all the evidence to accurately prove fault and help support your claim.
Determining Fault After a Collision at a Stoplight
How is fault determined after a collision at a stoplight? In some cases, which driver is at fault may be relatively obvious. If a drunk or distracted driver runs a red light and causes a T-bone collision, there might not be much room to dispute liability. But if, for example, the other driver claims that you ran a red light or made an illegal turn—when you know that you didn’t—your lawyer might need to use traffic camera footage or other evidence to disprove the other driver’s story. There are multiple sources of evidence your lawyer can look to when establishing liability. These might include:
- Statements from eyewitnesses who saw and heard the collision
- A police report, if one was made at the scene of the accident
- Documentation of the damages to your vehicle, including auto repair bills
- Photographs taken at the scene (including weather, lighting, road conditions, traffic, damage to and position of both vehicles, and other relevant information)
- Footage from any nearby traffic or surveillance cameras
- Footage from any dashboard cameras in vehicles
- Proof of your injuries through documents like medical bills, test results, and physician’s notes
- Statements from you and the other involved driver
- Testimonies of experts like traffic accident reconstructionists
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
After a collision at a stoplight, your life has probably become more complicated in many ways. You may be dealing with pain and emotional anguish. You may be undergoing prolonged and costly medical treatments. You may be missing work and losing income after your injury. And you may be dealing with a damaged or disabled vehicle that limits your transportation. Even everyday tasks may be much more difficult than they were before your accident.
Handling legal matters is not something you should have to do alone. There are many complex aspects that are best managed by an experienced professional. Your focus should be on health and recovery. And the focus of your lawyer should be on making sure you have the best means to a successful recovery. At Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law, we can help make sure you are supported in every way you need following an accident. This may cover:
- Gathering your medical bills and other financial records
- Communicating with the other party’s insurance company
- Looking for and analyzing evidence to support your claim and prove fault
- Obtaining your medical records
- Understanding all relevant traffic and auto insurance laws
- Negotiating with insurance companies
- Calculating all damages and ensuring you are properly compensated for your injuries
If you were injured in a stoplight collision, we may be able to help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation about what steps you can take next.