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Auto Injury and Whiplash

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In Case of an Automobile Accident...

Step 1: STOP State law requires that a vehicle involved in an accident wherein a person is injured or damage is done to some property shall immediately stop at the scene as possible without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.

Step 2: ASSIST THE INJURED Your first duty after stopping your car is to check for injured persons.  If someone is seriously injured, try to make arrangements for a doctor to come to the scene or call an ambulance - Which ever is quicker.  Do not move the injured person unless you know what you are doing.  Good intentions on your part may result in further injury to the victim.

Step 3: PROTECT THE SCENE Prevent further accidents, warn approaching vehicles, if at night and flares and reflectors are available, put them out or have it done.  If no flares are available and you have a flashlight, use it.

Step 4: CALL AN OFFICER Give notice of the accident to the local police or to the office of the County Sheriff or the State Highway Patrol.  Even where there are apparently no personal injuries or serious damages to property, it is advisable to give this notice immediately so that an officer can investigate the accident.  His official report may greatly assist you later if any claim for liability be made.

Step 5: COMMENTS State law requires only that you give your name, address and registration number of the vehicle you are driving, proof of insurance (where applicable) and that you exhibit your chauffeur's or operator's license.  Do not comment on the accident.  Keep your notes and information strictly to yourself.  Admit nothing and sign nothing even if you think you are in the wrong.  You may learn later that you were not in the wrong or that the other driver was equally to be blamed or more so.  Your emotions at the time of the accident may deceive you.  If at a later date facts clearly show that you alone were wrong, then it is time to admit blame.

Step 6: ASSIST THE OFFICER Remain at the scene, unless injured, until the officer arrives.  Cooperate with the officer by advising him of basic facts briefly.  Remember: No one can force you to give an opinion as to the cause of the accident at the scene, at police headquarters, or elsewhere.  You have the right to consult a lawyer before making any statement.  If it is serious accident, consult him as quickly as possible.  Any statement made may be used as an admission, so it is important that you contact your lawyer as soon as possible before making any statement.

Step 7: IDENTITY OF THE OTHER DRIVER Obtain the other driver's name, address, and the registration number of the vehicle he is driving, and request him to exhibit to you his driver's license.

Step 8: WITNESS Obtain the names and addresses of any and all witnesses as soon as you can - both eyewitnesses and all others who might have some information about any of the circumstances of the accident.  After writing down their names and addresses, attempt to obtain from these witnesses a statement as to what happened and have them, if they will, write it down at the scene.  Always have a pencil and pad, as well as this folder, in the glove compartment of your car.

Step 9: TAKE NOTES Make your own written notes on all significant circumstances concerning the accident.  Show position of cars after the accident.  Step off exact distance of skid marks and other important distances.  Be certain that you can at a later date point on the road where the vehicles collided where they came to a stop.  If you or someone else has a camera at the scene, take pictures to preserve skid marks, position of cars, and other physical evidence that will disappear after the accident. 

Step 10: ARRESTS An arrest at the scene of the other party or yourself does not necessarily indicate liability.  An arrest and conviction in connection with an automobile accident cannot ordinarily be use against you later in a suit for damages.

Step 11:  WHEN TO LEAVE THE SCENE Unless your injuries impel you to do otherwise, do not leave the scene of the accident until you have, as outlined previously, assisted the injured, protected the scene, called and officer and assisted him, identified the other driver, obtained the names, addresses and statements of all witnesses and made notes.

Step 12: SEE A CHIROPRACTOR Remember that serious and costly injuries do not always result in immediate pain or bloodshed.  Automobile liability and automobile Medical Pay insurance will pay for Chiropractic examination and treatment.

Step 13: INFORM INSURANCE COMPANY Make a complete report to your insurance company.  Failure to make a prompt and correct report may affect your rights.

This information is issued to inform the public.  It is not intended to advise anyone on legal problems but is merely to be used as a guide as what procedure to take at the time of an automobile accident.  No person should ever attempt to apply or interpret any law without the aide of a lawyer.

Whiplash

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  Whiplash refers to the neck pain following an injury to the soft tissue of your neck.  It can occur in an automobile accident, sports injury or accidental fall. Symptoms of whiplash may include: neck pain and stiffness, headache, shoulder pain and weakness, sleep problems, poor concentration etc. If left untreated it can lead to chronic pain.