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Are you planning on traveling for the holidays? If so, you are one of millions with the same intentions. In fact, according to a survey done by The Vacationer, over 67% of American adults plan to travel for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or both in 2023. 

With increased travel you may expect increased auto accidents, but how much more is quite surprising. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 119 fatal crashes are reported each day during our countries major holidays. With the Sunday after Thanksgiving being the highest travel volume date of the year, it is certainly no exception. 

Most accidents over a holiday weekend can be attributed to increased traffic, drinking and driving, distracted driving, weather conditions, stress, and fatigue. So if you are one of millions planning to travel over the next few weeks for the holidays, Liriano Law encourages you to take extra precautions and be rested so you are extra aware of those around you on the road.

What to do if Involved in an Auto Accident Over a Holiday Weekend

If you do become involved in an auto accident and are injured or lose a loved one due to an auto accident this holiday season, there are some things to take note of from a legal standpoint. Carmen Liriano, your local injury lawyer, is here to guide you each step of the way, so do not hesitate to call for legal advice on your case. Below we explore what to do in the event of an auto accident over the holidays and when to involve a personal injury lawyer.

Although they may be more frequent and require a bit more patients due to limited resources and increased volume, the steps involved in dealing with an auto accident over a holiday weekend are similar to any other accident. While this should not be taken as legal advice, below are some steps that can be followed in the event of an accident. 

  1. Check for Injuries: Ensure everyone involved is okay and seek medical help if needed as quickly as possible.
  1. Contact Emergency Services: Call the police and, if necessary, an ambulance. It is good practice to have a separate ambulance for each party involved.
  1. Exchange Information: Share contact and insurance details with the other party involved and be sure to also get theirs. 
  1. Document the Scene: Take photos of the accident, license plates, any damages, as well as general images that can prove what happened. This can be valuable for insurance claims. It is important to get a few photos prior to moving any vehicles from roadways. Although this can slow the process of clearing up traffic jams, it provides a truer chain of events that led to the accident. Photos that can prove you were not in the wrong are very beneficial. 
  1. Seek Medical Attention: Even if injuries seem minor, seek a healthcare professional promptly. Even if you do not feel an ambulance is necessary, having proper documentation can easily change the outcome of a personal injury case.
  1. Follow the Appropriate Procedures: Adhere to any specific reporting or filing requirements outlined by local authorities.
  1. Stay Calm and Cooperative: Avoid confrontation and remain calm. Cooperate with law enforcement. Also avoid speaking with the other party involved and their insurance company until you have consulted with an attorney. 
  1. Notify Your Insurance Company: Report the accident to your insurance provider as soon as possible. 
  1. Avoid social media posts about your accident: We have an entire post specifically on this topic here: “How Social Media Can Impact Your Personal Injury Case”.

Do I Need to Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer After an Auto Accident

Is it always necessary to contact an injury lawyer after an auto accident? No. 

While having legal counsel is recommended, every accident is different and not all circumstances will require the involvement of an attorney. We have put together a short list of some instances in which we strongly recommend contacting a personal injury attorney. Again, this is not to be taken as legal advice. For legal advice, please contact Liriano Law directly.

  1. Serious injuries: If you or anyone involved in the accident has sustained serious injuries that require medical attention, it’s advisable to consult with a personal injury lawyer. Serious injuries may lead to substantial medical bills, ongoing treatment costs, and potential long-term consequences.
  1. Fault disputes: If there is a dispute over who was at fault for the accident, consulting with a lawyer can help you navigate the legal complexities and gather evidence to support your case. Establishing fault is crucial in determining liability for damages. The earlier on in the process you have legal counsel the better when fault disputes are present.
  1. Insurance challenges: If you encounter difficulties with the insurance company, such as delays, denials, or insufficient compensation offers, a personal injury lawyer can assist in negotiating with the insurance company or pursuing legal action if necessary.
  1. Multiple parties involved: Accidents involving multiple vehicles or parties can complicate matters. Determining liability and navigating the legal process may be more complex in these situations, and having legal representation can be beneficial.
  1. Long-term or permanent disabilities: If the accident has resulted in long-term or permanent disabilities, the impact on your life and finances may be significant. A personal injury lawyer can help you assess the long-term consequences and seek appropriate compensation.
  1. Death of a loved one: If the auto accident resulted in the death of a loved one, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. A personal injury lawyer can guide you through the legal process and help you pursue compensation for your loss.
  1. Uncertain liability: In cases where liability is unclear or multiple parties may share responsibility, seeking legal advice can help you understand your options and protect your rights.

It’s generally a good idea to consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident, as there may be time limitations for filing a claim (statute of limitations). They can provide guidance on the specific laws in your jurisdiction and help you take the necessary steps to protect your interests. Call Carmen Liriano today for a free consultation.