Fayetteville, located in northwest Arkansas, is a modest city with a low crime rate. It boasts a family-friendly essence, breathtaking scenic beauty, and good local amenities.
However, the city isn’t all sunshine and rainbows when it comes to traffic safety. In 2020, Arkansas witnessed a 24.9% rise in car accidents. Approximately 2,807 car crashes happened in Fayetteville alone, killing six residents.
With a 1.29% annual population growth rate, Fayetteville is slowly becoming crowded. As of 2022, the city housed 99,285 residents, making it the second-populous city in Arkansas. That means an increase in traffic congestion and accident risks.
Are you a Fayetteville resident, and do you drive a car daily? In this blog, we will discuss things you should and shouldn’t do after getting into an accident.
3 Things You Should Do After Getting Into a Car Accident in Fayetteville
Here’s what you should do after getting involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault:
#1. Check Injuries and Call Authorities
After getting into an accident, your priority should be to check the extent of your sustained injuries. You should avoid moving from your car seat if you have visible injuries or internal pain. But if you only have minor injuries, you can aim to check on other parties involved.
Paramedics usually arrive within eight minutes of calling 911. However, those few minutes are crucial to saving your fellow Fayetteville resident’s life.
Therefore, your second priority should be to check on all parties involved and offer help wherever possible. After that, ask someone to call the Fayetteville Arkansas State Police to report the incident. While waiting, you should move the vehicle from the road or turn on the blinkers to prevent further accidents.
#2. Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
After the police and paramedics arrive, remember to seek medical assistance, even if you have minimal injuries. These Arkansas state-certified healthcare professionals can rule out possible internal injuries sustained during the crash.
Once done, you can contact a Fayetteville personal injury attorney. These lawyers will get the incident report from the police and question witnesses. This information will help them advise you on the best legal action.
Personal injury lawyers have better negotiation skills and offer you emotional support as well. With their legal expertise, you can file a claim for the injuries and property damage caused by the accident.
Additionally, they will help you get fair and fast compensation based on the extent of these damages and injuries. According to Keith Law Group, Fayetteville residents can get an accident insurance settlement of USD 25,000 for personal injury and property damage.
#3. Gather Evidence From the Scene
Gathering substantial evidence is another thing you should do before leaving the accident scene. For instance, get the contact and insurance information of the other parties involved. You should also ask for the number of any witnesses who can help corroborate your story about the crash.
Furthermore, you can take videos and pictures of the skid marks, damage to the car, and surrounding weather conditions. Don’t let the other party collect proof before you do if you aren’t at fault.
Your personal injury lawyer can check the proof to determine legal action and claim settlement amounts. They will also seek witness statements and traffic camera footage to build a case against the party at fault.
In 2020, the Arkansas Department of Transportation installed live traffic cameras in northwestern cities like Fayetteville. It enabled end-users to access live footage from almost 100 cameras across the state. That means your lawyers will have better access to visual proof if your accident happened under the purview of such cameras.
3 Things You Shouldn’t Do After a Car Accident in Fayetteville
The shock of the car crash could lead you to make mistakes. That’s why every Fayetteville resident should understand the things to avoid doing after getting into a car accident:
#1. Admitting Fault
Never admit fault or sign documents at the scene. The state police officers should determine who’s at fault, so wait for them to ask you questions. If you confess to the accident, it might lead to legal consequences that your lawyer cannot fix.
#2. Not Calling Your Insurance Company
Technically, Fayetteville residents are reluctant to call insurance companies for fear of affecting their premiums. They also prefer working things out without involving authorities. But informing them about your accident doesn’t mean you’re filing a claim. Hence, it won’t affect your premiums.
Almost 92% of Fayetteville’s population is insured. That means you’ll get your damage costs compensated by the other party’s insurance provider. However, involving your insurance provider could lead to quicker claim processing.
#3. Fleeing the Scene
Don’t leave the scene before getting medical assistance, talking to witnesses, and giving your statement to the police. If you do so, you might face criminal charges.
Recently, a Fayetteville man was charged with a Class D felony for fleeing the scene after an accident. That means he has to pay a USD 10,000 fine and spend six years in prison.
The Bottom Line
While the Fayetteville roads are a pleasure to drive on, you cannot predict traffic collisions or bottlenecks. The city has many dangerous intersections, like the stretch between N. College Avenue and E. Joyce Boulevard. Many people believe that it’s the most dangerous area for rear-end collisions.
Usually, accidents happen in the city due to distracted or impaired driving, speeding, and adverse weather conditions. That means car crashes can happen, no matter how careful you are on the road.
If you get involved in a Fayetteville car accident, remember to gather evidence from the scene, call local police, and consult your personal injury lawyer. Only then can you get compensation for the property damage or injuries caused.