When you get into an SUV, you expect to have more protection than a regular passenger vehicle, should you get into a car accident. Although you hope that does not happen, you feel comforted that you will be safe. However, that is not necessarily the case.
According to a new crash test study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), some small SUVs are not as safe as you might think. If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury in a small SUV car accident, you may be able to collect compensation for your injuries.
The new IIHS crash test set out to mimic a 40 mile per hour collision. The test was meant to determine how much protection certain small SUVs would provide to a driver and their passengers.
In this test, they found that several of the most popular small SUVs fared poorly. What this means is that any people who get into an accident in these vehicles might suffer serious injuries and not be afforded any additional protection by the SUV.
The IIHS rates vehicles in crash tests based on several factors:
- The structural integrity of the passenger compartment after the crash
- Injury data collected from the crash test dummies
- Air bag data
This test, performed recently to review recent changes to small SUV models by manufacturers, found that most provide nominal protection to occupants. The small SUV models that provide the least protection in the test showed that both drivers and back seat passengers had major injuries.
This means that small SUVs have room to improve. Although all vehicles, including small SUVs, are constantly updated with new safety features and provide occupants with additional protection over older model vehicles, some small SUVs still have a long way to go.
The most recent IIHS crash test showed that some small SUV manufacturers have made great strides in providing occupants with additional safety features when the vehicle is involved in a side impact collision. However, there still needs to be improvement and you still have options if you have been involved in an accident.
What to Do after an Accident
After any car accident, you may be shaken and worried about your health. What you do next can play an important role in your ability to collect maximum compensation for your small SUV accident injuries.
Call 911. Even if you do not feel injured, call 911. When you do, emergency medical personnel will rush to the scene to make sure you are alright. They will deal with any immediate injuries and transport you to the hospital for additional care. Calling 911 will also send the police to your accident scene. The police will speak with you, the other driver, and any witnesses. They will compile this information in their police accident report. Although they may not assign fault and the report is not binding, it can provide substantial detail about how the accident occurred.
Take pictures and video. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may not be able to take pictures, so ask a trusted friend or family member to help. Getting images and video of your injuries, your car, the other vehicle, and the entire accident scene can go a long way in showing the aftermath of the accident. From these images, accident reconstruction experts can infer how the accident happened and how it was not your fault.
Speak with witnesses. The police will speak with witnesses to gather information for their accident report. However, not all witnesses will wait around for the police to arrive, so getting their contact information is crucial. Your legal team will want to speak with them as soon as possible to learn what they saw in the moments leading up to your accident.
See your doctor. Even if the emergency medical personnel clear you at the scene or if they take you to the hospital where you receive treatment, you should still go see your regular doctor. No one knows you better than your family physician. They will keep detailed records and be able to compare your condition after your accident to before. This can provide crucial detail about how your car accident injuries have affected your ability to go about your daily life.
Keep records. Your medical records will be important and provide relevant information about how your injuries have impacted your life. But many other records should be kept as well. You should retain any correspondence you receive from insurance companies and any medical bills that you have received, whether you have paid them out of pocket or insurance has covered them. All these records are important to your ability to collect maximum compensation.
Write in a personal injury journal. Describing in your own words how your injuries have affected your life, your pain, and your suffering can be some of the most powerful evidence. Write in your journal daily. Describe the progress and setbacks. Describe your level of pain and the activities you were able to do and could not do. Although this might seem tedious, keeping detailed notes will ensure that you do not forget or ignore any of the suffering you had to endure during your recovery.
After your small SUV accident, the last thing on your mind may be filing a personal injury claim for damages. However, even minor injuries, even if you did not have to go to the hospital to get medical care, can be expensive. Because the accident is not your fault, you should not be responsible to cover any of these expenses. That is why a personal injury claim is so important.
When you file a claim, your lawyer may try to get you compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost income
- Lost earning potential
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Present and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
Many people in car accidents fail to adequately calculate their total financial losses. Working with an experienced legal team, you can create an accurate estimate of your future financial needs, to cover both your medical expenses and your financial losses from being out of work. The more severe your injuries, the more likely it is that you will spend a great deal of time out of work, unable to earn a living and support yourself.
The sooner you speak with a lawyer, the sooner you can seek resolution to the legal matters and put your mind to getting better and getting back to your regular life. Your legal team will need time to fully investigate your accident and speak with witnesses before they forget what they saw.
Ultimately, your goal is to give yourself every chance at getting better. You do that by partnering with a trusted legal team who can shoulder the legal burden of a personal injury claim while you focus all your effort and energy on your recovery.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC, Help You Recover from Your Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured in a small SUV car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Reach out to the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. We will investigate the cause of the accident and hold the negligent parties accountable. Call us today at 215-569-4888 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Abington, and Media, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.