How to Find Out If Someone Was in a Car Accident
Car accidents are one of the most common ways that people are hurt in the United States. Statistics show that more than 4.8 million Americans were injured in a car accident in 2020. These accidents happen without warning, so those who suspect that their loved one or family member may have been injured in a car accident may be wondering how to find out if they were in a car accident.
To find out more about the laws regarding car accidents and other personal injuries, contact an auto accident lawyer in Nashville at The Keating Firm LTD.
We take pride in maintaining an excellent attorney-client relationship with every client who walks through our doors because we understand how traumatic a serious car accident can be for both drivers involved. To begin building a personal injury claim, we recommend submitting a car accident claim as soon as possible. Contact us today for a free consultation.
The Three Ways to Confirm That Someone Was Involved in a Car Accident
There are three main ways to determine whether someone has been in a collision. The first is to contact people close to them, like their friends, roommates, family members, or other loved ones. If that does not produce any answers, the next method is to contact the police or hospitals in the area.
1. Contact Friends and Family
The first and often most reliable way to track down someone who has fallen victim to a car accident is by contacting friends and family close to them. They can often provide information that the authorities often cannot, so this is the first place to begin any search for the victims of a car crash.
These people may even be dealing with the aftermath of the incident and may be able to relate the details of the incident firsthand. If not, they can provide information about where the person was headed, which can help in tracking them down.
2. Call the Police Departments in the Area
Basic details regarding car crashes may also be available from local and state police officers or law enforcement agencies. The local police department can inform families whether their loved one's name appears on an official police report filed by a responding police officer.
Law Enforcement Often Contacts the Family First
When police officers are called to the scene of an accident and a victim cannot reach them on their own, they typically call their emergency contact, which can be acquaintances or relatives, on the injured person's behalf.
Victims are often identified if they have been critically injured via their driver's license. Those who have not been contacted may call the local police to determine if their loved one has been in an accident in the area.
What to Do If There Is No Police Report or Accident Report
Complete a missing person's report with a local police officer if there is reason to believe that someone has gone missing as a result of a car collision. The police can assist in determining whether the individual has been hit by a car and can notify the family as soon as an accident report is submitted.
The Limitations of Contacting the Police
One main drawback is that it can take some time for someone's name to appear on the system, and local law enforcement may not be able to tell who was involved in an accident if it occurred an hour ago. Nevertheless, this is a reliable way to determine whether a person has been involved in a car accident.
3. Call Local Hospitals or Healthcare Providers
If a serious accident, the best starting point is at a local hospital or healthcare facility. Get in touch with the hospitals in the vicinity of where the person was suspected of driving.
Doctors are prohibited from disclosing too much information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
They may, however, disclose whether someone is a patient at the hospital. The individual may not have been critically injured in a car accident if no hospitals in the region have records of them being a patient at their facility.
Other Ways to Find Someone Who Has Been Involved in a Car Accident
Although they may be less reliable or harder to find, there are other ways to tell if someone has been in a car accident.
Search for News Articles Online
Surprisingly enough, an online search can help loved ones determine whether a car accident has occurred in the area. Many newspapers have online resources that allow people to search for both recent and old stories or articles by typing in keywords like someone's name. This method is often effective for databases that focus on a particular area.
Even a simple Google search can produce promising results and help to find information about car accidents. It helps to search for the person's name in quotation marks to ensure that all irrelevant information is filtered out.
Search for the Accident Report Online
In the United States, an accident report may be found through a state-by-state search on the internet. The Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS), for instance, allows citizens to view vehicle accident data in order to make it easier to locate personal records.
Accident reports, patrol reports in the state, and motor vehicle crash data are all available on the ODPS's website. Those unfamiliar with using the search engine to locate an accident report online must travel to the police precinct or call the police station to determine whether their loved one's name appears on an accident report in their district.
What to Do If a Loved One Was Involved in a Car Accident
If someone has been the victim of an accident, their loved ones can take steps to ensure that they are taken care of and that their legal rights are being protected.
Ensure That They Are Receiving Medical Treatment
Car accidents can easily lead to serious injury, depending on how the accident occurred. The first and most crucial step is to ensure that the victim is receiving the appropriate medical care. Often, when accidents are minor, victims can become disoriented and may not report the accident, which is why police may not have a police report.
They also may go home without first seeking medical care, so it is essential to ensure that victims are taken to these facilities to receive the help they need.
Record As Much Information As Possible
If a loved one has been in a serious accident that someone else's negligence may have caused, they may be liable for compensation for their damages. Taking notes of how the accident happened or collecting information from the other driver or passersby at the accident scene can make a world of difference when preparing a car accident case.
Get in Touch with Other People
Those far away from their loved ones can contact other friends and family nearby who can provide help. In many cases, family members often have to contact their loved one's employer to inform them that a crash occurred and that their loved one may not be able to work.
Check the Details of the Accident or Police Reports
Often, the details of people involved in an accident can be recorded incorrectly. Elements such as their correct name, the make and model of their vehicle, and other information may have been recorded erroneously. Ensuring that all the information on the reports is accurate can help immensely when preparing a personal injury claim.
Report the Incident to the Insurance Company
Car collisions can cause extensive damage to a loved one's vehicle. In order to have the vehicle repaired, the victim must inform the insurance company that the accident has occurred. Health insurance companies also cover the expenses of a person's medical treatment and must be informed that the accident has happened.
Insurance companies usually give their clients a period of 24 hours after the accident occurs to report the accident. However, this may vary depending on the rules these insurance companies have in place.
How a Law Firm Can Help
Personal injury lawyers at The Keating Firm LTD don't just provide legal advice. We can handle the insurance claim following an auto accident, so family members and the victims of auto accidents can focus on recovery.
We can begin building a case if the other driver is proven to have been the negligent driver who caused the accident to ensure that victims obtain compensation for their property damage and medical expenses, so it is advisable to contact our law firm as soon as possible following a car accident.
Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
Our legal team is experienced in handling car accident cases and can help victims receive compensation for vehicle damage, medical expenses, and other property damage.
We can also assist victims to determine fault in a car accident case and help to handle all legal proceedings if the case goes to court. Each case is unique, with its own set of facts, so get in touch with us today for a free case evaluation, and we can provide victims with their best chance at compensation.