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Each year in the United States millions of car accidents occur, many of them fatal. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that 2.09 million people were injured in auto accidents in 2012, and there were 21,667 occupants in passenger vehicles who lost their lives. These crashes are the leading cause of death among people ages 15 to 29 and the second leading cause for children ages 5 to 14; more than half of all traffic accident deaths involve younger passengers or drivers between the ages of 15 and 44. In the U.S., accidents cost the country $230.6 billion per year in medical expenses, insurance payouts, property repairs, and other costs, or an average of $820 per U.S. citizen. In short, accidents are costly and dangerous, and they can lead to the injuries and deaths of even those in the prime of their lives.

If you have been in an accident, especially if you or a passenger were injured, you may need to hire an auto accident attorney to review your case. Auto accident attorneys deal with personal injury cases and can answer any questions you have regarding the crash. Before you work with a lawyer, however, make sure you read through the following information to find out what you need to do directly after you’ve had an accident.

Who should I call after a car accident?
After a crash, many people wonder, “What do you do after a car accident?” The first thing to do is make sure that you and the passengers in your vehicle are all right. Whether there are any injuries in the accident or not, you need to call 911 to report the accident. When police officers and other emergency services arrive, you and any other drivers or witnesses will need to give a statement for the accident report. Later on, you will also have to speak with your insurance company. They may put you in touch with a towing service and healthcare providers if needed.

Is there a statute of limitations for car accidents?
A statute of limitations refers to the amount of time you have to report an accident or injury and take legal action. These laws vary by state, so you may have to speak with an attorney to find out about your state’s laws. In general, many states give victims anywhere from one to five years to file a lawsuit.

Do I need a personal injury lawyer?
Whether or not you hire an auto accident attorney for your case is up to you. If you or a passenger have had lasting physical injuries or have endured financial hardships since the accident, you may consider filing a lawsuit against the other party. All cases are different, though, so make sure you seek the guidance of an attorney to discuss the particulars of your auto accident.

Do you have more questions about your accident? Speak to an attorney as soon as you can. You can also leave a comment below with any general questions about auto accident cases, the statute of limitations on such accidents, or other legal issues surrounding car accidents.

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