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How Are Car Safety Ratings Determined?

Deciding which car to buy can be a difficult decision. Before purchasing a vehicle, you might check out safety ratings online for information and recommendations. That way, you can proceed with a little more confidence.

Having immediate accessibility to car safety ratings makes vehicle shopping much easier. However, how are safety ratings determined? There are plenty of considerations that go into evaluating how safely a car will perform. Those considerations are made primarily by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), although other entities may also issue car safety ratings.

Unlike other entities, such as a car’s manufacturer or a dealership, the IIHS can provide an objective vehicle safety overview. For more than half a century, the IIHS has been in existence. Today, one of the organization’s main purposes is to use data to determine a car’s likeliness to protect drivers and passengers in a car accident and in other dangerous scenarios.

Additionally, lawmakers often rely on the organization’s findings to guide legal rules, regulations, and suggestions. This makes the IIHS a powerful agency. It also gives it tremendous influence when it comes to assessing car safety ratings.

What Specific Elements Go Into the Car Safety Rating System?

Researchers at the IIHS scrutinize many aspects of a car’s design and responsiveness before issuing a rating. All aspects fall under four basic elements:

  • How effective are the seat belts?
  • How effective are the airbags?
  • What is the survival space?
  • What happens to crash dummies involved in a mock car accident?

The IIHS uses a wide range of equipment and several tests to answer these questions. Equipment during those tests can involve anything from specialized software to carefully installed cameras designed to deliver precise feedback at the moment of impact.

What Happens in a Crash Test?

Cars that undergo IIHS crash tests are evaluated in a few ways. First, the car undergoes an accident at a medium-level speed. Afterward, researchers take careful measurements to figure out what would have happened to real people who had been involved in the incident. Next, testers see what will happen if the car is hit on either side. By varying the intensity of the impact, testers can decide what would happen in the case of a side-impact or similar accident. From that point, the tests will determine the strength of the roof. This helps get a better understanding of how the car would fare during a rollover accident. Finally, the car undergoes a mock rear-end collision.

Taken together, these tests help paint a picture of how safe it would be to be in the car during each type of common accident. To come up with their final rankings, the IIHS considers other elements of the car, including its headlight effectiveness and other safety features, like automatic brakes.

Are Car Safety Tests Fair?

You may wonder if all the safety tests are fair. Cars fall into different classes, so does that mean that smaller, less expensive car models are destined to get poor ratings since they may have fewer safety features? The IIHS takes different vehicle types into consideration, and they judge cars based on the standards that make sense for the car they are testing. That way, every car is vetted fairly. It is not uncommon for the IIHS to issue its Top Safety Pick award to a variety of car models.

Are There Other Car Safety Ratings?

Plenty of car buyers immediately look at IIHS rankings. However, the IIHS is not the only organization issuing car safety ratings. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has its own star-based ranking system. Like the IIHS, the NHTSA is not beholden to any car manufacturer or organization. Therefore, when the NHTSA gives out five stars, its highest rating, it does so based on tests.

The tests performed by the NHTSA are similar to those completed by the IIHS. After simulating many types of crashes, the NHTSA can assign a ranking. Many cars that get high ratings from the IIHS also get high ratings from the NHTSA.

It should be noted that the NHTSA and IIHS tend to focus their crash tests only on popular, high-volume car models. Therefore, if you intend to purchase an exotic vehicle or limited edition car, you may not be able to find either an IIHS or NHTSA ranking.

Should a Safety Rating Be a Determining Factor When Buying a Car?

When buying a new or used car, you will probably want to check out its ratings. Why? Knowing whether a car has been assessed as poor, marginal, acceptable, or good by leading testing agencies will help you determine if it is worth your money. On the other hand, you never want to make a car buying decision based on ratings alone. Instead, use the ratings as one of many considerations, such as:

  • The crash history of the car.
  • The age and health of the vehicle.
  • The car price point versus your budget.
  • The safety add-ons of the car.
  • The expected cost to keep up the car.

What if I Get in a Car Accident?

Even if you drive a car that has excellent safety ratings, you could still be injured in a serious accident. At that point, you will want to get the medical attention you need. Early medical treatment is the wisest course of action.

You may also want to contact a lawyer. Retaining a lawyer can be vital if you plan on suing another party for negligence.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Fight on Behalf of Those Seriously Injured in Collisions

Before you purchase a car, you should review its safety ratings. However, even in a safe, modern car, you can still be injured by a negligent motorist in an accident. If you have been injured in a collision, our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help. Call us at 302-656-5445 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.

Where Do Most Car Accidents Occur?

A car accident can occur anywhere, however, there are a few places where collisions happen more frequently. Below are several common car accident locations.

Intersections

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than one-third of all car accidents happen at intersections. What makes intersections so dangerous? Intersections can be complex. Not all intersections are four roads converging. Some involve only three roads. Others may include multiple roads and complicated traffic patterns, especially for newer drivers.

Distracted driving can also cause an intersection accident. If drivers are not paying attention to what is happening around them, they may be more inclined to run a red light, slam into the back of a stopped vehicle, or make a left turn into oncoming traffic.

What is the best way to avoid a car accident at a busy intersection? It is crucial to pay attention to what is happening around you. The more you stay in tune with the flow of traffic, the easier you can bypass mishaps.

Sharp Turns

When you approach a sharp turn, you are not able to see what is around the curve, such as a stopped car, icy road, or an animal crossing the path. The best way to reduce getting into a crash at a sharp turn is to slow down. You may want to reduce your speed beyond the posted limit, especially at nighttime or in fog, sleet, snow, or rain. The more time you give yourself to react, the more likely you will be able to veer out of the way in time to avoid a collision.

In Stopped Traffic

Most drivers feel fairly safe when they get into traffic jams. Since no one is speeding, some people assume that they have little chance of getting into a crash. However, it is important to think about how other drivers will react to stopped traffic.

Some drivers become aggressive when they are stopped in traffic. They try to look for a way around the traffic, and they may end up switching lanes abruptly or try to ride along the shoulder of the road. Motorcyclists will sometimes cruise between cars, making the situation even worse.

Multi-vehicle car accidents often happen in traffic jams because of aggressive driving. If you are stopped and someone slams into your car from behind, you have no ability to prepare for the force. 

Fortunately, you can take a few preventive measures to reduce your chance of getting into an accident in a traffic jam. One is to keep a decent following distance. Another is to keep an eye on the movements of cars behind you. 

On Rural Roads

Many people think of rural roads as places for leisurely drives. However, rural roads are not as safe as you might think. Despite rural road speed limits being lower than highway speeds, a lot of drivers speed.

When you are driving on a rural road, stay attuned to the speed limit. Also, watch out for deer and other animals.

Pedestrian Crossings

Pedestrian crossings are often congested with traffic, and they can be confusing. You probably have driven up to a pedestrian crossing more than once and wondered when you were supposed to move forward. You should allow pedestrians and cyclists to move before you continue. When you start driving forward, be sure that you pump the gas slightly. Never put down the pedal in case someone walks in front of your car suddenly.

Close to Home

According to the NHTSA, drivers are more likely to get injured or killed in an accident while driving within 25 miles of their home. A main reason for this is because a driver’s guard may be down when they are in a familiar area. A driver may know the road so well that they stop paying attention. 

Remind yourself that every local trip you take deserves your complete attention. You should avoid all distractions, even when you are close to home. Stow away your cellphone, and turn off the music or radio. Also, eat before you drive, not while cruising. 

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

Even if you drive defensively, you can still end up in an accident because not all motorists follow the rules of the road. You should know what to do after an accident.

After a collision, you need to get checked out by a medical professional, even if the accident does not seem to be serious. You may have a severe, costly injury. You may also want to speak to a car accident lawyer to talk about your legal options.

Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Can Help You After Any Type of Collision

A car accident can happen anywhere, and one might leave you with a serious injury. If you have been injured in a collision, our Delaware car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can offer legal assistance. Call us at 302-656-5445 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.

What Does Total Loss Mean After a Car Accident?

Being involved in a car accident is a nerve-wracking experience, and your anxiety and stress can keep going long after the crash is over. Aside from making sure that everyone in your vehicle is not injured, you are going to have to assess the condition that your vehicle is in after your car accident. In order to make sure that you get a fair shake for your vehicle, it is imperative to know what a total loss vehicle means and the options that are available to you.

If an insurance company adjuster has found that your car has been totaled, they are estimating that the amount of money it will take to repair your vehicle is greater than the vehicle’s worth. If this is the case, then you are going to want to learn about your available options.

A variety of factors determine how insurance companies determine what your car is actually worth. Among the factors that they consider are your vehicle’s condition and age, mileage, resale value, along with what similar vehicles are selling for in your area by utilizing Kelley Blue Book and the National Automobile Dealers Association.

What Should I Do if My Car Is Totaled?

If the other party is at fault for the car accident that totaled your car, then their insurance company will have to reimburse you for the value of your vehicle. The following insurance policies can offer coverage for a totaled car:

  • Comprehensive insurance coverage: If your car is totaled in a weather-related accident, collision with an animal, or destroyed in a fire, then comprehensive insurance coverage will compensate you for your vehicle after deductions. This coverage can also protect you if your car is stolen and then found in a condition that is beyond repair.
  • Collision insurance coverage: Collision coverage will reimburse your vehicle’s value after your car crash, regardless of who is at fault.
  • Uninsured motorist property damage coverage: Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage will come into play when the at-fault party has no insurance or their insurance is not enough to compensate you.

In Delaware, you can pursue compensation if you are less than 50 percent at fault for your accident. You may be able to collect compensation for vehicle damages, hospital bills, disfigurement, and lost income.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Can Determine if You Can Collect Damages for a Totaled Vehicle

If a car accident has left you with severe injuries and a totaled vehicle, our skilled Wilmington car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help you. Contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 to schedule a free consultation today. We are located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, and we serve clients in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.

Are You Traveling for Thanksgiving? Follow These Safety Tips

Each year, millions of Americans hop in the car to gather with loved ones for the annual turkey dinner celebration. Whether you travel across the country for Thanksgiving or just across town, you should be aware of the increased traffic and the dangers that threaten all travelers. Listed below are a few tips to keep you safe as you travel for Thanksgiving.

Take Your Car to a Mechanic

Before a long road trip, you should have a mechanic thoroughly inspect your car. You might be able to do some simple maintenance. Make sure your tires and brakes are in good shape. Address any wear and tear before it becomes a problem.

Pack Safely

If your trip requires packing up the car, be sure the weight of the vehicle does not exceed its limits. Ensure that your load does not obstruct your view and that you can see out of all windows. Make sure that loose objects are tightly secured. Also, remember to pack activities for the children.

You should also pack an emergency kit that includes:

  • Water
  • Non-perishable foods
  • First-aid supplies
  • Flares
  • Jumper cables
  • Tool kit
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Extra cellphone charger

Buckle Up Your Seat Belt

The first step every car occupant should do is buckle up their seat belt. Small children should be secured into a car seat appropriate for their size and weight. These safety devices will help you and your family stay safe in the event of a car accident.

Do Not Speed

Speeding is a factor in about one-third of all fatal car accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Speeding not only increases your chance of losing control of your vehicle, but it also leads to more severe injuries if a collision does happen, as a higher speed increases the force of impact.

Focus on the Road

Distracted driving is a major problem in the United States. Staying safe while driving means keeping your attention on the road instead of your smartphone. Other dangerous driving behaviors include adjusting the radio, eating, programming a navigation system, or even holding a conversation with a passenger.

Do Not Drive While Drowsy

You might feel tired if you have to travel at night or if you ate too much Thanksgiving dinner. However, drowsy driving is dangerous and should be avoided. Being extremely fatigued can have the same effects as having too much alcohol. Drowsy driving can affect your concentration and reaction time. Make sure to get enough sleep before traveling for Thanksgiving.

Avoid Drunk Driving

If you plan to drink alcohol on  Thanksgiving, make sure to make driving arrangements ahead of time. Get a ride from a friend or relative, or you can call a rideshare service to get you home safely.

Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help Clients Injured in Thanksgiving Collisions

Millions of people will be traveling for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, some motorists will drive recklessly. If you have been injured in a collision, speak with our Delaware car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. today. Call us at 302-656-5445 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. We are located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, and we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.

How Can I Remain Calm After a Car Accident?

After any type of a car accident, it is important to remain calm and be aware of your surroundings. A car accident can be an overwhelming experience, so it is important to learn about ways you can stay safe and calm.

After you have safely gotten out of your vehicle, take a deep breath to help ease your anxiety and to keep your adrenaline in check. Being able to keep your composure can be a difficult task, but a calm demeanor will help you handle the aftermath of a car accident, such as collecting evidence.

If you do need immediate medical help, call 911 and report the accident. Even if you do not think that you will need medical help, car crash injuries may not appear until hours or even days later. That is why remaining calm is important; you will be able to take necessary steps following a car accident if you are calm.

Seeking medical care will give your relief from any injuries that you have sustained and will also provide medical documentation. While healing from your injuries is paramount, medical documents will also support your case against the at-fault motorist.

A car accident can be minor or severe, but injuries can occur in either circumstance. Focusing on your immediate needs, such as medical care and calling a lawyer, will help you stay ahead of the game when you pursue legal action against the at-fault driver. Being able to keep your composure will help you begin the process of physical and financial recovery.

What Steps Should I Take After a Car Accident?

Even though remaining calm is important, you should also know what to do after a collision happens.

Immediately after a car accident, you should make sure that everyone is okay. Always seek medical care for any serious injuries, and if you do not need emergency medical assistance, you can report the car accident to the police.

Document the car accident scene by taking photographs that may determine the cause of the car accident, such as skid marks, damage to a sign, guardrail, or pole. Also, take pictures at various angles of the cars involved in the accident.

If there are witnesses, obtain their names and contact information, along with information on how they saw the car accident unfold.

Document everything in writing, including physical details from the crash scene, witness statements, the at-fault motorist’s behavior before and after the crash, and how you are feeling after the accident.

Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Advocate for Drivers Injured in Collisions

A car accident can happen at any time, and it is important that you remain calm should one occur. If you were injured by a negligent motorist, our Delaware car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help you identify the liable party so you can focus on recovery. Contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 to set up a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.

Do Car Accidents Increase When the Clocks Fall Back?

Getting an extra hour of sleep at the end of daylight saving time (DST) in November might seem like a wonderful gift. However, your body adapts more slowly to the time change than you might think. As a result, the week following the end of DST tends to go hand-in-hand with a spike of car accidents.

What causes this phenomenon, especially when drivers should be well-rested thanks to the additional hour of sleep? Two major problems are at play. The first is the circadian rhythm, and the other is nighttime driving.

What is the Circadian Rhythm?

Your body becomes accustomed to a routine. This is why it can be tough to sleep in on Saturday until 7:00 a.m. after getting up every weekday at 5:00 a.m. for work. Even though you want to stay in bed, your mind says it is time to get up. This internal clock is known as the circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is the internal process of regulating your sleep-wake cycle.

The circadian rhythm is not just associated with routine, however. It can be connected to sunlight, too. The presence of natural light encourages the brain to become “awake” to tackle activities.

During the time change, the body’s expectations of when it will be light and dark suddenly change. Instead of being light at 6:00 p.m., it is dark outside. The body needs to adjust to the time change. Usually, this process of adjustment takes about a week. Until then, you might find driving more challenging.

Nighttime Car Accidents

Another reason that drivers get in more crashes immediately after the end of DST is due to nighttime driving. Since it gets dark earlier, many people will end up driving after the sun has already gone down.

Getting used to this difference can be difficult. If you are out of the habit of driving in heavy traffic when it is dark, you may end up speeding or have trouble seeing pedestrians or vehicles. Your eyes and brain will need about five to seven days to feel completely at ease.

How Can Drivers Prepare for DST?

Knowing that the end of DST can make driving a little more challenging, drivers should be ready to take a few steps to prepare for the change. Some precautionary measures can help everyone work through DST with minimal problems.

Here are some important driving safety tips to help you prepare for driving in November:

  • Pay extra attention to the road. You may know your commute so well that you feel like you could drive on auto-pilot. Resist the urge to let your mind wander. Instead, pay attention during your morning and evening commutes. This is especially critical in the evening hours when you may be driving at night.
  • Watch out for drowsy driving. Many people are sensitive to any switches in their sleep-wake cycle. Plus, some people like to stay up extra late Saturday night, which puts them into a sleep deprivation mode by Monday morning. When you are sleepy behind the wheel, you are more prone to making mistakes. Before the time change, try to adjust your sleep schedule a week or so prior.
  • Be alert for the signs of seasonal affective disorder. Did you know that some people experience intense depression and sadness when faced with DST and waning daylight? If you think you may have seasonal affective disorder (SAD), talk with your primary care physician. Getting a diagnosis can help you feel better. It can also help you keep focus while you are on the road.
  • Stay on the lookout for darting animals. Animals are not aware of the end of DST, and they can still dart out in front of your car. In fact, more deer-related car accidents happen in November than any other time of the year. During the fall, deer often cross highways and rural roads at dusk or in the evening. Make sure to drive defensively on your commute back home or if you are driving back home after errands when it is dark.
  • Double-check your car’s lights. Many people do not realize how infrequently they use their headlights and taillights during the summer and early autumn months. Before DST, give your car’s lights a once-over, and replace any that are not working. You may need to clean the lights if they are dirty.
  • Get used to changing weather. Fall is the beginning of cooler weather. You may end up driving in icy rain in November. Always look at your weather app so you are not surprised by changing road conditions.

Can All DST Car Accidents Be Prevented?

An accident can happen at any time, even if you do all the right steps to prevent one after you turn back your clock an hour. If you find yourself in an drowsy driving accident, stay calm, and get medical treatment if it is necessary.

After a drowsy driving collision, you should consider speaking with a lawyer. Setting up a consultation takes very little time, and speaking with a legal professional can provide you with recommendations moving forward.

Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Can Help You if a Drowsy Driver Caused Your Injury

More car accidents are likely following the end of DST. For this reason, you should prepare for the time change. If a drowsy driving accident left you with a serious injury, contact our Delaware car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. today. Contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.

How Should I Deal With Aggressive Drivers?

When drivers get emotional, the outcome could be deadly. A 2018 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAA) found that 80 percent of drivers admitted to engaging in aggressive driving at least once during the past year. The study identified tailgating, hostile gestures with the hands, excessive honking, and yelling at other motorists as common forms of aggressive driving.

According to the AAA, aggressive driving is a significant factor in about 54 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents. That does not mean aggressive driving directly causes more than half of all roadway fatalities. It means at least one type of aggressive driving behavior, such as speeding, contributed to the fatal accident.

Since aggressive driving is a leading cause of car accidents, all motorists should learn about ways to prevent aggressive driving collisions. It is also important to know what to do should you encounter an aggressive driver. Listed below are steps you should take when you see an aggressive driver on the road.

Get Away From the Aggressive Driver

If you encounter an aggressive driver on the road, the best thing to do is put as much room as possible between that vehicle and yours. The best way to do that is to slow down and let the aggressive driver pass you. If your vehicle was not struck, there is no need to stop and try to deal with the aggressive driver.

If the aggressive driver continues to harass you, even when you are trying to get out of the way, you should not respond directly to the aggressive driver. Instead, you should look for a safe place to make a stop that has potential witnesses.

Do Not Make Eye Contact

You always should make sure you have your seat belt secured, and you should drive defensively at all times. If you see an aggressive driver, try to avoid making any direct eye contact with them. If the driver will not leave you alone and you have a cellphone, you could contact the police and report the aggressive driver as soon as possible.

Report the Driver

You can describe the offending vehicle and provide its location and direction of travel to a police dispatcher. If you can get the license plate number, that could be a big help in holding the aggressive driver accountable for breaking the law.

Do not try to chase down the aggressive driver. Let the police handle the situation.

Avoid Confrontation

You should try to avoid confronting an aggressive driver at all times. A motorist who is willing to endanger others while behind the wheel is dangerous outside of the vehicle. If that person is armed, you could wind up suffering a severe injury. If you pull into a gas station, rest area, or another location, you should do your best to walk away from the aggressive driver.

What Are Penalties for Aggressive Driving in Delaware?

In 1999, the Delaware General Assembly enacted the state’s first law that defined and set punishments for aggressive driving. The law says that any combination of three specified traffic offenses in a single driving incident earns an aggressive driving charge for the offender. The traffic offenses that count toward an aggressive driving include:

  • Speeding
  • Violating another driver’s the right-of-way.
  • Unsafe lane changes.
  • Disregarding traffic control devices.
  • Tailgating
  • Passing on the shoulder.
  • Passing a stopped school bus.

An initial conviction for aggressive driving is punishable by a fine of between $100 and $300 or up to 10 to 30 days in jail. Offenders must attend and successfully complete either a behavior modification class or a driving course focused on attitude adjustment. Subsequent convictions for aggressive driving within three years results in a suspension of driving privileges for at least 30 days.

Risk Factors for Aggressive Driving

While aggressive driving might seem random, there are some risk factors that make aggressive driving more likely to occur. Some factors that might trigger aggressive driving include:

  • Driving after work: Aggressive driving incidents tend to happen more often at the end of the week and during the evening drive home from work.
  • Young, inexperienced drivers: The AAA states that teenage drivers are four times more likely to engage in an aggressive driving behavior that results in an accident. Parents of teenage drivers can help prevent that by using newer vehicles that have special settings for teenage motorists. When a teenager does drive aggressively, the onboard monitoring system could alert their parents about the unsafe driving behavior.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the main issues that trigger aggressive driving include:

  • Drivers who are impatient while waiting for traffic lights to change.
  • Drivers who are impatient while waiting on passengers to enter their vehicle.
  • Drivers who are angry because of narrow highways.
  • When traffic has to merge.
  • When trying to park in a crowded parking lot.

Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Can Help You if an Aggressive Driver Caused Your Accident

An aggressive driving accident could cause you to suffer injuries and property damage. If you were injured in an aggressive driving collision, our Delaware car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help. Contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.

What Should I Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident?

After a hit-and-run car accident, you should try to gather as much evidence as possible. It is important to take pictures and videos of property damage and injuries. It is also critical to document any debris or skid marks that are visible on the road.

If it is possible, you should try to remember details about the other driver and their car. This information will help validate that you are not at fault for the accident, and it will hopefully help the police track down the hit-and-run driver.

After you record the accident scene, it is helpful to speak to any witnesses. A witness can provide an unbiased perspective of the hit-and-run accident. You should ask what they saw, and you should also record their accounts. Gather their contact information in case you need to follow-up with them at a later date.

File a Police Report

One of the first steps is to call the police so you can file an official report. Regardless of the extent of the damages, it is important to speak to the police. You should tell an officer everything that happened, and they will complete an official accident report. You should give them as many details as possible, such as the make and model of the car that hit you. The police might be able to use this information to track down the driver.

Get Medical Attention

You should get immediate medical attention at the accident scene if you have serious injuries. However, it is important to follow-up with a doctor after the collision as well. If you have any injuries, document them. You should keep all medical records.

Some car accident injuries show up later or worsen over time. It is beneficial to get a full medical evaluation by a physician soon after the accident. By doing so, you can prove that the accident directly caused your injuries. This will be extremely helpful if the police are able to track down the at-fault driver.

Speak to a Lawyer

If the hit-and-run driver is discovered, a lawyer might be necessary for various reasons. A lawyer will fight on your behalf and protect your rights. You might be able to hold the at-fault driver accountable for damages.

Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help Those Injured by Hit-and-Run Drivers

Our Delaware car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. understand the stress of hit-and-run accidents. We can help you explore your legal options. To schedule a free consultation and for more information, complete our online form or call us at 302-656-5445. We are located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, and we proudly serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.

What Should I Do if a Car Accident Caused My Brain Injury?

Following a car accident, you may be overwhelmed by many emotions. You may wonder if your life will return to normal, especially if you have a severe injury, such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). In some cases, you might be able to pursue a legal case if you were injured by a negligent party.

For some people, it will take time and plenty of hard work developing a strong personal injury case. A permanent injury can change your life completely, and you may not even be able to work again. That is why it is of great importance to seek reputable legal representation if you have a severe car accident injury.

What is a TBI?

A TBI is caused by a severe blow to the head, often from a solid object that disrupts the natural functions of the brain. In a car accident, a TBI can occur when a person is traveling at a high speed and comes to a sudden stop, resulting in the brain moving back and forth inside the skull.

Brain injuries are not as easy to diagnose as broken bones or other ailments. Head trauma often goes undiagnosed. A TBI can linger long after the accident has taken place.

What are the Symptoms of a TBI?

After a car accident, you should seek immediate medical care. It is important to monitor any symptoms. Some symptoms of a TBI include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Problems with speech
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Inability to smell

Symptoms may not appear right away, which is why it is critical to seek medical attention after any type of accident.

Time Constraint

If you have been involved in a car accident, you should know that there is a time limit when it comes to filing a car accident lawsuit, which is known as the statute of limitations. In Delaware, you have two years from the date of your car accident to file a lawsuit, otherwise, you run the risk of your case getting tossed from court. Consulting an experienced lawyer is an important step when you wish to pursue a legal case for a TBI related to a car accident.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Advocate on Behalf of Those Suffering From Accident-Related TBIs

The extent of damage caused by a traumatic brain injury from a car accident can be severe. That is why you need the legal help of our compassionate Wilmington car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Call us at 302-656-5445 or complete our online form for more information and to schedule a free consultation today. We are located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, and we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.

How can I Stay Safe on Labor Day Weekend?

Many families finish up their vacations on Labor Day weekend, which is the unofficial end of summer. Following the lockdowns brought on by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many people are anxious to get outdoors. Travel destinations will be packed with vacationers, particularly at the local beaches.

Although the beach provides fun and relaxation, accidents can still happen. It is important to review tips on how to stay safe on Labor Day Weekend.

Beach Safety

A trip to the beach is much more enjoyable when you are prepared for the outing. The beach environment has many unpredictable variables, so it is best to keep some safety tips in mind:

  • Lifeguards: Never swim in an area where a lifeguard is not present. Even if a lifeguard is present, it is always a good idea to go into the water with a friend instead of alone. Always enter the water feet first, and only dive where signs clearly say it is okay. Finally, having a first-aid kit is strongly recommended, as well as plenty of water, food, and a cellphone.
  • Rip currents: Rip currents can be so powerful that even the most experienced swimmer can struggle to reach the shore. It is extremely important to pay attention to any warning signs of a rip current, or follow the advice of any lifeguards. If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shoreline, and never swim into the current. Swimming into the rip current will only exhaust the muscles and drain your energy. After getting out of the current’s path, it is best to swim back to shore immediately.
  • Hydrated: To fully protect yourself from the sun’s rays, not only should the right sunscreen be applied, but your body needs to be properly hydrated. This includes not swimming on an empty stomach, and more importantly, never drink and then go swimming.
  • Weather: If thunder or lightning is seen, the lifeguard will alert everyone to get out of the water immediately. If no alarm is sounded, pay attention to the weather and if there are any signs of rain, like dark clouds. If you are out on a boat, head back to shore immediately, but if that is not possible, go into the cabin and find shelter.
  • Drowning prevention: Never leave a child unsupervised while on the beach, and always have life jackets available that could fit them. It may also be valuable to take swimming and CPR lessons.

Driving Safety

No Labor Day Weekend is complete without a trip to the beach, and getting to the beach safely is just as important as being there. The highways will become packed with beachgoers, turning a short trip into a long one. Here are a few Labor Day driving tips:

  • Obey all traffic laws: Always obey the local speed limits, always buckle up your seat belt, and never drink and drive. Even one alcoholic beverage is enough to limit a person’s reaction time or cause drowsiness. With holiday traffic, the chance of a car accident
  • Drive defensively: Be polite while driving, and never drive aggressively or tailgate other motorists. Everyone on the road is in a rush, and getting others angry will ruin your vacation.
  • Avoid distractions: Even if the car is packed with children and luggage, it is imperative to avoid distractions. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents.
  • Get enough sleep: Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Closing your eyes for a few seconds while travelling at 50 miles per hour is the equivalent of traveling the length of an entire football field. Get plenty of rest before taking a long road trip.
  • Vehicle maintenance: It is always a good idea to have a vehicle’s oil changed, fluids topped off, and tire and brakes checked before taking a lengthy road trip. This could save a family from being stuck on the side of the highway.

Good Hygiene

It is still important to stay up to date with COVID-19 regulations and local health advisories. Some recommendations when traveling include:

  • Wear a mask. Wearing a mask protects you and others from illnesses.
  • Social distancing should be followed. A minimum distance of 6 feet should be maintained while you are around strangers.
  • Celebrate outside. Any holiday gatherings should also be outdoors, where the open air helps prevent the spread of infection.
  • Be safe when preparing food. Regarding food safety, make sure all food is cooked thoroughly, and eating areas are sanitized and cleaned. Cutting boards and other surfaces that contact raw meat should be sanitized. Food should never sit out longer than a few hours.

Delaware Personal Injury Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help Vacationers Injured on Labor Day Weekend

Safety should always be on your mind when you are attending a Labor Day event. If you are injured by a negligent party on Labor Day weekend, one of our Delaware personal injury lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help. Call us today at 302-656-5445 or fill out an online form for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.