Car accidents can be one of the most frightening experiences a person faces in their life. Within seconds, your life is flipped upside down. With so much going on at once, it’s often hard to keep calm and think through what you need to do following an accident. SAFETY FIRST The safety of the people involved in the accident should be top priority. If you or your passengers are injured, call 911 immediately, or have someone else call if you can’t. It’s critical not to move people who are seriously injured. Wait for emergency personnel to arrive. GET THE POLICE INVOLVED When a minor accident occurs, people might not think the police need to come, but contacting them will create a record that the accident happened. Having a police record can help you later on if you need to file an insurance claim. If the police arrive shortly after the accident takes place, they will also help keep an accurate record of the details of the event. COLLECT INFORMATION It’s vital for you to exchange information with anyone involved in the accident. Typically, a police officer who responds to the scene will take down information from everyone involved — witnesses included — but if they don’t, grab each of their addresses, names, PROTECTING YOURSELF AFTER AN ACCIDENT For many people, preparing for the New Year’s countdown is the most exhilarating part of the holiday season. You tune your TV to the Times Square ball drop, hand out party hats, confetti, and noisemakers, and meticulously line up some champagne flutes. What’s left to do? Pop open the champagne! There are many partiers who pop the cork with enthusiastic and careless abandon, while others point the bottle away from their faces and anxiously twist the cork until they hear those bubbles surge to the surface. Turns out, while the latter practice may be slightly less fun, it’s certainly the safer approach. On April 8, 1978, Charles J. Murray was injured when a natural cork stopper spontaneously ejected from a bottle of previously unopened Almaden Blanc de Blancs champagne and struck him in the left eye. He was preparing to serve the bubbly to a party of 40 people, so he placed 12 bottles on a rolling cart and removed the foil and wire retainer from three or four bottles — including the one that eventually injured him. Once he started to roll the cart toward the guests, the cork shot out of the bottle all on its own. PUTTING THE ‘PAIN’ IN CHAMPAGNE
Due to the severity of his injury, Murray sued Almaden Vineyards, Inc., National Distillers and Chemical Corporation, and Carbo, Inc., alleging that they were responsible because they failed to include a proper warning label on the bottle. The defendants, however, argued that the cork stopper did not and could not spontaneously eject unless Murray had handled the bottle improperly. The case was argued by both sides for two years, but eventually, Murray won. Almaden Vineyards now prints the following on its bottles: “WARNING: THIS BOTTLE IS UNDER PRESSURE. THE STOPPER WILL EJECT SOON AFTER THE WIRE HOOD REMOVAL. TO PROTECT AGAINST INJURY TO FACE AND EYES, POINT AWAY FROM SELF AND OTHERS WHEN OPENING.” When it comes to bubbly-induced mayhem, the greatest potential trouble lies in the eye of the beholder — literally. With an estimated velocity of 60 miles per hour, uncontrolled corks do in fact fly faster than the blink of an eye. To avoid having to explain a not- so-fashionable eye patch at work on Monday, handle those fizzy drinks with care.
and telephone numbers. Take photos of the damage done to your car and other vehicles involved, as well as any injuries you sustained.
CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY You can call your insurance company right at the scene of the accident. Doing this sooner rather than later will keep you up-to-date with what you need to do, and ensures that you receive full benefits. Getting in contact with your attorney can also significantly help you in the aftermath of an accident. They will put their full effort into protecting you, and informing you about any difficulties as they arise. If you’ve been in an accident and don’t know where to turn, call our offices today. Travis G. Black & Associates can provide the comfort and guidance you need.
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