In the United States, a staggering 38,000 people die each year in car crashes. An additional 4.4 million individuals suffer serious car accident injuries. Are you one of them?
If you have been injured in a car accident, read on. We will go over exactly what to do following a collision as well as explain when you should consider a personal injury lawyer.
Check for Injuries and Call Police
The first thing to do in any collision is to check if anyone involved is hurt. Check the passengers in your car and the people in the other car for injuries.
Keep in mind that sometimes cars won’t seem badly damaged, yet the people inside might be.
The other driver might suggest you do not call 911 (especially if they suspect they are at fault). Yet, you should still contact the police.
Tell the dispatcher your location, if anyone is injured or trapped in a vehicle. Be sure to mention any dangers like flipped cars, downed power lines, and leaking fuel.
Don’t Say Anything
While you are waiting for police to arrive, avoid saying anything to the other driver, passengers, or witnesses.
Never admit to fault, even if you think you made an error while driving. This is not dishonest. At this point, you do not have enough information about what the other driver did or didn’t do to make a definitive claim on the contributing factors.
Avoid saying things like “I’m sorry” or any statements that can later be used against you.
Keep in mind that you might be eligible for injury compensation from the other car’s insurance even if you are partially at fault.
Gather and Protect Evidence
After a crash, exchange contact and insurance information with all of the other drivers involved.
Write down the full name and address of the other driver or take a picture of their driver’s license. Ask for an email address, and home, work, and cell phone numbers.
The other person might not be willing to cooperate with you. In that case, you can still make notes about the make and model of the car, license plate, and physical description of the driver.
To get compensation for collision injuries, your personal injury attorney will have to prove you were hurt during the accident. To help your case, take photos of the crash site and your injuries.
Include weather and other conditions that may have contributed to the accident.
Seek Medical Treatment
Some injuries are obvious such as bleeding cuts and broken bones. Others, even life-threatening ones, might be invisible to see.
Whatever you do, do not refuse medical treatment at the scene of the crash. Tell first responders about every symptom including feeling dizzy, shaky, headache, and blurry vision. If paramedics suggest they take you to the hospital, agree to go.
Even if you do not call 911, be sure to have a check-up by a healthcare professional as soon as possible. If your doctor is unavailable the same day, go to a walk-in clinic.
Refusing or delaying medical treatment can seriously discredit your injury claim.
Make sure that you request all necessary diagnostic tests and examinations following an accident.
Insurance providers might try to disprove that your injuries are related to the collision. That is why it is important to get a medical diagnosis as soon as possible following an accident.
Call Your Insurance Company
Once your medical treatment has begun, you can now contact your insurance provider.
Do not delay this call as some policies have a maximum time period between incident and call. If you don’t meet that timeline, your claim will be refused.
If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you, do not accept payment and do not make any statements until you call this personal injury law group.
You will need to wait until you’ve been fully evaluated by your doctor before you make a formal claim.
File a Police Report
A police report is vital if you file a claim with your insurers. If the police arrive on the scene, they will automatically file a report. Be sure to ask for the responding officer’s badge number.
If the police do not arrive on the scene, you can report to any local police station to file the report. The period for filing police reports varies from state to state. Generally, you need to file before 72 hours.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer When Injured in a Car Accident
Dealing with insurance claims can be a nightmare. Especially when you are already dealing with feelings of overwhelm and pain from your injuries.
Keep in mind that insurance providers are looking for ways to not pay out claims. You will need evidence to have a hope of getting a decent claim settlement.
Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney when you are injured in a car accident is a wise decision. They will work hard to collect documentation, facts and get you the claim settlement you deserve.
Keep Meticulous Records
After your accident, keep a diary of everything that is relevant to your case.
Write down any symptoms, medical appointments, phone calls with your lawyer or with insurance agents, and so on.
Keep track of time off work as well as out-of-pocket expenses for prescriptions and so on.
It might feel like you will remember everything about your accident, but actually, if you go to court, it might be 2-3 years down the line.
A journal helps you have specific details that you might forget over time.
Also, write down all the details surrounding the accident while it is fresh in your mind. This includes where you were headed, the weather and traffic conditions, how the collision happened, etc.
You’re Not Alone
Recovering from car accident injuries can be difficult physically, emotionally and even financially.
But you are not alone. With an experienced personal injury lawyer, you can get the compensation you deserve after being injured in a car accident.
Before you go, check out our other articles for more great content for you to read.
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