First Steps Following an Injury Accident
Being injured in a car accident is scary, but try to keep calm. Your first steps following an injury accident can affect the compensation you receive from the insurance company if you file a claim.
Read below to discover the best approach to an injury auto accident.
Seek Medical Attention
See a doctor immediately. Although you may feel all right or think your injuries are minor, symptoms can appear days after the accident, such as:
Take Detailed Notes and Photos
- Take detailed notes on your injuries and medical treatment to help receive full reimbursement from the insurance company. Note the names and addresses of any doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, or other professionals you visit.
- Keep receipts for medications or any assistive devices such as crutches.
- Also keep a journal or daily diary about your injuries and medical care. Be specific about everything, and include such details as the degree of pain and any inconveniences you experience from your injuries.
- Keep all correspondence with health care providers during the course of treatment for your injuries. This includes e-mails and notes that you record during and after telephone calls and doctor’s appointments.
- Save all of your medical bills and receipts, including prescriptions, special equipment (crutches, walkers, canes), special foods, and co-payments.
- Keep track of travel expenses for medical appointments.
- Record information about the accident. Take pictures of the accident location, making sure to include stop signs and traffic lights. Take photos of your car’s damage. Take several pictures from every angle, making sure to snap close-ups and long-distance shots.
- Record proof of financial losses, such as lost wages and opportunities.
- Note names and contact information of witnesses.
- Take pictures of your injuries, asking friends and family to help if necessary. Pictures are valuable evidence for your case.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
If you feel you need help navigating your injury claim, you should hire a personal injury lawyer. Personal injury attorneys are experienced in dealing with injury claims and can explain your rights and obtain the most compensation possible for your claim.
What NOT to Do Following an Injury Auto Accident
Do Not Admit Fault
You may be inclined to apologize for the accident when you are at the scene or admit fault to your car insurance agent. However, doing so can seriously jeopardize your claim. Instead of assuming the responsibility for an accident:
- Call the police and give a detailed description of the accident, along with photos.
- Even if you believe you might have been fully or partially at fault, don’t say to the other party, your passengers, witnesses, or your insurance company that you were to blame.
Avoid Other Common Mistakes
Even if you are entitled to reimbursement, a few mistakes can endanger your personal injury claim. The following can help you recover fair compensation for your claim:
- DO NOT TALK TO THE INSURANCE COMPANY UNTIL CONSULTING A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY!
- Don’t settle until you have completed all of your medical treatment and your injuries are as healed as they are going to be.
- Don’t sign release forms or checks with releases on them before you’re ready to settle completely. Signing such forms can release the insurance company from responsibility for paying on additional claims.
- Don’t talk to people (other than your attorney) about the case.
- FILE A POLICE REPORT.