The moments after a car accident are often a blur. You may be injured. You may be concerned about the other passengers. Depending on where the accident occurred, you may be on a busy street or highway. In all this chaos, if you are alert enough to think clearly, you should begin to think about how you can protect your rights as an injured person.
These 10 do's and don'ts after a car accident can easily be printed out and stored in your wallet, purse or glove box.
Things To Do And Things To Avoid After A Car Accident
Do: Go to a doctor as soon as you can after the accident. If you are obviously and severely injured, you will likely be transported to the hospital in an ambulance. However, there are many instances where injuries are not obvious and a car accident victim might wonder if he or she needs to see a doctor. It is always wise to err on the side of caution, particularly since many injuries such as brain injuries can take hours or even days to exhibit symptoms. By going to a doctor for a medical evaluation as soon as possible, you can get the care that you need as well as bolster your claim with the appropriate medical documentation.
Do: Follow all treatment plans set forth by your doctor. If your doctor wants you to have follow-up visits, prescribes you a medication or refers you to a specialist, follow your doctor's orders. Doing so will help you recover as fully as possible from your injuries and also help to prove the severity of your injuries. When compensation is sought, it will be awarded for pain and suffering caused by the accident but not pain and suffering caused by failing to comply with medical care. Some attorneys have made a living successfully arguing that a person wasn't badly hurt, because if they were, they would have followed their doctor's advice.
Do: Cooperate with the police officers that arrive on the scene. Give your statement to the responding officers with clear and concise details.
Do: Take pictures of the accident scene but only if doing so doesn't put you in harm's way. Don't risk your safety by stepping into traffic or trying to navigate a dangerous environment. But if you can, photograph everything you can, including all cars, where they stopped, their condition...EVERYTHING!!
Do: Obtain the other driver's insurance information. If you are unable to get it from the other driver, ask the police officer to provide it to you from the accident report.
Don't: Post about the accident on social media, and don't talk about it with people you don't know. Anything you write on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other social media accounts can be used against you at a later date to deny your claim. It might be tempting to post a selfie after a car accident, but resist the urge.
Do: Contact a personal injury attorney who is well-versed in handling car accident claims and has taken them to trial.
Don't: Talk to the other driver's insurance company, and be cautious of the information that you give to your own insurance company. It is best to refer the insurance companies to your personal injury attorney.
Don't: Be afraid to ask for help. Car accidents can introduce many unanticipated problems. You might be too injured to work and worried about money. You might be in a lot of physical pain. You might feel too afraid to get into a car again, or you might feel panic when you are in a car. It is okay to talk to a counselor, therapist or other professional about your feelings and concerns.
Do: Read our blog on Steps To Take After A Car Accident In Florida where we discuss the legal responsibilities of someone who has been involved in a car accident.
While you can never prepare for every scenario, you can take steps to protect yourself. If you were injured in a car accident, or if you are having problems with an insurance company after a car accident, an experienced lawyer who handles car accident claims can help you obtain a satisfactory result. Call us!!