Being involved in a car accident can be a scary and traumatic experience for anyone. You can immediately incur medical costs and loss of wages if you are injured in any way. Knowing your legal rights can help you protect yourself after an accident, file an insurance claim correctly, and prepare evidence for your personal injury case. The following four tips offer facts you should know if you are injured in a car accident:
Call the Police
Contact the police at the scene or advise someone else to contact the police if you are unable to do so. A police officer will take your statement and the statement of any other drivers or witnesses who are present to put in a police report. Having an officer present will also help ease the process of exchanging information between any parties involved. Police reports are extremely important if you want to file a lawsuit against the party who caused your injuries.
Having pictures of your medical injuries and pictures of the vehicles provides visual proof for any claim you may file after the accident. During negotiations with an insurance company, your pictures can confirm your medical allegations and any costs you may incur due to your inability to work. Your cell phone camera can take accurate pictures, allowing the pictures to be easily accessible. Pictures should be taken immediately, but ensure not to interfere with any police investigation at the scene.
Not only do photos provide concrete details, but they provide other pertinent information, like what day and time the accident happened. Pictures may also help cut down the processing time of your claim and any monetary damages you are seeking to recover. A local accident attorney can help you determine which pictures are best to use for evidence in your personal injury case.
Keep Accurate Records
Make sure you disclose all of the information you remember to the police officer if you are able to. If you are unsure of some of the details, tell the officer you are not sure; don’t just say ‘no’ as a response. It is also important not to exaggerate or misstate any facts. If you are asked the extent of your injuries and you are not sure, tell the officer you don’t know. Pain and injuries can occur hours after you are involved in a car accident. Make sure any statements made by other witnesses are accurate also, as they may be a part of your claim or case.
Create a file to keep any accident-related documents and other important information together. This information should include your police report, your claim number, the claim adjuster’s information (such as name, phone number, and insurance company), and any other contacts. Also, gather any rental car receipts and a record of other expenses you incur because of the accident.
Getting Medical Attention Is a Must
It is important to seek medical attention after an accident to treat any wounds, bruises, or lacerations you may have. Go to your local emergency room or family physician to seek treatment right away. If you don’t feel any pain immediately, pay attention to how you may feel a few hours or days after the accident. Many people who are injured in a car accident may not experience any signs of discomfort until a day or two after they are injured.
If you begin to feel pain or any other unusual symptoms a day or two after the incident, seek medical attention so that your injuries are properly documented. Even accidents where the impact is minor can cause a serious or permanent injury to your spinal cord. If you are dazed following the accident or lose consciousness, it is possible you have a closed head injury or concussion. These injuries are extremely serious and cause cognitive and behavioral disorders if you don’t seek the proper treatment.
Most importantly, any injury you suffer during an accident can lead to major medical issues, and you will need documentation to prove your claim is valid if you choose to seek monetary damages. An experienced injury attorney will explain your rights as a victim, and how to recover any costs you pay out due to the accident.
We Can Help You Know Your Rights
If you are injured in a car accident, contact an attorney immediately. An attorney can protect your rights and advise you on the best way to recover any medical costs, making sure you are fully compensated for any out-of-pocket expenses or loss of income you may experience due to your injuries. An accident attorney can also preserve important evidence, and speak with other attorneys or the insurance company on your behalf. Contact us today for a consultation and information on your rights if you have been injured in a car accident.