When the average American driver gets in a car crash, he or she doesn’t know what to do next. Sure, most of us know it’s probably a good idea to call 911 and request assistance, but many people don’t know what needs to be done in order to ensure their interests are protected in the longer haul.
Five Tips for Dealing With a Car Accident Injury
Every vehicle collision is unique, but regardless of the details, there are several basic smart moves you should make to increase your chance of experiencing a full recovery and obtaining the financial compensation you deserve. Here’s your list:
1. Seek Medical Attention
The very first step is to seek out medical attention. Everything else is secondary to your health.
Even if you don’t think you suffered any injuries at the time of the accident, it’s best to have a doctor evaluate you. Because of the adrenaline and intensity of the event, you might be numb to underlying physical issues.
2. Don’t Admit Fault
Your mouth can get you in a lot of trouble after a collision, so it’s best simply to remain quiet. If you believe you caused the accident, it remains in your best interest to avoid saying so.
Even saying “I’m sorry” in an otherwise neutral yet genuine manner can imply guilt and put you in a risky legal situation. “If you are giving a statement to the police regarding the accident, the same rule applies,” InsuranceHotline.com explains.
“Simply tell the officer what happened to the best of your recollection and don’t make any statements that admit to fault. Stick to the facts and allow the police and the auto insurance adjusters to review them and figure out who really carries the fault.”
3. Document Everything
In any vehicle collision incident in which serious injuries occur, there’s the possibility a legal battle will ensue. Whether you’re the one who pursues charges, or the subject of them, it’s beneficial to have detailed notes and other evidence to back up your position.
If possible, take photos at the scene of the incident. Write notes about what happened before you forget.
Keep receipts and logs of medical records. Track your correspondence with doctors and insurance companies. The more information you have, the better.
4. Contact an Experienced Attorney
As soon as you’ve addressed your medical condition and are stable enough to make some phone calls, talk to an experienced attorney and figure out a plan of action. This is especially important if you believe the accident was caused by someone else.
As Gruber Law Offices explains, “There is a statute of limitations on claims for auto crash injuries, which makes the urgency of consulting a car accident attorney even greater. It is best that you consult an attorney before discussing your claim with the insurance company and absolutely before accepting a settlement offer.”
5. Focus on Getting Better
Ultimately, the most important aspect is your health. Though there may be a variety of issues you’ll have to sort through in the coming weeks and months, other people can handle most of those tasks on your behalf. Right now, your primary focus should be on getting better and returning to normal health. This is the only thing that really matters.
Now’s the Time to Act
Don’t delay in dealing with the repercussions of your car crash. Sometimes physical symptoms don’t show up until much later, and you don’t want to be put in a situation where you’re unable to get the help you need.
Be smart, honest, and proactive, and hope that this matter will be nothing more than a speed bump in your life story.