Have you been injured in a motor vehicle accident? If so, you may be trying to figure out what to do next. There are several steps you should follow to make sure your injuries are cared for and your rights are protected.
1. Call 911
The first thing you need to do is call 911 and request law enforcement to come to the scene of the accident. Make sure they write up a report clearly explaining everything that happened. You need to get this documentation because this is going to be proof of how the accident unfolded. Memories can fade, and you need this police report to act as an official record.
2. Get the Contact Information of Witnesses
There are probably witnesses at the scene of your accident. Make sure you get their contact information, as witnesses often do not wait for law enforcement to arrive. Furthermore, a lot of police reports do not list witnesses. As long as your injuries do not prevent you from talking to them, collect their contact information so law enforcement can figure out who is at fault in the accident.
3. Seek Medical Care as Quickly as Possible
If you believe you have been hurt in the accident, you need to seek medical care as quickly as possible. You should not worry about expenses related to your injuries, as you need to put your health first. The longer you wait, the worse your injuries will get. Furthermore, if you delay care, the insurance company may hesitate to cover the cost of the injuries.
4. Describe Your Injuries
When you meet with a medical professional, always describe your injuries and detail. They will write down everything you say, and you don’t want to leave anything out. Even if it seems minor, you need to discuss it with the doctor. You never know what could help them diagnose your injury.
5. Get Diagnostic Tests
You should request all appropriate diagnostic tests. If your medical professional gives you an option related to labs and screening, always select more screening instead of less screening. You do not want them to miss anything, and these tests will help you diagnose your injuries.
6. Do Not Speak to the Insurance Company on Your Own
The insurance company may want to talk to you as quickly as possible, but do not speak to them on your own. They may try to find conflicting information, trip you up, or otherwise get you to say something that can give them a reason to deny your claim. Always talk to the insurance company with the help of a legal professional.
7. Contact an Experienced Attorney
Speaking of a legal professional, always work with an experienced car accident attorney. There are a lot of complicated moving parts, and you need to place your best interests first. This means working with an attorney who will vigorously defend your rights.
8. Keep a Journal
You never know what course your injuries are going to take, and you should keep a journal describing your symptoms. That way, you can figure out what is getting better, what is getting worse, and what might require additional care. You should also journal all expenses you might incur.
9. Go To Your Follow-up Appointments
Even if you feel like you are getting better, you still need to go to your follow-up appointments. This is important for helping you take care of your health, and you need to show the insurance company you are doing everything in your power to get better.
10. Follow Professional Advice
Finally, you should always follow the professional advice of your doctor and your personal injury attorney. A car accident lawyer will advocate for your rights as the legal process unfolds. Remember that you do not have to go through this alone. Trained professionals are always there to give you a helping hand.