If you’re involved in a serious car, truck, or motorcycle accident, knowing what to do and what not to do can be extremely important. Of course, one of the first things you’re going to need to do is get prompt medical attention; however, knowing how to get the medical help you need, who you should talk with, and how you can protect your own interests are not things most people fully understand.
Regardless of who is at fault in your accident, you’re going to need legal representation to help ensure your interests are being protected. Learn the basics of what to do if you are in a serious car accident and the best way to proceed with the following tips.
Documenting Your Accident
If possible, talk to any witnesses and others who were involved in the accident. Even if all you do is get the name and contact information of each person, this information could become extremely important in the future. You should also take pictures of the accident and get the insurance information of all parties involved. When taking photos, try to show all angles. Show all sides of each vehicle, the direction of travel, the intersection, signs, and even document what type of weather you were experiencing.
Of course, if you are seriously injured in the accident, chances are you won’t have an opportunity to gather this information. That’s certainly OK. Following any type of accident, your first priority should be your wellbeing and the wellbeing of any others who were involved in the incident. However, when you have an opportunity, be sure to contact your insurance company and a personal injury attorney and get more information on how you should proceed with your case. Never speak to another attorney without having your own legal counsel present.
You might be tempted to discuss the case with the insurance company for the other party or even with your own insurance company, but this is generally not a good idea. While you will eventually have to discuss the case to get it resolved, it’s important that you get legal advice before you go on the record with any comments regarding the accident and how it occurred. You might be surprised how easily your words can be twisted.
Seek Prompt Medical Attention
Some injuries will be fairly obvious, and you’ll need to seek immediate medical attention. In fact, you might actually leave the scene of the accident in an ambulance. However, even if you don’t think you have any significant medical issues, it’s important to get a thorough physical examination by a qualified physician. Some injuries might not present any symptoms until several days after an accident. These injuries must be fully documented.
Whether you’re feeling stiff and sore or you have visible injuries from the accident, a qualified physician should make a complete report of your symptoms. Additionally, all therapy you receive, as well as any medical procedures, should all be well-documented. Whether you need surgery, treatment for lacerations, or you start experiencing severe headaches the day after the collision, these are all important medical issues your doctor should document.
If you are seeing a doctor for your injuries, make sure all tests, diagnoses, and treatment plans are carefully documented in your medical records. You’ll want to establish a timeline and any ongoing medical needs to get a better understanding not only of your current suffering and physical ailments, but also how these factors could affect your future potential for employment or the ability to enjoy your favorite activities.
Don’t Be Tempted to Accept an Early Settlement
While you might be burdened with medical bills, lost wages, and perhaps even the loss of your vehicle, it’s important to not be tempted to enter into a car accident settlement too quickly. An experienced car accident attorney with Crowell Law Offices will be able to help ensure that your medical bills are paid and you are compensated for lost wages as you await a settlement.
Many factors can play a significant role in when or if it is time to settle. For example, if the extent of your injuries has not yet been determined, it is too early to begin thinking about a settlement. It’s important that you know whether you will have long-term problems or whether you will face future surgeries, pain, or other issues that could affect your long-term physical abilities.