What to do if you are Injured in an Automobile Accident
Auto collisions are a common occurrence in the United States. In fact, there are about 10 million auto collisions, of all kinds, every year in the U.S. In the event you are involved in an auto collision, it is important that you follow certain steps in order to receive the medical and financial care you need. Below is a list of important things to do when you are involved in a collision.
First, call the police and call your insurance company. It will be important to have the police make an official incident report. Make sure the police note on the incident report whether or not you have sustained injuries or are feeling any immediate pain from the collision. Do not make any apologies or admit fault to anyone at the scene. Do not talk to the other party involved in the collision about the details of what happened, other than to ask if he/she is OK. Your emotions and adrenaline will be running high, and you may accidentally say something that will be used against you later.
Be aware of any witnesses to the incident. If you are able to, get their name(s) and phone number(s). Seek medical attention immediately. Remember, your adrenalin will be high. This means it may take a while before you feel any symptoms. It is best to make a trip to the ER, urgent care, or your primary physician to be examined right away than be sorry later. If you wait too long, the insurance company will argue that your injuries are not related to the collision and there is a possibility your claim will be denied. Depending on your condition and the condition of your vehicle, you may need to be transported by ambulance to the hospital. The most common injuries related to auto collisions affect the neck and upper back, which are consistent with whiplash.
Because you may not be thinking clearly, it is best to let your insurance company handle all of the details related to the collision. If you have the ability to take pictures on site, take pictures of your injuries and of the damage to your vehicle.
Make sure you keep an accurate record of your medical treatment and providers. You will need this information in order to be reimbursed. Keep receipts for everything, including prescriptions. It is also important to follow your provider’s instructions and plans of car. If you don’t do this, the insurance company will use your non-compliance with your medical provider’s plan of care against you and deny your claim.
It will be important to get more than one estimate for the damage to your vehicle. You don’t want to rush into a settlement for the property damage. Shop around and make sure that your car is fully inspected and all related damage is accounted for in the estimates.
If you are not at fault, it will be in your best interest to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to handle the tactics the insurance companies use to downsize your injuries. Remember, the insurance adjustor’s job is to pay as little as possible towards your claim. Having an attorney in your corner will help you to recover the best settlement possible.