I just had a car accident, what should I do now?
If you were just injured in a car accident, there are certain measures that you can take to preserve and protect your rights. Some are proactive, and some are defensive in nature. Follow these recommendations so that your injury claim is postured as favorably as possible when you meet with one of our personal injury attorneys.
Call the police
When you visit our offices, one of the first questions that the interviewing attorney will ask is whether you have a police accident report. Never get talked out of calling police immediately after an accident. The investigating police officer will note all important information and enter it on an accident report. Both your attorney and the opposing insurer will rely heavily on the contents of the police accident report.
Ask for paramedics to be dispatched to the scene
Documenting your injuries is another key to prevailing on a personal injury claim. Having paramedics come to the accident scene to examine you is critical. They’ll make a written report of your condition and their findings. Insist on them transporting you to the nearest emergency room where further diagnostics and treatment will be ordered. Other reports will be generated from the emergency room.
Follow your doctor’s orders
Both the opposing insurance company and our personal injury attorneys will be scrutinizing all medical records and reports concerning you and your accident. Be sure that there are no gaps in treatment, and attend all of your appointments. You don’t want the opposing insurer or its defense attorneys raising issues regarding your credibility along with allegations of faking or malingering.
Don’t give the opposing insurer a medical authorization
It’s highly likely that the insurer of the person who caused your accident and injuries will forward you a medical authorization for signature. Don’t sign it. Ignore it. The law doesn’t require you to sign or return that authorization, and you might unknowingly damage your case by doing so. That’s because you could open the door to blaming your injury on something that happened to you 15 years ago that hasn’t bothered you since. You might even have an underlying condition like arthritis that never bothered you that the insurer could blame your pain and discomfort on. Everybody develops arthritis as they age. Most of us are asymptomatic.
Don’t give any kind of a statement either
Some insurers will send you a statement form to be completed, signed and returned. Don’t complete it, sign it or return it. Other insurers might phone you sometime after the accident “just to see if you’re feeling any better.” Then the insurance company’s representative will ask you to provide a recorded statement about the accident. He or she only plans on using that statement against you in the future. No law requires you to give either a written or recorded statement to an opposing insurance company, so we strongly recommend that you politely refuse to do so. Rather than hurting your case, contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation. If we’re retained to represent you as your personal injury attorneys, you’ll never hear from that insurance company again.
Don’t give the opposing insurer control of your case
If you try to represent yourself against any insurance company, it has you right where it wants you. You have no knowledge of personal injury law, insurance law or the rules of civil procedure and evidence. It’s highly likely that you’ll make mistakes that can’t ever be corrected. You’re giving the opposing insurer control of your case when in fact, you should have control of it.
Don’t give an opposing insurer any advantage. Contact our offices for that free consultation and case evaluation right away. We don’t even charge any legal fees unless we obtain a settlement or verdict for you. We’ll take control of your case for you.