Five Steps To Take After A Car Crash
The time immediately following a car accident or motor vehicle accident can be painful and stressful. While your health and physical recovery must come first after an accident, financial problems can make focusing on your health more difficult.
A personal injury settlement or damages award will help you achieve a measure of financial security after a car wreck. There are steps you can take to help yourself maximize the value of your case. Some of these steps are:
- Pictures tell the story: With smart phones, most of us now have a camera with us all the time. If you or someone in your vehicle can take photographs of the accident scene, your car, and the other car(s) involved in the wreck, those pictures can sometimes make the difference between having a case and not having one. Pictures help prove that the other driver caused the crash. One good picture can be worth more to your case then all the verbal and oral testimonies combined.
- Call the police and ask for an accident report: Make sure to call the police, report the wreck and ask for an accident report. If you can’t call yourself, have someone else call the police. If you are able to stay at the wreck scene, stay there until the officer completes the entire crash investigation, even if it takes a while. Talk to the officer and give your side of the story. If you can’t stay at the accident scene because you are injured and on the way to the hospital, have a family member or friend follow up immediately to make sure the report was prepared.
- Go to a doctor as soon as possible after the wreck: Sometimes people do not want to believe that they are injured after a wreck and they do not make arrangements to see a medical doctor. This is a serious mistake. Sometimes pain that an injured person thinks will just “go away” does not go away, and is indicative of a serious injury. If you don’t see a doctor for the first time until a month after the accident happened, the insurance carrier may claim that the wreck did not cause your pain or injuries. Go to a doctor as soon as possible after the crash occurs.
- Go to every appointment your doctor schedules, including physical therapy: Your medical records and a consistent written history of care are key components of your personal injury claim. When you go to your scheduled appointments and attend physical therapy, you build a record of exactly how your injuries have impacted your life. With a complete medical history, your lawyer will have a better argument to support your claims, and the insurance carrier will be more likely to pay you fair value for your claims.
- Talk to a lawyer sooner rather than later: You will not know your legal rights unless you talk with someone who has both the education and experience to advise you on whether you have a claim, and, if so, how much your claim is worth. Without a lawyer, you will not be treated fairly by an insurance carrier, primarily because the carrier knows that you don’t know as much as they do about how much your case is worth.
Talk To Our Law Firm In Your Free Initial Consultation
We frequently speak to people who have attempted to wade through the mess of medical providers and insurance carriers without a lawyer for months, only to come speak to us and find out they have made serious mistakes in the processing and preservation of their claims.
When you speak to us right after a wreck has occurred, we are able to take steps to immediately preserve and protect your claims. We interview witnesses who may later disappear, investigate crash sites that change, preserve evidence, and preserve images of damage to vehicles and to you. We also advise you on whom you can safely speak with, and when to stay silent. We do everything we can from the first time you contact us to make sure your claims are preserved and protected, so that they may be presented for their maximum value when you have finished medical treatment. Call our Knoxville-area law firm at 865-247-8255 or email us to get started.