The immediate aftermath of a car accident will bring a rush of adrenaline, stress and confusion. After you gather your wits, you will then likely face a flood of questions. Are you seriously hurt? Is your car totaled? Will you have to miss work? How much will all of this cost?
If you were hurt in an accident by a negligent driver and you wish to pursue compensation for your lost wages and medical bills, there are a few simple steps you can take after your accident to protect your rights and options.
1. Call the police and report the accident
The responding officer will take a statement from you and the other driver. Calmly give your account of what happened. This official statement will serve to help your case if the other driver tries to change his or her story later on.
2. If you are able, document any possible evidence at the scene
If you can, use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene. Document any damage to the vehicles and anything else that could be useful, such as skid marks. Also, take pictures of any visible injuries. If there are witnesses, try to get their names and contact information.
3. Seek medical attention and follow the prescribed treatment
Even if you do not think your injuries are that serious, it is important to get a medical evaluation as soon as possible. If you do not and you notice soreness or stiffness a few weeks later, it may be more difficult to link those injuries to your accident.
Additionally, it is important to follow your doctor’s orders for treatment. This way, you can prove that you are doing everything possible to advance your recovery. This will prevent the defense from being able to effectively argue that you are faking your injuries.
4. Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney
The legal system can be frustrating and confusing to navigate on your own. Your attorney will be able to guide you through it while protecting your legal rights and best interests in order to maximize the compensation that you can recover. Do not work with an attorney who is advising you to settle as quickly as possible. You should only settle after your lawyer effectively explores all of your options.
5. Do not talk to the insurance companies alone
You should let your attorney handle all of the interactions with insurance adjusters. The insurance companies will be trying to limit their losses, so they will be looking for any opportunity to use your words as an admission of fault. Your lawyer will be able to negotiate on your behalf or take your case to a trial if necessary.
The Quinn Law Firm‘s personal injury lawyers have decades of experience helping accident victims just like you recover the compensation that they deserve. We will fight to recover the compensation that will address your present and future needs. To learn more, we invite you to schedule a free consultation at our office in Erie, Pennsylvania.