If you find yourself the victim of a car accident, you may consider pursuing a legal case to recover medical expenses, lost earnings and other damages. Being aware of potential issues and knowing how to proceed can help you and your attorneys construct a solid case.
Get emergency services on the scene
In the event of a car crash, you or someone else on the scene should call 911 and get an ambulance. In the case of severe and obvious injuries, most people will know to take this action. However, especially in the case of a strong impact, you may be suffering from injuries you are not aware of. A prompt medical examination can detect and document any serious problems that are not evident to the eye.
See a doctor
Be sure to see a trusted health care practitioner for a comprehensive checkup as soon as possible after the accident. Even relatively mild symptoms can signal a serious condition. For example, mild traumatic brain injury often announces itself through a collection of seemingly benign symptoms such as headaches, nausea, fatigue and irritability. Make sure to let first responders as well as subsequent medical providers know if you passed out after the accident, even for a very short time.
Call the police
You should also try to make sure police arrive at the accident scene. Sometimes, especially if the crash does not seem serious, the other party will try to pressure you to agree not to call the police. By no means should you agree to this. A police report from the scene is valuable evidence that can serve to document the course of events and establish fault.
Watch for delayed symptoms
During the time following the accident, pay attention to any developing symptoms, and get prompt medical attention. Some people try to power through and ignore symptoms. This is a mistake. Even putting aside your personal injury case, a timely medical treatment can keep symptoms from getting worse and increase your chance of complete recovery.
Do get proof of all the ways the car accident affects your life, including lost or reduced wages, decreased quality of life and inability to perform tasks of daily living. Avoid speaking with insurance adjusters on your own, as some discussions may be used as evidence against your version of events.
Do not negotiate with insurance adjusters
The other driver’s insurance company may offer you a settlement; do not agree to anything before speaking with your lawyer, as offers in the initial stages of a case are highly unlikely to be fair to you. Locate and consult a qualified attorney near you. An experienced lawyer can evaluate your case and provide the options you need to get legal recourse.