The unthinkable happens. You find yourself injured in an accident through no fault of your own. What should you do?
Notify the appropriate authorities immediately. This will insure appropriate attention is given to the people and property involved and preserve evidence. The insurance company will not want to pay you anything they don’t have to, so help us keep you protected by doing the following.
Make observations and collect information at the scene of the accident (if possible). Obtain information about the other person or persons involved. Take notice of your surroundings and who may have witnessed the accident. If there are witnesses, be sure to get their names, addresses and phone numbers so we can contact them. Many officers do not include the witnesses in their reports. If you are able, it is helpful to have pictures and/or a diagram of the scene. In addition, be mindful of what you say. Do not jump to conclusions, accept fault or apologize. Finally, when speaking with the investigating officer, stick to the facts.
Care for your injuries and follow the doctor’s directions. Again, if you are injured, seek appropriate medical attention right away; give a clear history of your injuries and condition. Follow your doctor’s initial treatment instructions as well as his or her directions for additional follow-up treatments. Know that some physicians are averse to working with the legal system, so if your doctor acts as if you are doing something wrong by seeking legal redress for your injuries, you may want to find a new medical professional. You don’t want to find out at the last minute that your doctor is not a willing member of your team. Fortunately most doctors do a good job of documenting injuries and care about your situation, but in the rare exception, just listen to your gut and pay attention to your feelings.
Follow these tips and, with a strong, experienced attorney at your side, you will get the care and compensation you deserve.