Five Critical Tips for Victims of Car Accident Injuries
- Take and preserve all relevant photos photos. Take photos of damage to your vehicle and all other vehicles involved, images of your injuries such as bruising, blood on your body, clothes or scene of the incident. This type of evidence can be critical in proving your case later and obtaining fair compensation for your injures.
- Get contact information or any witnesses of the accident. This is specially true if this is going to be a "he said - she said" situation as it's commonly the case in red light / green light accident, where both sides claim that they had a green light. In these types of cases, having even one witness can make a big difference in proving that the other side is liable. But, even in other types of cases where liability is clear, having witnesses corroborate your side of the story can't hurt.
- Do not panic and do not hurry to resolve legal issues or hire a lawyer. You might be really angry and worry because of what happened and you are eager to take legal action against the other driver. However, you must attend to your injuries first and get the medical care and attention you need, whether it's ambulance, emergency room, or your primary car physician. Speaking with a claim's person from your insurance company or the other driver's insurance company can wait and so is talking to a lawyer. The law provides you with ample time to consider your legal options so there is no reason to rush to speak with or hire a lawyer. Taking care of the legal part of your claim a bit later is not going to hurt your claim in any way.
- Do not delay medical care. Many people wait for months after the accident to get medicare. They hope that they will get better on their own. However, when they don't or when their pain gets, they eventually report to a hospital to get their x-rays / MRI done. This delay gives the opposing side the opportunity to argue two things: (a) your pain wasn't as bad, because if it was, you would have sough medical care much sooner; and (b) since so much time passed after the accident, the injuries shows on x-ray or MRI image might have been caused by some other incident. These types of arguments can be more or less effective depending on the circumstance, but they certainly don't help your case. Therefore, if you were involved in a serious injury accident, you should not delay getting at least initial medical check-up and care.
- Do not feel forced to speak with a claims adjuster right away. Once you report a claim, a claim's examiner will likely call you within a few days to talk to you about your accident and your injuries. If you don't feel comfortable speaking with them, feel free to not return their calls for now or give them a courtesy call and tell them that either you or your attorney will be in touch with them when you are ready to speak with them. Speaking with an insurance company later is not going to hurt you.