2.35 million people are injured in car accidents every year. Only a small fraction of those people will receive the financial help they’re entitled to as they grapple with the repercussions of another driver’s recklessness.
Those short-changed victims were likely unaware of what to do after being injured in a car accident. The purpose of this post is to make sure you don’t suffer that same fate.
Below, our team outlines simple steps you can take after you’ve been involved in a collision to cover yourself and your injuries should they arise.
1. Call for Help
Unless you’re involved in an extremely minor accident, your best bet is to call for help. Calling for help (which means dialing 911) is a great way of covering yourself in an accident because it allows for a third party to mediate you and another driver’s interactions. It also makes for an additional means of generating paper trails which can come in handy should you later seek compensation.
If you feel that having an officer on-scene is going to be helpful, never let an opposing driver talk you out of it. If another driver is adamant about not getting officers or insurance companies involved, they probably have something to hide.
2. Never Admit Blame
Car accidents happen to even the most careful of drivers. Sometimes, those cautious vehicle operators even initiate accidents.
If you have a feeling you may have been the one that caused your car accident, never disclose that information. Car accidents happen quickly and it may be that an external force inhibited you in a way that you can’t appreciate right after an event takes place.
By going on record that you were responsible for an accident, you may ruin any chance you have of collecting compensation down the line that you may have otherwise been entitled to.
3. Gather Evidence
Immediately after an accident, if you’re in the condition to do so, gather as much evidence from the scene as possible. Take pictures, grab video and, of course, capture all of the opposing driver’s license and insurance information.
If the driver you were involved in a collision with is making it difficult to collect the insight you need, a call to emergency services should remedy the situation.
The more evidence you collect at the scene of an accident, the better a prospective attorney will be able to fight for you should you choose to engage legal assistance.
4. Seek Medical Treatment
You’ve probably heard that most car accident injuries don’t rear their heads until days or even weeks after impact. This is the case because soft tissue damage, which is common is car accidents, takes time to manifest.
For that reason, even if you feel okay after a car accident, seek medical attention. Your doctor may be able to help you get ahead of painful soft tissue or other injuries so you won’t suffer as much in the coming days.
5. Talk to Your Insurance Company
Whether or not you’re injured in a car accident, chances are your car incurred some damage. To make sure that damage is settled as quickly as possible, let your insurance company know what happened.
By notifying your insurance company, not only will they be able to get your claim moving but they’ll also be able to better prepare for the call they’ll almost certainly get from the opposing driver’s insurance or legal representation.
6. Talk to an Attorney
By now, you should have a decent idea of whether or not you’ve sustained an injury from your car accident. Remember, even minor aches and pains can continue to grow into chronic conditions that may limit your earning potential. Because of that, we recommend you contact a local accident attorney for a consultation.
This lawyer and others do an exceptional job of describing the importance of taking a stand against negligent driving and protecting yourself against financial hardship. Take their advice and don’t wait to get a quality legal perspective on your misfortune.
7. Don’t Rush to Settle
If an attorney feels that you have a case, you might find yourself anxious to see how much money you’ll receive in the way of a settlement. As with all things, getting favorable settlements takes time. If you push your lawyer to settle too quickly, they’ll likely oblige seeing your desperation as an easy payday for them.
That won’t benefit you in the long run.
For those of you that are desperate for financial assistance, consider taking out a loan against your potential settlement earnings to buy time. There are several personal loan and specialty settlement lenders out there that can help get you the money you need today to give your lawyer the time they need to do their best work.
8. Stay Disciplined
We’ve seen several car accident settlements get ruined by accident victims that undermine their case by overexerting themselves. Your lawyer will be able to give you clear advice in this regard, but in general, plan on taking it easy during your settlement’s negotiations.
If you claim serious injuries and are seen surfing (for example) by an opposing insurance company’s private investigator, you will put yourself at a serious legal disadvantage.
Always Cover Your Bases If You Think You Might Have Been Injured in a Car Accident
All of the injured in a car accident advice we’ve shared might seem like more trouble than it’s worth, especially if you walk away from a car accident feeling okay.
Don’t fall into that trap.
As we’ve shared, you never know how delayed injuries will be and even if you’re not seriously injured, you may be entitled to compensation for enduring the emotional distress caused by another driver’s negligence.
It always pays to cover your bases, so be proactive and feel free to browse more of the lifestyle advice on our blog if you’d like additional information.