There are a number of actions to consider after a car accident. However, a roadway incident is a traumatic event and slinging a bunch of actions at you will only compound the trauma you might be trying to heal from.
Therefore, we are going to keep this straightforward and simple, so the most critical items are dealt with immediately. Other tasks can be worked on throughout the process. Here are the top two actions you want to take to protect your rights after a car accident.
The First Step – Seek Medical Treatment
Chances are if you were injured in an accident, this step has already taken place. However, we reiterate this because, while important for your health and well-being, this step is essential in protecting your legal rights.
Records of your medical treatments and diagnosis will prove invaluable to your claims as you seek justice and/or compensation. If you have been given specific medical do’s and don’ts by your physician, the worst thing you can do is not follow that direction. When you do not follow up, or procrastinate, insurance companies see your claims less credible. Meaning, you might be overstating how injured you really are if you’re not seeking immediate medical treatment.
Make sure you collect all medical documentation such as records, x-rays, diagnosis, follow up information, prescriptions, etc. Make a list of all doctors and medical providers; keep a copy of all medical bills and prescription receipts; and keep records of lost time from work.
The Second Step – Contact a Car Accident Attorney
There is a lot of legalese involved in a car accident case, and if you are attempting to recover, the last thing you’ll want to do is chase down information, miss a legal deadline or talk to a biased insurance company representative. When you decide to work with an attorney, you can be guided through the process and avoid any sabotage of your case. A lawyer will protect and serve you in the following ways:
- A car accident lawyer will collect data and evidence, with your help, to support your case.
- An attorney will file the appropriate legal paperwork on your behalf.
- An attorney will communicate on your behalf to avoid any missteps.
- An accident lawyer will explain the legal process, so you’re not left in the dark.
- A lawyer will conduct their own investigation to gather supporting evidence.
- An attorney will consult with their network of resources to support your case.
Some Final Thoughts
Remember: It will cost you nothing to speak with an attorney, and it could cost you a lot to make a mistake before you speak to an attorney. The insurance company is in the business to make money by collecting premiums, not to pay claims no matter how many years you have paid in premiums without filing a claim.
Even if you are unsure if you have a case or not, consulting with an attorney is always a good idea. What might not seem like a case to you, might be seen differently through the lens of a qualified practicing car accident attorney. The number one thing you do not want to do is talk to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. These representatives do not have your best interests in mind and are trained to find fault in anything you do or say. Hiring an attorney will help you easily avoid this.
These two actions are truly the first steps in building a solid car accident case. These steps show the insurance company that you are proactive about your health and serious about your claim.