I was just in a car accident! What should I do?
A car accident can be jarring and nerve-wracking even for the calmest driver. Having to exchange information with the other driver, dealing with any immediate injuries, trying to make sense of what happened a lot goes on in your mind after being involved in an automobile accident.
As experienced personal injury attorneys who specialize in car accidents and auto insurance claims, we know precisely what to do if you’re involved in a car crash. We’ve successfully handled thousands of auto accident cases, and understand that the last thing you want to deal with afterward is the nitty-gritty details. That’s why we’ve put together the first steps to take after an auto accident so that your recovery is as easy as possible.
Step 1: Get emergency medical treatment if needed.
Nothing should take priority over your physical well being.
If you have chest pain, are unable to stand or ambulate, if you have wounds, or unbearable pain, you should proceed immediately to a hospital emergency room.
Step 2: Call Binder & Associates as soon as you can.
We really want to emphasize this step, because the quicker we can talk to you, the more we can do to make sure that your potential personal injury case is not compromised or that YOU do not become a defendant in a personal injury claim.
There are a lot of small details you may not think are important at the time, but that can play a factor in the outcome of your case. You may not know that what you say and do at the scene of the accident is being video recorded or taped, to your detriment.
What you say or describe regarding how the accident occurred can be manipulated to make it appear that you at fault in some way. We can assist you with assuring that you provide the proper authorities with the information you are obligated to give and that you obtain information from the other parties that will prevent delays in obtaining a recovery. We can and will advise you regarding preservation of evidence including photos of vehicle damage and skid marks, obtaining contact information from witnesses and if warranted, we can send an investigator to the scene of the accident .
Depending upon the factors of any particular accident, maintaining maintenance records of your automobile may become important. We will also advise you what questions your insurance company is entitled to ask, and remind you to make a copy of anything you provide to them, such as medical bills or repair estimates.
In the event you provide a statement to your carrier, outside of our presence, request a copy.
Do not give a statement to the insurance company for the other driver.
Step 3: As soon as you are able take detailed notes about the car accident.
We will also encourage you to write down everything you can remember about that day. Where exactly did the car accident happen? What time of day and date did it occur?
What were you doing just a moment before the actual impact, where was your attention directed, did you try to avoid the collusion or try to apply your brakes? You’ll also want to maintain a diary of your pain and discomfort, nights you could not sleep or social events or hobbies you could not participate in.
You should keep a record of any losses you incurred such as earnings, benefits, co-pays, personal property and the like. We will want you to take pictures at the scene if you can, as well as photos of your injuries, like any bruises, cuts or scrapes. They might heal in a few days, and without pictures that evidence will be lost.The more documentation about the auto accident you have, the better. Although you may think you won’t forget anything about that day, a year from now the details of what happened will probably be much blurrier.
Step 4: Seek follow-up medical treatment and get a doctor’s evaluation
We advise our clients every step of the way, so if you already followed Step 2, you wouldn’t have to worry about what to do next. But that being said, we also like to educate our clients and make sure they understand the steps to take.
A crucial piece of evidence is to have a doctor evaluate you and write detailed notes about any injuries you sustained. Even if you feel perfectly fine right afterward, victims of car crashes often don’t feel injuries like strains and sprains, until days later. You may also have had a so called “adrenaline rush” coursing through your body right after the impact occurred, which made you feel better physically, than you actually were. Over time you might feel new areas of pain, because as one body part heals, it no longer masks the pain of another body part.
Remember, that when your claim is presented, the only opinions that will count regarding nature and extent of your injury, are medical opinions and medical documentation. So the kind of treatment, duration of treatment, who provided treatment and when you received treatment, will all be factors in determining the value of your case. If needed we can assist you with resources to assist you in this regard on a lien basis.
While this list is by no means all inclusive, these are the initial steps to take after being involved in a car crash. The main focus of our law practice is car and automobile accidents, and we knows the in’s and out’s of personal injury law down to the most minute detail. We will take care of the logistics and help you get the financial reimbursement you deserve so you can to focus on your recovery.