Accidents happen in the blink of an eye. Whether you are in a car accident, you slipped and fell, you were hit by a car while walking or a defective product caused a serious injury, you often deal with the same questions. How badly am I hurt? Will I have to miss work? How much will this cost?
Whether you live in Indiana, Kentucky or anywhere in the country, there are several important steps that you must take after an accident to protect your rights and options. If you want to seek compensation for your injuries, avoiding mistakes early on is essential. Then, you can let your attorney worry about the complex legal work.
1. Call The Police
After any type of motor vehicle accident, animal attack or any type of serious accident, it is important to have a documented account of the incident. Giving a statement to the police will provide important, official documentation.
Think about all the times you have heard about someone immediately apologizing after causing a car accident, only to change his or her tune when faced with skyrocketing insurance costs. Having a police report in place will provide transparency if someone tries to change his or her story.
2. Seek Medical Attention
There are two reasons why it is so important that you get the care you need after an accident. First, your long-term health may depend on it. What you think may be a minor case of whiplash could keep you from being able to get out of bed weeks later. A hairline fracture could get worse over time. An untreated concussion could lead to serious, long-term health effects.
Second, any treatment you receive will provide crucial evidence for proving the worth of your personal injury claim. If you do not see a doctor and document your injuries, it will be easier for the defense to refute your claims. That is why you should also follow all of your doctor's treatment recommendations.
3. Talk To A Lawyer
It is difficult to recover the compensation you need on your own. Insurance companies count on being able to take advantage of you. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side will help you protect your rights and your options. Your attorney can help you determine how much your claim is worth and whether it is wise to accept a settlement or take your case to trial. It is important that you have an attorney in your corner who will fight to maximize your compensation and get you the respect you deserve.
4. Document Any Damage If Possible
Car accidents, slips and falls and other accidents often leave behind crucial evidence. But that evidence can be cleaned up. If you are able, take pictures with the camera on your phone to document as much evidence as possible. This includes skid marks, damage to vehicles and any safety hazards. If there are any witnesses, try to get their names. Your attorney will then get to work preserving evidence and working with experts to reconstruct and investigate the accident.
5. Don't Talk To The Insurance Companies
Insurance companies make a profit by limiting the amount of money they pay on claims. They are skilled at getting the information they need from clients and victims to prove that they do not owe anything. Let your attorney handle all of the interactions with insurance adjusters, and do not agree to release any medical records unless you have already talked to your lawyer.