What To Do If You Are Injured In A Car Accident
Injured In A Car Crash? Here's What To Do.
Unless you’re a Chicago personal injury lawyer, it’s difficult to grasp all the complexities of determining fault and liability in a car accident. Add to that the stress of being injured in car accident, and it’s a daunting task that may leave you frozen in indecision. Or maybe you never had a car accident before, and you need a little direction.
To help you navigate the process, we’ve created this post on what to do if you’re injured in a car accident, so read on.
What To Do If You Were Hurt In A Car Accident
1. Ensure your safety and the safety of others
If you’ve been injured, even if it feels minor, have someone check you out at the scene. Then attend to, or find help, for anyone else that has been injured. Its important that if there is a crash in the roadway, or where other cars and pedestrians are around, that the situation is safe for you, other people in the area, and even the police officers who may come to the scene to do a police report after a car accident.
2. Gather information
At the scene of the accident and in subsequent days, gather as much information as you can. That means pictures of the scene, contact information from other drivers and witnesses, and anything else that helps paint a picture of the incident.
A witness can mean the difference of winning and losing your injury case. Good photos can tell us a lot about how the crash happened, and how hard the force of the crash was. Photos of injuries are worth a thousand words.
3. Go to a doctor
A Chicago personal injury lawyer has a much better chance of making your claims stand up in court when they have an official patient report that details your injuries when you are injured in a car accident. Even if you don’t feel like the injury is that bad, it’s very important for you to see a doctor. Should you develop a more serious injury after the accident, an opposing lawyer will try to suggest that the injury was caused by something else.
Seing a doctor after a crash is not the only thing to think about. Taking a 'break' from therapy or otherwise not seeing a doctor or other medical professional and then returning to care makes the case much harder to prove. Simply, if you miss appointments or do not keep them, it is harder to prove that you were really hurt. So please, keep your appointments and do not inrotrduce 'gaps' in your medical car after a car accident.
4. Get treatment
If you’ve been in an accident in which the other person was liable, but they aren’t paying for your care, don’t be afraid to use your insurance benefits to get folo up medical treatment. Your insurance can pursue reimbursement at a later time. Getting treatment or using your own insurance benefits (i.e. uninsured motorist coverage) does not preclude you from making a claim against the liable party. If you do not have medical insurance, don't worry. Lots of doctors will work on a 'lien' (pronounced "lean"), which means they get paid out of your injury case.
Defense attorneys and insurance companys like to point to not getting follow care. They argue that while you are claiming injuries from your car accident, it probably wasn't too bad if you ignored your doctor's advice to get an MRI, X-Ray or even get evaluated by a specialist or get some physical therapy to speed your recovery. The argument of 'they didn't follow doctor's advice' is a tough one to overcome.
5. Don’t admit liability
Whether you’re talking to the police, the insurance company, or a witness, don’t admit liability. Liability is a complicated legal concept, and until all the information is made available, it may not be clear who is liable. It basically means "whose fault was the crash?"
This also means that you should not giver a recorded statement to anyone after a crash. Wait until you talk to a lawyer first. Have your lawyer decide whether you will give a statement or not if you are injured in a car accident. If you do it without a lawyer, they will almost certainly lead you into saying something that hurts your injury claim. They are trained to do it, and they are sneaky. Don't fall into that trap.
6. Talk To A Top Car Crash Lawyer
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I offer a free consultation. I get great reviews from my current and former claims. I answer all of your questions. And if you have a case and want to proceed, I'd be happy to help you.
Have you been injured in a car accident? Do you still have questions about what your next steps should be? Talk to a Chicago personal injury lawyer today. The Law Office of Scott DeSalvo has unique experience with personal injury related to car accidents.
Give us a call at 312-500-4500 for a free consultation!