Hello again. Bet you couldn’t wait for this —
As promised, here are the five additional steps you must take if you’re involved in a car accident.
In Part One I discussed the importance of getting the pertinent information on all parties involved; the need of having a police officer present to document the accident; how important it is to get medical care for your injuries as soon as possible; how you must report your accident to your insurance company; and how important it is to not say too much when speaking with an insurance adjuster.
These five steps are critical and timely, all occurring within the first minutes and hours after your car accident.
The following steps are just as critical but are often spread out over the weeks and months following your car accident.
- Do not let your injuries get worse. Often after a collision, sneaking, nagging pains can show up in your back, neck or shoulders. You may be tempted to tough it out, ignoring your pain and distress. Assuming your injuries will improve on their own can drastically diminish your chances of full recovery. If you delay treatment, your injuries become harder to treat. Even worse, the insurance company may question whether the crash caused your injuries. It is safer to go to the doctor immediately after the crash, even if you are not in immediate pain.
- Contact an attorney. Personal injury laws are complicated. Having the right attorney on your side can help you get the medical care you need to treat your injuries and full compensation. The right legal team can be your “quarterback” to see that you reach maximum medical improvement and then receive full financial compensation for your injuries and losses. The right attorney can often arrange for you to see the medical specialist you need with no out-of-pocket costs for you.
- Be sure and attend all your scheduled appointments with your medical team. Once you and a doctor have a treatment plan, stick to it. Attend your appointments and avoid rescheduling whenever possible. Skipping a follow-up appointment can delay your recovery and sends a message to the insurance company that your injuries may not be that severe after all. Regular treatment maximizes your medical improvement and gives you the best chance of settling favorably with the insurance company.
- Never post about your accident or your recovery on social media. In fact, just don’t post at all until your claim settles. Posting a picture of the damages and letting your friends know you are okay can open your account to a subpoena. If this happens, an insurance company can comb through all your posts and private messages. They will look for anything that might suggest fault in the crash, or that your injuries are not as serious as you claim.
- Lastly, don’t wait until it’s too late. You have a limited amount of time from the date of your injury to file a personal injury claim. Waiting to file your claim, waiting to contact an attorney, or waiting to see a doctor can have a devastating impact on your personal injury claim.
Well, there you have it folks. If you follow the advice I’ve laid out in this post and the one prior, you give yourself the best possible chance of getting better physically and getting full compensation for your injuries and losses.
If you or someone you love has been recently injured in a car accident and if you have any additional questions, please reach out to our offices today 703-854-9288 or 301-298-8383.
My dedicated staff will be happy to answer your questions and help in every way they can.
Be Safe, and NEVER text while driving
Attorney Paul Samakow