What To Do After a Car Accident
Important: Always call 911 immediately after a car accident.
Immediately following a car accident, you may experience shock as you process the traumatic event that just occurred. You should call 911 as quickly as possible, if you are able, and get a medical examination by first responders. Even if you are cleared to leave the scene without seeking further medical attention, check in with your primary care doctor within a few days of the accident, especially if you are experiencing any unusual symptoms. Some of the most common car accident injuries may worsen in the hours following the car accident. Here is what you need to know.
Follow Medical Instructions
During your first medical examination following a car accident, heed any advice of healthcare providers. If an EMT recommends you visit the hospital, it is best to do so. Car accidents can cause serious brain injuries and internal injuries, which you may not immediately see. Even if the doctors send you home, be sure to follow any instructions to monitor your health, including having someone wake you up at intervals during the night.
Common car accident injuries include traumatic brain injuries, whiplash, neck or back injuries, broken ribs, and scrapes and cuts. While you are likely to notice superficial injuries right away, many neck, back and head injuries become clear in time. For example, you may wake up the following morning with neck pain that was not there before.
If you are experiencing any discomfort or symptoms of a concussion or other injury in the days following the accident, seek medical care. Keep track of any symptoms to provide doctors with all possible information to diagnose any injuries and tell the doctor that you were in a recent car accident.
Document Symptoms, Treatments and Medical Bills
It is important to document symptoms, diagnoses and treatments if you are interested in pursuing a lawsuit. Medical bills and the cost of treatments can often factor into the settlement you are awarded in a lawsuit. If the accident was not your fault, the other driver’s insurance may offer you a payment. If that payment covers your medical expenses, it is unlikely that you will be able to win a case for additional money. However, if you had a hospital visit or stay, physical therapy and follow-up doctor visits, it is likely that the insurance payout will be far less than you need to cover your medical expenses.
You should also document other potential evidence, such as lost wages, auto repair bills and photos from the scene of the accident. Keep documentation of anything that cost you money or lost you money due to the accident for potential use.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you think you want to pursue legal action, reach out to a personal injury lawyer. It is best to choose a lawyer that has some experience handling cases involving car accidents and can offer some advice on whether or not you have a valid case. An experienced lawyer will tell you whether your case has a shot of winning in court and the evidence you would need to prove your case.
If you have been injured in a car accident, call the law firm of James F. Humphreys & Associates, L.C. for a free consultation. The consultation carries no obligation for you to retain a lawyer for your case and can help you to understand your legal options. Complete the contact form or call the office at 304-303-5510.