Action Steps That Should Be Taken After An Accident
Below is a list of action steps an injured person should take after an accident:
- If you are physically able, call 911 from the scene. The investigating police officer will document the accident, review the scene, and hopefully speak with witnesses.
- Get the contact information from any witnesses.
- If you are physically able; take photographs of the accident scene, and all cars involved in the accident. Most phones have a camera, if your phone doesn't have a camera, you should keep a disposable camera in the glove box. Professional drivers always keep cameras in their vehicles.
- If paramedics arrive on the scene, let them evaluate
- If you feel that you are injured at the scene, allow the paramedics to transport you to the hospital. If you hate ambulances, go to the hospital or doctor within 24 hours.
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
- Follow your doctor's advice and treatment schedule. Do not withhold information regarding prior accidents or injuries. Insurance companies have the ability to find out if you have been in another accident.
- Many patients feel rushed when they go to the doctor. It is best to make a list of your symptoms, complaints and questions for the doctor before you arrive for your appointment. If your problems are not documented in the doctor's record, it will be difficult to prove that you were injured in the accident. There is nothing worse for a case than a note from a family doctor one week after the accident that does not even mention the accident or injuries.
- If you are not able to work because of the injury, be sure to discuss this with your doctor.
- If you are not able to work, make sure the doctor supports your decision.
- Consult an experienced personal injury attorney even if you don't think you want to make a claim. Most personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation. All conversations with the attorney are protected by the attorney-client privilege even if you don't hire that attorney.
- Be honest with your lawyer, it is much better to learn of a weakness in a case in the beginning as compared to the middle of trial.
- Direct all insurance company calls to your attorney.
- Keep a calendar or diary of the dates of your medical treatment so you can provide this information to your attorney.