You were traveling on SR 39 or SR 35 in LaPorte and another driver cut you off causing a crash. You just left LaPorte Hospital, you can't drive your car, and you have no idea how you are going to get to work. You are wondering if you need a LaPorte car accident lawyer to assist you with your claim. Here are three actions steps that you should take:
3 Steps To Follow After a LaPorte Car Accident
Step 1: Report the Claim
Call your insurance agent or insurance company and report the claim. Whether you caused the accident or not, you have a responsibility under your insurance policy to report the claim. When you speak to your company these are the questions that you should ask:
- Do I have collision coverage? If so, how much is my deductible?
- Do I have medical payments coverage? If so, how much coverage do I have?
- Do I have rental coverage?
Knowing the answers to these three questions will go a long way to relieving your stress.
If you have rental coverage, you do not need to worry about getting to work because you will be able to rent a car. If you have medical payments coverage, you have available insurance to pay for some or all of your medical treatment. If you have collision coverage, your insurance company can work on getting your car fixed or totaled. If the accident wasn't your fault, your insurance company will get the money it paid for your car back from the other insurance, and the other driver's insurance company will reimburse your deductible.
Some folks are hesitant about going through their own insurance company after an accident that is not their fault because they believe the insurance company will raise their rates. This is a common myth that is not true. If you were not at fault for the accident, your insurance company will not raise your insurance rates or cancel your insurance.
Step 2: Get Medical Attention
If you have the slightest bit of discomfort, it is best to get checked out by your doctor or local hospital. There are many facilities in LaPorte County where you can go. You can go to IU LaPorte Hospital in downtown LaPorte, Beacon(Franciscan) partnership in downtown Laporte or Franciscan St. Anthony in Michigan City. If you do not want to go the hospital, then you can go to an urgent care facility. There are urgent care facilities in LaPorte and Michigan City. Finally, you can go and see your family doctor. Some family doctors will see you after an accident and some will not, so when you call let them know.
There are at least two benefits to getting examined. First, you may have an injury underneath the surface that will be discovered before it gets too serious.
- Talk and Die Syndrome: If you hit your head in a car accident, one of the most devastating type of injuries can be a subdural hematoma (a bleed in the brain). The problem with this condition is there are no immediate signs and symptoms. The injury victim will feel shaken up but will be able to walk, talk and answer questions appropriately. The problem is that the symptoms do not start until the pressure in the head from the bleeding increase to a point and many times the point is too late. At this time, the injured person starts to show stroke like signs including headache, nausea, vomiting and/or loss of balance. Many times at this point it is too late. This is one of the reasons that emergency room doctor's almost always order a CT of the head if a patient give a history of hitting their head or complains of a headaches after a car wreck.
Second, if you plan on making a claim for your injuries, the insurance company will look to see when you first reported an injury. The longer you wait to get medical attention after your LaPorte car accident, the more difficult it will be to make a personal injury claim.
Step 3: Document Everything
You know the saying, “a picture speaks a thousands words”, this is so true when you are injured in an accident. Make sure that you take pictures of the vehicles involved, the scene of the accident, and any visible injuries that you may have. With a few days, this documentation can be destroyed and later on if you need it prove your claim, you will not have it. Once your car or truck is fixed, if you don't have pictures, you will not be able to prove the impact involved in the crash. Also, if you have bruising from your seatbelt and you forgot to photograph the bruising, once it is healed it is gone forever.
Documenting everything about your LaPorte car or truck accident is one of the most important things you will do. Nobody wants to be injured in an accident, but if you follow these 3 simple steps, you will go a long way to preserving your ability to make a claim.
If you have any questions about a LaPorte car accident, you can call Guy DiMartino Law at (219) 690-8897.