If involved in an auto collision, be sure to call 911 immediately. Do not allow the other driver to talk you out of calling the police. When the police arrive, ask them to make a written accident report and find out where to get a copy of the report. It is important to make written notes of the names, addresses, phone numbers and license plate numbers of all parties involved, including any witnesses to the accident. However, when speaking to the parties involved in the accident, do not admit fault or make any statements regarding injuries. Remember that a picture is worth a thousand words. Use your cell phone to take pictures of all vehicles from various angles. Photograph the accident scene including skid marks and any physical objects that the vehicles struck.
If you are injured or feel pain after the accident, see your doctor immediately. Don’t assume that just because you don’t feel instant or excruciating pain, you are not injured. Also, an insurance adjuster may argue that the failure to see a doctor immediately indicates that an injury must have occurred elsewhere and is not from the accident. Be sure to give each of your doctors a detailed explanation of exactly how your accident occurred. Be honest with the doctors about any previous accidents and injuries you have had. The doctor needs this information in order to distinguish your old injuries from your new injuries. It is important that you keep a detailed pain diary. When a person is in pain, it consumes them and it’s all they can think about.Documentation is the key to keeping an insurance company on their toes. If you have to travel to the doctor’s office, save transportation receipts and keep track of the mileage. It is important to document doctor visits and to mark down how long medical devices are needed, such as a wheelchair, walker, neck brace, etc.
Some injuries take time to develop. Many accident victims accept a fast settlement, only to find out later their injuries are far worse than they initially thought. Do not make the mistake of settling your claim before knowing the full extent of your injuries, and do not accept any checks from the insurance company that say “final payment” unless you are ready to settle your entire claim.
Some accident victims, in an attempt to avoid paying legal fees, try to represent themselves and call an attorney only after the damage has been done, such as providing statements to the insurance company. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is necessary to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries. Hiring a lawyer is easy, but hiring the right lawyer takes a little extra work. It is essential to hire a personal injury law firm that will handle your case from start to finish, will be available when you need them, and will return phone calls promptly.