When you have been in a car accident in Hampton Roads or anywhere else in Virginia, your first thought is probably not “what should I do to first to build my possible personal injury case?” You are more than likely worrying about injuries, your car, and/or your insurance rates. There are, however, several important steps you need to take immediately after an accident that could be crucial to any potential injury case. Here are the top seven things you should do right after you are in an automobile accident.
- The first thing you should do immediately after an automobile accident is take care of yourself and any others who might be injured! Then take pictures of BOTH damaged vehicles as well as any wounds or injuries if at all possible.
- Make no statements to anyone about injuries—current or potential. This is no time to be a “tough guy” and tell everyone how miraculously uninjured you are! Then, tonight, or tomorrow, when real pain sets in, it becomes difficult to overcome earlier super hero confessions you made at the scene. Be smart.
- You should get evaluated by a physician immediately—without exception! Even if you think you feel fine (tough guy!), or are only a little sore (super hero!), see a doctor right away. No exceptions!
- Contact your insurance company to establish a claim AND contact the other drivers’ insurance company also. You cannot assume the other party will do this.
- Document daily how you are feeling in a journal. Use a pain scale of 1-10 and detail if you felt better after taking medication. This might seem awkward (to some of you tough guy and super heroes); maybe you are not used to writing about your feelings! The truth is that this journal might prove invaluable if you have a case that goes to trial, which could be months, even years after a significant accident with injuries.
- Make and keep your treatment appointments. Yes, we know, life happens and things come up unexpectedly. If you do have to cancel an appointment, be sure to reschedule, right then! Physician’s offices keep track of everything and will write things such as “attempted to contact patient three times to reschedule. Patient dismissed from treatment.” This could prove fatal to your case!
- Lastly, talk to us—and as soon as possible! We often get calls clients from right there beside the road after an accident! We will advise you of your rights, and let you know if we think you have a viable injury case. Tell us the facts of the accident, your treatment plan if you have one yet, and show us the pictures that you took. Some cases might not need an attorney; but most do. Negotiation with insurance companies is no child’s game—they rarely play fair until they are backed into a corner.
Being in an accident can be one of the most stressful and debilitating events you’ll go through. It’s best that you take care of yourself first of course, but also that you think ahead to your future as soon as possible. An accident will often change your life, either in the short or long term, and that’s why we’re here.
If you have been in an accident or have any questions, please give us a call at 757-656-1000 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the facts of your case. At the very least, you need to know your options. Our best to you.