The days after a car accident is an extremely difficult time in your life and that of your family. You are dealing with stressful health and financial challenges and might feel helpless. The more serious your injuries, the worse financial difficulties you may face. One of your first thoughts is how you will make it financially while recovering and dealing with the expenses of the car accident.
If you are reading this, chances are that you have suffered a physical injury that has you considering whether to contact an attorney. The days after the car accident can seem chaotic in many respects. There is much to do when you have the least capacity and knowledge about how to do it. Hiring a car accident lawyer can help bring some order to your situation and give you a plan for seeking financial compensation.
An experienced attorney can represent you in taking the necessary steps to get financial compensation. There are no assurances whatsoever of a settlement check. Much depends on what you do after the accident and how you present the facts of your car accident.
You may have received treatment at the scene of the car accident or been advised to go straight to the emergency room afterward. The exact scope and extent of your injuries may not be apparent in the immediate days following your car accident injuries.
First, there may be swelling at the site of the injury, making it difficult for doctors to get a close look at the affected area and tell you a prognosis. It may take time for the immediate trauma to subside and to understand whether there was any long-term damage.
In addition, some car accident injuries do not even show symptoms at all right after the crash. For example, if you were in a rear-end crash, you may have suffered a common condition called whiplash. When the force of the accident causes your head to snap forward, you may suffer injuries to your head and neck. Although the injury occurs at the time of the accident, it may take some time for you to notice it.
Here are some injuries that may not show symptoms immediately after a car accident:
Even if you feel okay after a car accident, it does not mean you are okay. You should err on the side of caution and see a doctor to get a clean bill of health. Your visit can help you by bringing to light serious injuries that you may not have known that you suffered. The worst that happens is that you spend some time looking after your health, which is a worthwhile investment.
You will need to see the necessary doctors after your car accident to have your injuries diagnosed and follow all their treatment recommendations.
Seek medical care after a car crash because:
Your physical condition may keep you from engaging in the administrative and legal matters that arise after a car accident. Even if you were in the physical or mental shape to deal with these matters, you should not attempt to do so on your own. There is too much at stake for you to try to deal with issues where you may be out of your element.
You will also need to take the first steps in the legal process in the days after a car accident. This time is very crucial in your legal case, and you should not waste any, no matter your physical condition. The legal process does not wait for you to recover fully.
The immediate concern is that you only have a limited amount of time to gather the physical evidence necessary to prove that someone else was at fault for your accident. You cannot get financial compensation unless you can prove that someone else was negligent. However, proof requires actual evidence to show the insurance company what happened.
Your word alone is usually not enough to demonstrate liability in a car accident. You may have witnesses who saw what happened and can testify about their observations. However, their recollections may fade over time, or they may be more difficult to track down.
Physical evidence begins to disappear quickly, often when the accident scene gets cleared. You may still qualify for financial compensation even if you did not get detailed pictures of the scene of the accident and all the evidence you needed at the time. However, your lawyer needs to move quickly to assemble the case because evidence gets harder to obtain over time.
It may become more difficult to contact witnesses or learn about what happened by observing the place where the accident happened. As soon as you hire an attorney, they will begin to secure the evidence you need in your possession, so they can include it with an eventual claim.
Even before you start building a case, you may not successfully elude the other driver’s insurance company. Each driver will report the accident to their own insurance company. They may describe the factual circumstances in their report. Knowing what happened, the responsible driver’s insurance company may try to accelerate matters to try to protect itself. Adjusters may have an idea that they owe you a large amount of money and need to do something to cut their own financial tab.
You can expect to at least get a phone call from the other driver’s insurance company in the days after the accident. This call is one that you should be very hesitant about accepting. They aim to do whatever is possible to get you on the record about the accident. They may try to ask you to give a formal statement, which is never something that you should do under any circumstances, as it is a recipe for disaster.
What might happen is that the insurance company will lock you into a position and try to take everything that you say out of context. One word here and there can present problems for your case and make your claim much more of a fight than it otherwise should have been. Never underestimate what an insurance company may do to save itself.
Equally risky is any type of conversation with the insurance company. They may try to ask you seemingly harmless questions outside the formalities of a recorded statement. Even a question as innocent-sounding as “How are you?” can pose dangers when you answer “Okay” or “Fine.” When you file a claim, the insurance company will then argue that you are not as injured as you say.
If the insurance company tries to contact you, politely decline to speak with them. The problem is that they may be persistent and find different ways to try to speak with you. When dealing with stress and physical problems, your guard may not be up as much as it should.
Another thing the insurance company may do once they learn of your identity is to begin tracking you on social media. If you have posted anything online about the accident, the insurance company may have access to it and try to use it in your case.
Even if you delete a post, there may be a way for the insurance company to gain access to it. They can certainly obtain your social media activity in the future if you file a lawsuit later and it goes to discovery. After the accident, you should simply remain as quiet as possible and not say anything publicly.
There are things that you can and must do in the days after the accident. Besides taking care of your physical health as described above, you should also begin to speak with prospective attorneys. The sooner you get legal help, the less you have to worry about some of the risks described above and making a mistake that can harm your case.
Once you hire an attorney, the insurance company will need to speak with them about your case. If they try to speak with you, all you need to do is refer them to your attorney. Your lawyer is often your shield, keeping everything else away from you.
You should seek out a free consultation as soon as you can after a car accident. If you are not in the physical shape to speak with an attorney, your family should contact one. An attorney may come to where you are to make it easier for you to have the conversation.
Speaking to an attorney is not something you can afford to put off until a later date. The longer you wait, the harder your case may become. You might want to meet with more than one attorney so you have a basis for comparison between lawyers to hire the best one for your case. It does not cost you anything to talk to a lawyer in an initial consultation. Ideally, you should decide which attorney to hire to preserve valuable time when much of the crucial work on your case happens.
At this point, you will begin to prepare your personal injury claim after reviewing your legal options with your attorney. Your lawyer should have explained how you may qualify for financial compensation and how your case may unfold.
You may have made some initial decisions about how to proceed in the early stages of your case. Everything begins when you sign a representation agreement with the attorney, making them your lawyer in your car accident case. That is the attorney’s “marching orders” that will get them started on your claim.
You do not need to file a claim immediately right after the accident. It is better to take time to let your attorney do their job before you approach the insurance company. You want the strongest claim possible that clearly shows why you deserve financial compensation and explains the basis of your monetary demands. If you rush the claim or make any mistakes, it can cloud your legal picture and affect your rights.
You have the right to work closely with your lawyer right after the accident, and you should do whatever is necessary. You can make your attorney’s job easier while they make your life easier. However, not every car accident victim has the capacity to assist their attorney and actively work on their case. Your attorney can handle matters if you cannot help, as they have worked with seriously injured car accident victims in the past. The important thing is that you make the phone call to an attorney today.
Never let your health or financial concerns stop you from seeking the legal help you need. Injury attorneys will travel to meet you at the hospital or speak with you over the phone or video calls. You owe nothing to have an attorney evaluate your rights, so never hesitate to ask a lawyer to start a car accident claim for you.