If you become injured in an accident, you may feel stunned and disoriented, but try to remember these five essential steps.
1. Seek Medical Attention
Taking care of your physical well-being should be your priority. If you are unable to care for yourself, ask someone nearby to call for an ambulance. You may think your injuries are minor, but a medical evaluation is prudent to rule out complications that may manifest later. If your injuries are severe, you will need to get a written medical report that includes a treatment plan and prognosis as soon as possible.
2. Report Immediately
If your injury occurred on someone else’s property, report your it to the owner or property manager as soon as possible. Notify the police or have someone else do this if your injury is the result of a car accident. By making your injury known to anyone that can file an official report or assume liability, you will have an easier time filing a potential insurance claim. Photographs are also helpful for documenting your accident. It is critical to only speak with anyone that is directly involved to avoid misrepresentation about the accident.
3. Get Insurance Details
You will need insurance information for anyone responsible for your accident. If your injuries require extensive medical intervention, your bills may mount, and you will not want to pay for them out-of-pocket. You may also find that you are unable to resume working. The other party’s insurance can help pay your bills when and if you can safely return to work.
4. Get Witness Details
After an accident, the police or someone else can help get the names and contact information for witnesses to your accident. This step is essential even if you don’t think your injuries are severe. If you experience complications at a later time, you may need to prove to an insurance carrier that someone else caused your accident. Do not discuss details about your injury or your accident, even with witnesses, to avoid misrepresenting what happened.
5. Seek Legal Advice
All injuries, from car accidents to slip and fall accidents, are traumatic. It is often impossible to know the long-term effects of an injury, especially when extensive medical treatment is warranted. Having a reputable personal injury attorney, who represents you to insurance companies can help you obtain a settlement that takes into account the full consequences of your injury, including emotional pain and suffering.