Five Tips for Fortifying Injury Claims After a Car Accident
Long before the streets and highways of this country were as congested with gridlocked traffic as they are today, the thought of having an automobile accident was as remote to most drivers as experiencing a personal lightening strike. If one did have an auto accident, that driver was loath to admit it.
There was even shame associated with having a car accident and the belief that anyone involved in any kind of a car wreck was, by nature, a bad driver. That impression has perpetuated even until today, especially with older motorists – that a car accident is a rare and extraordinary event, and that drivers involved in them must be somehow deficient.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Auto accidents are about as commonplace today on our roads and highways as construction detours. As John J. Tenn, one of the personal injury attorneys at TennandTenn.com with years of experience settling auto accident cases explains, "Automobile accidents are common and costly. There are about six-million auto accidents in the country each year."
So no matter how carefully you drive, chances are you’ll be involved in an automobile accident are likely. Here are five important things to remember if you ever are.
- Get the Details Just Right
Once you’ve calmed down after the accident and made sure you’re not seriously hurt, you need to get busy gathering as many details and facts, as soon as possible, about that accident and all the people involved in it, while everything is fresh in your mind.
Get the names, licenses numbers and insurance information of all of the other accident participants and make sure you note them correctly. If you are imputing them into your smartphone, make sure you create a separate file folder first. Name that folder with the date and location of the accident so that it doesn’t get buried amongst all your other Apps.
Be mindful of the fact that these facts will end up being the base evidence that your representative will use to negotiate the best possible settlement for you.
- Call the Police
It might take a while before they arrive, but calling and waiting for the police is the best way to insure that the facts of your accident are properly detailed – a police report is the very best evidentiary record you can have of this incident.
And if another driver involved in the accident is reticent to share insurance and/or driver’s license information, stay away from that person. Then you must absolutely have the police handle all contact and communication with that driver.
- Survey the Scene
Once you have the pertinent information, try to carefully step back from the accident scene and survey what has just happened. See if you can talk to any people in the vicinity who might have witnessed the accident.
If they seem cooperative and are willing to express an opinion that mitigates your fault in the event, see if you can get them to agree to act as a witness on your behalf. If so, make sure you detail all of their contact information correctly and add that information to your accident file.
- Take Some Pictures
As the old saying goes: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” There is nothing better months after an accident, when all parties are trying to negotiate a settlement, than clear pictures form the accident scene, taken right after the event has happened.
Make sure you save these pictures in the folder that you created for this accident so they do not get lost amid all of your personal shots and selfies. These pictures are evidence. They are important.
- Go to Your Doctor
Schedule an appointment with your personal care physician (PCP) as soon as you possibly can after your accident. Be sure to share any unusual pains or physical anomalies with your physician, no matter how trivial they may seem to you at the time. These little issues may very well get worse with time.
Your PCP will most likely schedule an appointment with an orthopedist and/or a soft tissue injury specialist. They will probably schedule MRI sessions to scan suspected areas where injuries from rapid deceleration present themselves most commonly; like in the lower back, the neck and the shoulders.
Make sure you follow therapy recommendations as closely as possible, for soft tissue injuries from car accidents, if not treated properly and completely when first diagnosed can lead to serious physical complications later on in your life.