YOU’VE HAD AN AUTO ACCIDENT. WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PROTECT YOURSELF?
Although an individual injured in an auto accident needs professional help – medical and legal - there are personal decisions and actions that will help make sure the victim has the best possible outcome.
The auto accident victim needs to obtain good photographs of the damage to the vehicles and identify witnesses. Photographs are important in documenting the severity of the accident
It is best not to talk to the negligent driver’s insurance company without legal counsel. Immediately after the trauma of a car crash none of us is necessarily careful about what we say, and a negligent driver’s insurance company will take this opportunity to document statements to use against the victim.
Obtain a police report and analyze all available insurance policies to determine amounts of coverage and types of coverage available. Sometimes the negligent driver will not have enough coverage to cover the victim’s damages and the victim’s own policies can be drawn upon.
The personal injury victim needs to be sure that their injuries receive proper medical attention, diagnosis, and treatment from qualified physicians. Too many victims procrastinate, and later learn that long delays in getting diagnosis and treatment creates doubt about whether they were injured in the auto accident. When the personal injury victim is in pain and has physical limitations but do not have a physician documenting the condition, the negligent driver’s insurance company will use the lack of medical documentation to argue that the victim was not injured. In addition, prompt medical attention is wise.
Too many personal injury victims seek chiropractic treatment. Insurance companies and jurors highly discount chiropractic treatment, with a belief that chiropractic opinions carry no weight and have low credibility.
If the personal injury victim is missing time from work, or losing profits, he or she needs to be sure that the documentation of such loss is obtained and preserved. They should make sure their superiors at work know why they are missing work.
Injury caused by auto accidents is the most common reason victims seek personal injury attorneys. The insurance company of the negligent driver that caused the personal injury will have professionals and lawyers immediately begin working to prevent the victim from recovering damages. Most important of all, the victim needs a board-certified personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to guide the victim, preserve evidence, investigate, and protect the victim’s rights and opportunity for recovery of damages.