A General Guide on how to protect your rights after you’ve been injured in a car crash
Get The Medical Care You Need
- The first and most important thing for you to do once you’vebeen in a car crash is to seek the medical care you need. It is imperative that you give a complete and accurate history of the car crash and the problems you are experiencing. Make sure to give a complete list of any and all complaints. Do not exaggerate or minimize your problems. Make sure that your doctor or nurse knows whether or not any part of your body struck the interior of the vehicle during the car crash. It is extremely important that you follow up with recommended treatment and that you are compliant with your doctor’s instructions.
Do NOT Speak With The Other Driver’s Insurance Company
- Quite often, a representative of the other driver’s insurance company will attempt to contact you quickly as possible. Remember that the other driver’s insurance company has one goal in mind: to minimize what they have to pay. Despite how they might act, you are NOT their customer. Do NOT give a statement without the advice of an attorney. While you might believe you are being helpful, often the insurance company hears things from the injured party that can and will be used against them in the future. Unwittingly, you may make statements that leads the insurance company to take the position that you are comparatively at fault for the car crash or that your injuries are not that serious
Seek the Advice and Counsel of a Trial Attorney
- At the very least, as quickly as possible after the car crash and definitely before any interaction with the other driver’s insurance company, seek the advice of an attorney well versed in the area of personal injury. I would suggest that you steer clear of an attorney who only “dabbles” in personal injury. Almost all well qualified Personal Injury Trial Attorneys will offer a free consultation. During this free consultation, an experienced personal injury attorney will obtain the information from you that he or she needs to effectively prosecute your car crash claim. A good personal injury attorney will be able to tell you whether or not you have a meritorious claim. Another benefit to such a consultation is that a good personal injury lawyer will educate about the system and make you aware of what you might expect moving forward
Keep Your Attorney Up To Date AND Be Compliant With Health Care Provider Treatment Recommendations
- Nothing is worse for your own physical recovery than failing to follow through with your doctor’s treatment recommendations. When you’ve been injured in a car crash, you get one chance and one chance only to maximize your recovery. Your doctor is making recommendations to you with your best interests in mind. You should heed them. As a practical matter, as an injured party, you have a duty to mitigate your car crash damages. In other words, you have to attempt to lessen your own harms and losses by being compliant as to your care. When it does come to time for your attorney to attempt to resolve your car crash claim, nothing hurts the value of a claim more than an injured person who did not heed the instructions of his or her doctor
If You Were A Driver in the Car Crash, Contact Your Insurance Company
- If you were a driver of one of the cars involved in a car crash, it is important that you put your own automobile liability insurance company on notice of the car crash. You have an obligation to cooperate with your own insurance company. This is especially important if the other driver or passengers in the other car or your car attempt to make a claim against you. Your own insurance company will defend you as to any car crash claims made against you as long as you have put them on notice and have cooperated with them. It is also possible that you might have coverage that would help with your own medical bills.
Image used under the license of Oregon Department of Transportation and Flickr