What to do if you are injured in a car accident

A car accident can happen so quickly that in the aftermath you may be wondering what steps you need to take. While you must make sure to get treatment for any injuries resulting from the accident as soon as possible, completing a few other steps immediately after the accident will strengthen your claim.

Call the police

When you are injured in a car accident you need to call the police. While on the phone with the dispatcher, you can let the dispatcher know you are injured. The dispatcher can send appropriate medical personnel to the scene of the accident. When the police arrive, tell the officer you wish to file a police report. A police report serves as a record of the accident and can be used later on in an accident claim.

Document the scene

If you are physically able, document the scene of the accident. If you have a cell phone, take pictures of your vehicle and any immediately apparent physical injuries. The photos can be used later on to determine compensation for injuries sustained in the accident.

Get medical treatment

Seeking medical treatment is important for your health, but it also serves the dual purpose of additional documentation for your injury claim. Keep receipts for all of your medical expenses and ask for copies of any paperwork related to your treatment. If your treatment involves visiting multiple medical professionals, make sure to have copies of any documentation or referrals.

Contact a personal injury lawyer

Consulting an experienced personal injury attorney can speed up your claim process. Avoid speaking with an insurance company without legal representation. The insurance company is focused on their bottom line and not your best interests. Do not accept an offer from an insurer without speaking to a lawyer first.

Follow the doctor’s orders

Continue medical treatment for your injuries. Keep a record of how your injuries impact your daily life, such as missed work and inability to perform activities. Make sure you are following the prescribed amount of activity and rest advised by your doctor. Failure to follow a doctor’s orders gives the insurance company leverage against your claim. You do not want them to doubt or question the severity of your injury.

The impact of a car accident can carry on long after the actual collision and some injuries can takes months to show up. Focus on treating your injuries and do not be tempted by a quick settlement offer that doesn’t fairly compensate you. If you have followed the above steps, you have a strong claim so wait it out and maximize your settlement options.

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