The unthinkable has just happened–you were involved in a car accident. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed, scared, upset, confused, or even angry. Take a deep breath, we’re here to help you take stock of the situation with the following information.
First, assess whether or not you are hurt. Remember, symptoms of a serious injury are not always immediately apparent. Many times, people involved in car accidents don’t even know they have been injured. According to an article published on Nolo’s website, one reason for this is that your “body responds to pain signals and the stress of your accident by producing morphine-like hormones called endorphins. Endorphins (and adrenaline) mask the pain until your body and mind have had time to recover from the stress of the accident” (2017). Common symptoms of an injury are pain, numbness, and/or dizziness. These and other symptoms can occur quickly, several days, or even weeks, after an accident.
Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible for the following two major reasons:
The longer you wait after the car accident, the more difficult it will be to prove to your insurance company that any injuries you sustained were the result of the car crash.
You put your health and well-being at higher risk the longer you go without receiving medical attention.
NOTE: in any emergency situation (especially life-threatening or severe injury), you should always seek immediate emergency assistance.
Take pictures (with a smartphone) of any bruises, cuts, scrapes, or other visible injuries as proof for your insurance company
Document any pain or other symptoms as proof of injury.
Once you see your doctor, be sure to document medical expenses―both immediate and ongoing―as evidence for the car insurance company or your personal injury attorney.
When you review your records, pay attention to the description of your car accident. Did the responding officer and/or doctor get it right when describing the accident, or did he misunderstand the facts? Insurance adjusters and defense lawyers who are on the other driver’s side will use any inconsistencies to try to prove that the accident didn’t happen the way you say it did.
Lastly, it is important to note that insurance companies will often try to offer victims of an accident a settlement before the victim can grasp the extent of his or her injuries, and what kind of ongoing care they will need. Contact Reservitz Law today; we’re here to fight for your rights and protect your interests against the insurance company while you focus on your recovery.