What Steps Should I Take If I Have Been Injured In An Auto Accident?
Being involved in an automobile accident can be very scary, especially if you are injured. The first steps a person takes after being involved in an accident can affect the reimbursement that is received from the insurance company if you file a claim.
First, seek medical attention immediately. Even if you were not seriously injured. Symptoms can appear many days after an accident, such as pain, discomfort, dizziness or numbness.
Getting medical attention immediately is not only good for your health and well-being, it also strengthens your personal injury claim.
If you wait too long to seek medical treatment after an accident, it may be harder to prove your injuries were caused as a result of the car accident.
It is also a good idea to keep a journal or diary of your injuries and medical care providers who treated you after the accident. You should be specific and include all details of your injuries, i.e. how you feel, how much pain you are experiencing and how the injuries limited the daily activities you were doing before the injury. For example, maybe you exercised or went hiking every day and now you are not able to.
Additionally, it is very important to document first and last names of doctors, medical professionals, telephone calls, medical appointment dates, times and locations, and every form of correspondence you have during the course of your treatment.
You will need to keep all receipts for prescriptions, co-pays for medical appointments, special foods and medical equipment purchased. Also, keep track of travel expenses to and from medical appointments.
You will want to take photographs of your injuries and any property damage to your vehicle. It is also a good idea to take photographs of the accident scene. If you are unable to do it yourself, have a family member or friend take the photographs.
You may need to provide proof of lost wages, so keep track of how long you are off work.
Should I Notify My Insurance Company About An Auto Accident?
You should notify your insurance company after the accident. Although you are not responsible for notifying the other driver’s insurance company, if you have the insurance information you can provide it to your insurance company.
Why Is It Critical To Follow Doctor’s Orders And Keep Scheduled Doctor’s Appointments In An Auto Accident Claim?
I cannot stress enough how important it is to a personal injury claim to follow your doctor’s treatment plan and not to miss doctor’s appointments. If you do not follow the doctor’s orders or treatment and miss appointments, it will affect your personal injury claim and the amount of any settlement you may be entitled to at the time.
Gaps in care are when you go for a period of time and do not attend your scheduled appointments or continue your medical treatment.
Insurance companies will look at these aspects of your medical care and may determine that your injuries are not related to the accident if there was a significant “gap” in your medical treatment. This would have a negative effect on the amount of damages you could claim and significantly lower any settlement offer from the insurance company.
How Long Do Auto Accident Claims Typically Take To Get Resolved?
The length of time to resolve a personal injury case varies. It depends on the severity of the injuries you incurred. Typically, the case can be resolved within one year or less, however, you do not want to resolve your personal injury claim until you have completed all medical treatment and have been released by your treating physician.
For more information on Steps To Take After An Auto Accident, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (623) 428-8203 today.
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