Being in a car accident can be incredibly frightening, especially if it causes a personal injury. It is important to keep calm and to follow specific steps to ensure that your rights are protected and you get the compensation you deserve. If you were in a car accident that resulted in bodily injury, continue reading to learn how to proceed.
Document the accident
If you were injured in any way, it is important to document everything you can while you’re still at the scene of the accident. This way, you have proof of what happened if you go to court. As soon as you get out of your car, make sure to:
- Identify and get the names of the police officers who were called to the scene of the accident. The cops may be used as witnesses when settling your case down the road.
- Take photos of the damage to your car, the other car, any other property, and to your person.
- Ask for a copy of the police report.
- Talk to witnesses and ask for contact information.
- Exchange contact information and insurance with the other parties involved in the accident.
Get medical attention right away
You may think you should wait to get checked out by a doctor until after your case is filed, but this can be detrimental to your health and your legal claims. You need to see a doctor as soon as possible to ensure your health is taken care of, even if you feel fine now, because it is not uncommon for symptoms to show up a few weeks after the accident.
Getting medical attention quickly is the best way to strengthen your personal injury claim. If you wait too long, it may be hard for you to prove your injuries were the result of the accident, and opposing lawyers will certainly attempt to claim otherwise. So if you experience feelings of numbness, pain, discomfort, or dizziness, call a doctor as soon as possible.
It is also important not to settle when it comes to your health. Do not settle until your medical treatment is completed, as you will not know the complete sum of your injuries until they are as healed as can be.
Take detailed notes
You want to strengthen your claim by taking notes of everything which happens to you during your healing process. This means you want to take a detailed account of your symptoms, your doctor’s appointments and treatments, and save your medical bills. Keep all receipts, make note of all travel expenses for medical appointments, and make of list of all special assistance you need like crutches, special food, or braces and casts. Also, print out copies of all correspondence you have with doctors, insurance agencies, and anything related to your car and its maintenance.
Do not admit fault
In order to strengthen your case, do not speak unless your legal counsel is present. You do not need to speak to anyone besides the police officers, and that only means you have to recount what happened at the scene of the accident. Any other correspondence you need to have, from insurance agencies to the other party’s legal representation, can be done by a Bakersfield car accident lawyer who is well-versed in local laws.
Lastly, do not cave into pressure to not file a police report. Doing so may hurt your chances of legitimacy when it comes to filing a personal injury claim, so when it doubt, make sure that report has been filed. It is important to follow all of these steps to ensure your rights are protected when it comes to your health after a car accident.