Nobody likes to be rushed. And if you’ve just been in a car wreck, possibly caused by a driver who was rushing a bit too much, you may be in no hurry to do anything.
But time is a vital consideration in many car wreck scenarios. There are actions you need to take in order to protect your health, preserve your rights, and contain the damage. Dealing with repair shops, paperwork, and insurance companies can be a burden, sure — but procrastination can make an inconvenient situation much worse. Here are several steps every accident victim needs to consider in the immediate aftermath of a crash that can greatly improve your chances of physical and financial recovery.
SEEK MEDICAL HELP
Many people decline to get checked out by paramedics or other medical personnel after an accident, insisting they’re fine or were just “shook up.” But certain injuries from a collision, such as a head injury or whiplash, may not be apparent right away. Don’t put off medical treatment just because the symptoms are delayed. Even if you turn down an ambulance trip to the emergency room because you’re worried about the expense or have no catastrophic injuries, it makes sense to go see a doctor — preferably that same day — to receive proper care.
Getting checked out is the smart thing to do, not only for your health, but for any claim you may end up making down the line. Insurance companies have been known to use a delay in care to try to justify reducing the value of your claim.
DOCUMENT THE ACCIDENT
Safety is the first priority after any collision — seeking medical attention, moving vehicles to a location away from dangerous traffic, and so on. But it’s also critical not to put off the next logical steps: getting the police involved, filing collision report, and contacting your insurance company.
The police will investigate the circumstances of the crash, and the evidence they gather can be important in determining who’s at fault. The traffic accident report will prove useful in nailing down facts that might be contested later. In addition, you may be able to do some evidence-gathering of your own, from exchanging insurance information with the other driver to gathering contact information for witnesses before they leave the scene and taking photos of the damage involved and the scene surrounding the accident.
TALK TO AN ATTORNEY
It’s surprising how many accident victims wait weeks, even months, before consulting an attorney about the accident. This, too, is an area where procrastination can hurt you.
Seeing an attorney in the immediate wake of an accident doesn’t commit you to filing a lawsuit; it doesn’t obligate you in any way. But it does set in motion a process that helps protect any claim you might make down the line. The need for speed in enlisting legal help is why Franklin D. Azar & Associates has professionals available 24/7, at night and even on weekends, to provide no-obligation, free consultations to accident victims.
Why is it a good idea to have a personal injury lawyer on board ASAP? For one thing, a specialist in personal injury law will know what actions to take right away to preserve evidence that might otherwise get lost. For another, the case may need additional investigation, beyond what the police chose to do; the longer you wait, the more likely it is that witnesses will be hard to locate and recall will get muddled. There may be disputes over liability, an issue over a defective car part or whether the other driver carried adequate insurance, or a dispute with your own insurance company over coverage — all pieces of the puzzle that may require an attorney’s resources and skills.
As the case progresses, an experienced accident lawyer will know how to assess the ways the car wreck has affected your life, including medical expenses and lost time from work, and how to negotiate with the insurance company to obtain fair compensation for your losses. And, in any accident case, there are time limits for when a lawsuit can be filed — another reason to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney early in the process so that you can receive professional assistance in pursuing your claim.
THE CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS AT FDAZAR
For more than thirty years the attorneys at Franklin D. Azar & Associates have helped thousands of injured people obtain complete and timely compensation for their losses. Our proven track record and expertise have allowed us to grow into the largest personal-injury law firm in Colorado, with offices in Denver, Greenwood Village, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo. If you’ve been injured in a bus, car, truck, or motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Please call the car accident attorneys at FDAzar day or night at 720-372-2824 or contact us here for a free consultation and no-obligation evaluation of your case.