Four Important Tips Following an Auto Accident When Legal Claims are Likely
Being involved in a car accident is usually extremely overwhelming and confusing. You are forced to remember the proper documentation steps of an accident, while also attempting to ensure that everyone is safe, at the same time. This often leads to forgotten details or paperwork. Unfortunately, the steps that you take following a car accident are important and crucial in submitting a legal claim. If you or your passenger were injured in an auto accident, it is important to remember the following steps.
Ensure safety first
Safety, of both vehicles, should always be a priority. Switching paperwork or filing a police report should only come after medical care is called. The safety of every driver and passenger involved should be evaluated. If emergency care is needed, this should be a priority. The rest can be taken care of later. If the car accident was severe, it might be smart to call for an ambulance, even if everyone feels okay. Car accidents can lead to medical problems and symptoms that do not show up until much later.
In fact, traumatic brain injuries are one of these types of car accident related injuries that do not often show symptoms until much later. An estimated 1.7 million people sustain a TBI (traumatic brain injury) annually. Of them, 52,000 die, 275,000 are hospitalized, and 1.365 million, nearly 80% are treated and released from the emergency department. If any passenger suffered a head injury, it is best to be checked out by a professional medical provider.
Keep all documents related to the car accident
It may be difficult to keep track of the appropriate steps following your car accident, especially if you are focused on getting someone proper medical care. As a general rule, try to keep every piece of document that you are provided. This way, you do not have to even pay attention to the documents until later. Your car accident attorney can go through the paperwork and decide what is helpful and what can be disposed of. These documents could be an important part of receiving just compensation for your car accident related injuries.
Obtain physician notes ahead of time
One of the most difficult claims to get compensation for following a car accident is estimated medical costs. Severe injuries such as TBI often require a lifetime of medical care. Although most insurance companies will agree that future medical care is likely, the exact amount can be difficult to come to an agreement on. For this reason, it can be helpful to have physician notes. Physicians are seen as an expert on the matter and are often familiar with the specific patient?s case. They can usually give the best estimation of future expected medical costs.
Don?t go into debt filing for compensation
Although compensation is owed when another driver injures you or a passenger, do not go into debt attempting to claim these funds. Choosing an attorney that works on retainers can be a mistake, financially. Instead, it might be better to go with a bodily injury attorney that is only paid, if and when, you win your case. It is never a good idea to risk your financial situation to receive funding. For this reason, it is important to carefully consider who your car accident lawyer will be, as lawsuits can get very expensive. The annual cost of civil lawsuits to the U.S. economy is $239 billion (Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 2015).
Auto accidents are fairly common in the United States. In fact, in the U.S. over 37,000 people die in road crashes each year and an additional 2.35 million are injured or disabled. While receiving just compensation for an auto accident, receiving immediate medical care is more important. You can worry about the legal charges and claims later. Just hold onto everything and let your car accident attorney deal with it.