When you are involved in an accident, so many things happen in a short period of time. Between being treated for your injuries, dealing with the insurance companies, answering questions from the police, and of course, dealing with the shock, there is a lot going on. However, if you can remember to do a few simple things, it will put you in a much better position later if you need to file a personal injury claim for your injuries.
Tip #1 — Find Witnesses
After an auto accident, having witnesses that can testify to what happened can be invaluable when building a personal injury claim. Witnesses are a big help when it comes to describing:
- The events leading up to an accident,
- How an accident occurred,
- Who was involved,
- The conditions of the scene,
- And, what took place immediately following the collision.
Tip #2 — Document Your Injuries
If you suffered injuries during a motor vehicle accident, you should take steps to ensure that all your injuries are well documented. If you are taken to a hospital or emergency facility for medical treatment, your injuries should be noted through your medical records. However, this does not preclude you from further documenting your injuries. After the incident or after you are treated, begin to thoroughly account for all your injuries. Take pictures of anything visible, like bruises, cuts, and swollen areas of the body. Additionally, take pictures of anything the doctors may have done to treat your injuries, like stitches, splints, casts, or braces. You will also want to be sure to keep a journal of your injuries and any documentation you may have, but this will be covered more in Step #4.
Tip #3 — Return to the Scene of the Accident
After you have tended to everything that immediately follows an accident, you should return to the scene as soon as possible. You want to do this to gather more evidence that supports what caused the accident and how it happened. The more evidence you gather, the better. When you return to the accident scene at a later date, you will probably notice things that you didn't notice during all the commotion. You may notice that a traffic light that wasn't working, a sign that should have let the other driver know to stop, a traffic camera that may have captured what happened, or any number of other random things. You won't really know until you go. It's important to photograph anything that you think could have contributed to the accident; so bring a camera with you. Take photos of the weather conditions, traffic signs, the amount of traffic, nearby intersections, etc. Be sure to take clear photographs and from many different angles. Again, this information may prove invaluable later in proving your injury case.
Tip #4 — Keep Everything
After your accident, you will start getting paperwork from every direction. Keep everything. Make sure to organize all the papers and documentation in a way that you can easily retrieve it later. Keep all medical records, insurance information, police reports, witnesses' information, attorney notes, and anything else that you have documentation on. This is another example of how important evidence is to building a case. If you can document something that happened or was said, you will be in that much better of a position later.
You will also want to keep track of your injuries by writing them down in a journal. Be sure to document each injury, how it is affecting you, and how it changes over time. You will also want to write down anything a doctor has told you about the injury, including prognosis, treatment, medications, etc.
For more information on how to organize your claim info, check out this article.
Tip #5 — Contact an Attorney
After you're injured in an auto collision, it's important to contact an experienced attorney who can help you get the compensation you need. Although injury claims can be handled by the individual, retaining an attorney can improve your chances and increase your settlement amount. The insurance companies deal with accidents all day, every day. They know the ins-and-outs of what to say, what to ask, and how to save their company money. Personal injury attorneys deal with accidents all the time too, but their goal is to get their client more money for their injuries. They do this by using the available evidence, knowing all the different compensation available, and at what angle to approach the situation.
It can be difficult to convey to other people—like your attorney and the insurance company—what happened during your accident and how it has affected you. After all, these individuals were not present when the accident took place. This is why it's so important to gather evidence and document the situation the best you can. Any and all information about the accident will help to paint a clearer picture of what happened, your injuries, and how it is affecting your life. This may directly lead to a bigger settlement and easier recovery for you and your family.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you deserve to be compensated for your damages. You should not have to pay the physical, emotional, and financial toll of someone else's negligence. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA specialize in investigating the accident, finding multiple angles to recover compensation, and at negotiating to get a fair settlement. We focus on the quality of representation rather than quantity of clients so that we can give them what they deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation and case evaluation at 727-451-6900 or by visiting our webpage. We look forward to hearing from you.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765