Nobody enjoys thinking about car accidents and possible injuries, but knowing what to do in such a situation could help you recover compensation if you decide to file a lawsuit following a wreck. According to the United States Census Bureau, nearly 11 million accidents occur on American roads each year. At least one-third of these collisions result in injuries.
Injuries are expensive-even more so if you cannot return to work during rehabilitation. There is also the trauma to consider, which can affect your mental and emotional well-being. If you are in this situation because of another person’s negligent driving, call Jaroslawicz & Jaros, PLLC at 212.227.2780. A personal-injury attorney in New York City can assess your case and offer valuable legal guidance. In the meantime, read on to find out what to do immediately following an accident:
- Gather Evidence
If your injuries allow it, document the scene for later use as evidence. Take pictures of your vehicle, your injuries, the other car’s damage and the position of all vehicles involved. Take notes of your injuries, and talk to witnesses at the scene. Do not forget to gather their contact details. Most people have cellphones with cameras nowadays, which you can use to photograph evidence, and you can add witnesses to your contact list. As a backup, you should always have a pencil, paper and disposable camera stashed in the glove box.
- Avoid Admitting Fault
Regardless of whether you are injured or not, it is always wise to avoid implicating yourself at the scene of the accident. Do not apologize because others may construe it as admitting fault. Be polite and help others with their injuries, but refrain from saying anything that people can use against you later in court. Instead, wait for investigators to make their own conclusions without your encouragement. You may make a statement to law enforcement officials, but do not stray from the facts, and be mindful of inadvertently implying fault. If you do not know what to say, ask if you can first treat your injuries. This will give you time to construct your statement and call a lawyer.
- Accept Medical Treatment
Even if you consider your injuries minor, get medical care. A doctor will check for injuries you may be unaware of, and many injuries only become evident a few days later, after the adrenaline from the accident stops hiding your symptoms. Report every slight injury, including the following examples:
- Confusion or disorientation
- Ear discharge
- Anything odd about your physical or mental state
There are two major downsides of declining medical treatment. First, the other party can argue that your injuries occurred at another time and are unrelated to the accident. Second, insurance companies may attempt to diminish the severity of your injuries, claiming that they did not even require medical attention. You should consider hiring an attorney to fight for compensation for your injuries on your behalf. A personal-injury lawyer can protect your interests, deal with the paperwork and handle law enforcement officers, as well as the insurance company representatives. Jaroslawicz & Jaros, PLLC can develop your case while you recuperate from the accident. Call 212.227.2780 for a free legal consultation.