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  • First Steps Following A Personal Injury Auto Accident

    First Steps Following A Personal Injury Auto Accident

    Being involved in a personal injury auto accident can be a scary experience, but it's important to keep calm. Seek medical attention immediately and do not do anything that could jeopardize your car insurance claim.

    Steps to Take After the Auto Accident

    If you have been injured in an auto accident, you should remember the following steps:

    1) Don't Admit Fault

    Do not admit fault for the accident―not to the other party, your passengers, the police, witnesses, or your auto insurance agent. Even if you suspect you may have been at least partially to blame for the accident, do not admit wrongdoing.

    Your perception of the event could easily be altered by your emotional state, so it's best not to settle claims until you're able to think clearly. Focus on getting the medical treatment you need and let your car insurance company handle the other details.

    2) Seek Medical Attention

    See a doctor immediately. Although you may feel fine now or think your injuries aren't very serious, symptoms such as pain, discomfort, dizziness, or numbness may appear in the days following the accident.

    It is best to get checked by a medical professional immediately. If you wait too long to seek medical attention, it will be harder to prove that your injuries are the result of the car crash. Work with your doctor to evaluate your personal injuries.

    3) Take Pictures

    Ask a friend to take pictures of your injuries. If you have trouble getting a settlement from the insurance company or you decide to hire a personal injury attorney, photos will be valuable evidence for your case. Cuts, bruises, and scrapes heal quickly, so getting photos immediately is a smart move. If you don't have access to a regular digital camera, snap a few pictures with your cell phone.

    4) Take Notes

    Take detailed notes regarding your medical treatment. This information may be necessary for you to get full reimbursement from the insurance company.

    Jot down the names and addresses of any chiropractors, physical therapists, or other professionals you were referred to after the accident. Keep receipts for medications you were prescribed or any assistive devices such as crutches that were needed.

    5) Get the Police Report

    Obtain a copy of the police report to verify that all facts regarding the accident are correct. Errors or omissions in the police report could delay your bodily injury claim.

    6) Talk With a Lawyer

    If you are asked to sign any documents you don't understand, talk to a personal injury lawyer. Having representation is the best way to make sure your rights are protected, especially if the accident is very serious and you may be at least partially at fault.