If you have been injured in a Raleigh Car Accident, you need to know the steps to take to protect your health and your personal injury claim. Reading this post is the first step.
The Bishop Law Firm represents car accident injury victims in Raleigh. We offer free case reviews and we do not get paid unless you win your case.
Steps to Take After Raleigh Car Accident
After a Raleigh Car Accident, there is always confusion, anger and fear. Car accidents are terrible events, especially when they happen because of someone else's negligence. But please remember, walking away from an accident without devastating injuries is always the best case scenario for you and your loved ones.
Remaining calm and rational after your accident can help you recover your losses and your health:
- After the crash, check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If you are able to safely check on the other party, do so but only if you are physically able and this will not put you in harm's way. Do not argue with or confront the at-fault driver!
- Call the police and wait for them to arrive (Please!). If the police are not called and do not complete an accident report, you not have impartial evidence to show that the other driver was negligent, and consequently, will have a difficult time being compensated for your bodily injury and your property damage. Don't rely on the at-fault party's promises to pay. These promises are worthless. If the at-fault party says that they do not have time to wait for the police, they are violating the law (take a photo or video of their tag/vehicle before/as they leave the scene).
- Move your vehicle and yourself to safety (if possible). It is advisable to take photos before moving your vehicle so you can show the police when they arrive.
- Talk to witness at the scene and get their names (if you can) - In accidents where the at-fault party refuses to admit that they were at fault (which is often) a witness can help you establish what really happened. For example, we frequently have at-fault parties who claim to have had a green light when they clearly did not. A witness can help you establish the facts of the accident.
- Have your car towed if necessary - If your car has sustained damage, and a tow truck has been recommended by the law enforcement officer, don't drive it home. Since you do not know the extent of the damage to your vehicle, driving it may increase the damage and be dangerous as well. It's simpler just to have it towed.
- Take photos of your car and the other party's car or have a relative do so - Pictures are worth more than 1,000 words -- in car accident injury cases, they are invaluable. Showing photos to the adjuster or the jury (if necessary) can clearly illustrate the devastating impact on your car (and body) due to the at-fault party's negligence. Also, don't forget to take pictures of your bodily injury (see below).
- Ride in the EMS - If you are hurt, ride in the ambulance. This creates a direct link between your car accident and your injury. It also illustrates that your injuries resulted in the need for immediate medical treatment (not delayed medical treatment).
- Go to the hospital - Seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the accident. Immediate treatment is the best but if that is not possible, do your best to be seen quickly. The longer you wait to receive medical treatment, the more difficult it will be to prove the link between your car accident and your injury. Please note that waiting a week or more to receive treatment (in our opinion) can diminish your credibility and thus your recovery (read Medical Bills after car accident).
- Emergency rooms frequently give accident victims x-rays to rule out broken bones. However, x-rays do not demonstrate other types of accident injuries or subtle fractures as well as an MRI or CT. If you are in pain in a certain area, ask for an MRI.
- Take photos of your injuries - Bruising, cuts, braces, bandaging, etc. should all be documented by a photograph when you first receive them and as you heal. We can not stress the importance of this step enough.
- Call your insurance company and let them know what has occurred. If the at-fault driver is not insured or under-insured, your own auto insurance may end up footing the bill (read UM vs UIM).
- Follow all medical advice - Ignoring medical advice will reduce the value of your car accident injury claim, resulting in a reduction in your settlement amount and is ultimately bad for your health. If the emergency room or urgent care tells you to follow up with your primary doctor, do so and do so at the prescribed time.
- See the appropriate doctor for your injury - When you see your primary doctor (emergency rooms usually recommend follow up with primary doctor), tell them what has happened, and where you are still having pain. They will recommend that you see a specialist if necessary. If specialist treatment is recommended please follow through with seeing that specialist (read Raleigh Car Accident Injuries).
- Don't assume that Chiropractic Care is the best treatment for you - Chiropractic care can be helpful for some car accident injuries, but not all. You should consult with your primary care physician and any specialists to determine if chiropractic care is the best treatment for your type of injury.
- Get a 2nd medical opinion if necessary - If your condition does not improve and your treatment provider is not offering you options, consult a different provider that may be able to help determine the cause of your issue.
- Obtain a copy of your Raleigh Car Accident Report - After the law enforcement officer completes the accident report, you should obtain a copy of it immediately for review. If there are material errors in the car accident report, you need to get the errors corrected as soon as possible (also read Raleigh Car Accident Reports).
- File a claim with the at-fault party's insurance company for property damage - An assessment of the damage to your vehicle should be arranged as soon as possible. Also, while your car is being repaired, the cost of your rental car should be paid for.
- File a claim with the at-fault party's insurance company for bodily injury - Filing a bodily injury claim with the at-fault party's insurance company starts the road to recovering for your losses. After filing this claim, the insurance adjuster will ask you many questions and may want to take a recorded statement. The decision of what to discuss with an adjuster and if you should do a recorded statement is a question best discussed with a Raleigh Car Crash Lawyer (read Insurance Adjusters and Recorded Statements).
- Document lost wages, problems with ADLs and other financial losses and mileage - If you miss work because of your car accident injury, make a note of the dates and how much money you would have made (read Lost Wages and Earning Capacity). Also, keep a diary of how your injury affects your ability to complete activities of daily living that involve yourself and your loved one. Lastly, keep receipts for accident related expenses and keep track of your mileage to medical appointments.
- Hire a Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer - A Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer can help maximize your recovery in an injury case as well as eliminate the need for the victim to negotiate with the insurance adjuster directly.
Do you need a Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer?
The choice to hire Raleigh Car Accident Lawyers to help with your claim can set the tone for how the insurance company treats you. Without the proper inspiration from an attorney, your claim may gather dust on an adjuster’s desk or get lost in the shuffle.
Also read What does a Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer do?
Our experienced team at The Bishop Law Firm can help if you need an Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer. Our focus is to protect and maximize car accident victims' legal rights to fair compensation, and we don’t get paid unless you win. Can the at-fault driver’s insurance company say the same?
Contact us today for more information or start your free case review right now.