A car accident is a serious and complicated situation. There are damages to property, vehicles, and the health and welfare of people. Insurance companies are also involved usually from all parties. If you are involved in an accident, you need to take steps to preserve your rights.
Preserve the Evidence
Take steps to get and preserve the evidence of the situation. Take pictures of the vehicles. Contact the police. Get contact information of any witnesses. Make sure to get copies of the police reports and evidence they have of the situation. Keep records of any treatment you receive in connection with the accident.
Get Needed Medical Treatment
It is important to get any treatment needed which is connected with the accident. The treatment should be attended to promptly. Delaying or putting off treatment will be used against you. In the settlement process, getting treatment slowly will be taken as an indication that the injuries were not critical.
Follow the Doctor’s Treatment Orders
When we go for treatment in any normal situation, we might not follow the doctor’s instructions completely. Situations at work and with family might lead us to choose something over the proper care. However, in this situation, when you are making a claim for an injury, it is imperative that you follow the doctor’s orders.
Tell Your Lawyer about Past Accidents
If you have had any past traffic accidents, be sure to tell your lawyer of this as soon as possible. Insurance companies may try to use past accident situations to claim that you have a condition that makes you predisposed to accidents. Your lawyer can defend against these claims in a forthright manner, but only if you reveal the situations from the beginning.
Signing a Blanket Release
Do not sign a release for the insurance companies to get you entire medical history. The insurance companies can then hunt through your records for any issue since your birth to construe as a pre-existing condition that predates the accident. It is strongly encouraged to speak with your lawyer before signing any release.
Do Not Misrepresent Your Injuries
Insurance companies are known to hire investigators to monitor and even video tape victim’s activities. This can be used to show that you, the victim, have exaggerated the seriousness of your injuries or the effects of your injuries. There is nothing legally to prevent this kind of surveillance. The investigator’s report and video can be used to destroy your credibility. Be honest about your true situation.
Do Not Make a Statement
Often, insurance companies will contact victims for a statement very soon after an accident. Do not make a statement to them. The insurance company’s goal is to get you to misspeak in a way that will damage your claim. It is strongly encouraged that you consult your lawyer before making any statement to an insurance company.
Avoid Social Media
Postings on social media become a matter of public record. Victim’s postings of photographs, comments, and details about their life will be used as evidence against the victim as the case progresses. These postings may directly be about the accident or just everyday life. Either way, you, the victim, should avoid providing information on social media which could be used against you in unforeseen ways.
Keep Your Employer Informed
After an accident, keep your employer informed of your situation and medical condition. Follow your employer’s instructions for protecting yourself in your job responsibilities. In other words, make sure your work environment or duties do not lead to further injury.
- Car accidents are serious situations, and you must take care to preserve your rights.
- Take steps to collect and preserve the evidence.
- Get any needed treatment for injuries promptly.
- Follow the doctor’s treatment instructions precisely.
- Tell your lawyer about any past accidents.
- Do not sign releases from insurance companies for medical records.
- Be honest about the true extent of your injuries.
- Do not make any statement to an insurance company.
- Avoid social media which can lead to attacks by the insurance company.
- Keep your employer informed of your medical condition.
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