The things that you do after a car accident can have a substantial impact on how well you will recover both physically and financially. The specific things you should do when you get into a car accident can depend on the facts of your situation. You should always do what makes sense under the circumstances.
Here are some suggestions for steps you should take following a collision:
Get Medical Attention Right Away
The first thing you should do when you get into a car accident is seek medical attention. If you feel discomfort or notice other signs of injuries, like dizziness, fatigue, weakness, a loss of function, or decreased range of motion after a car accident, you should get professional medical care immediately.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), vehicle crashes are the number one safety problem in American transportation. While accidents are common, many are more dangerous than people know. A person can feel stunned after a wreck and be unaware of the severity of the harm suffered. The need for medical attention may be overlooked by those involved in a vehicle accident.
Even if you do not perceive indications of an injury, you should get a thorough medical examination at once after being in a significant collision. Sometimes a severe injury like head trauma or internal bleeding can take hours or days to develop symptoms. In the meantime, the person’s condition can worsen to the point of a medical crisis. Healthcare trauma workers can evaluate a patient for hidden harm.
If you pursue legal action, your lawyer will likely use your medical records to establish a link between your injuries and the accident that caused them. If there is a delay between the crash and administered medical treatment, it can be challenging to establish that the collision in question caused the harm.
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Get Help From a Lawyer
Not all insurance companies have claimants’ best interests at heart. Sometimes, they will employ strategies that keep you from getting the compensation you need to move forward. Second, the next thing you should do after getting medical attention is see how a lawyer can help with your case.
By having an attorney on board from the beginning, you can avoid certain mishaps of the claims process, which can include:
Giving Recorded Statements
After your collision, you may be approached by an insurance adjuster asking you to give a recorded statement. These statements are not for your benefit. The insurer might say that this investigative tool offers you the opportunity to tell your side of the story. In reality, a recorded statement provides the insurance company with a transcript that they can use against you. The adjuster may take your words out of context in an attempt to pay you less money than you need.
Missing Important Deadlines
According to Tennessee Code § 28-3-104, there is a one-year statute of limitations in Tennessee from the date of your accident to collect compensation. For whatever reason, if you fail to operate within this timeline, you may lose your right to seek financial recovery. To keep you from getting the compensation you need, the insurance company may stall to keep you from meeting this deadline. When you work with a personal injury lawyer, they can keep you updated on all timeframes relating to your claim and work to meet them.
Accepting a Lowball Offer
Following your collision, you may not know what amount you need to cover your economic and noneconomic damages. When you work with a lawyer, they can take the time to provide an estimate regarding the cost of your losses. They do this by examining your bills, pay stubs, and other documents, while also assigning value to your quality of life following the crash.
When you enter the negotiation proceedings, knowing how much you need to cover your damages will be critical to your case’s success. You do not want to accept money from the insurance company only to find out later that the settlement was not enough.
Take a Break from Social Media
One of the most common mistakes people make after a car accident is to post photos and comments on social media. The insurance company can access social media accounts and take your words and posts out of context. Always remember that some insurers seek to protect their company’s bottom line, and not offer the settlement you deserve.
The adjuster might allege that you are exaggerating your injuries from the accident because a photo shows you looking happy and going to events. Be sure to talk with your lawyer early on for guidance about social media postings. Even if you restrict your photos and comments to your circle of friends, the insurer may still be able to access your posts.
Get Legal Help After a Car Accident
The Cochran Firm – Nashville works to help people who get hurt due to the carelessness of others. We are happy to provide a case review at no charge to you. There is no obligation. Call us today at (615) 651-7451 for a free consultation.