Ok, so you got into a car accident: what next? The most important thing that you can do, both for yourself and your family, is to prioritize your recovery and health so that you can get your life back on track as soon as possible. However, you may quickly realize that this is easier said than done when you need to deal with an insurance claim, the pressure and stress of mounting medical bills, and the ongoing struggle of managing your injuries. This is why most people who are familiar with insurance claims will suggest that you hire a car accident lawyer to help you manage the legal and procedural aspects of your upcoming journey.
The following are some basic steps that you should take in order to give yourself the best possible support during your recovery process, and hopefully maximize your success as you try to get your life back on track.
If you are suffering from a significant injury, there is no reason that you should not accept immediate medical help from the EMTs, whether this means taking an ambulance to an emergency room or something else. When you leave the scene of an accident without having your injuries attended to in a way that the professional responders think is most necessary, you are putting yourself at risk of future complications, and ultimately creating a situation which may be a bit more difficult during the claims process for a variety of reasons.
Whether or not you receive extensive care at the scene or immediately after in an emergency room, it is very important that you see your family doctor as soon as possible to make sure that you get the care you need. There is absolutely no reason that anyone should “shake it off” after an accident, especially one that someone else caused and whose insurance company is responsible for the costs.
Some injuries may take a few days to truly show their severity, such as whiplash, hematomas, or other soft-tissue or brain injuries like concussions. It is completely understandable in many situations that someone feels that they are ok after an accident, but realizes shortly after that they have a delayed injury and then feel uncertain about how to handle it. Seeing your doctor is the best thing you can do.
The more times you see your doctor to have your injuries addressed and to receive care to prevent complications, the more of a record you will have if and when you need to bring your case in front of a judge or to use as leverage during negotiations for a settlement. While this may not seem like a great reason to see your doctor, it really is just an additional benefit to prioritizing your health and recovery.
If you do not have clear medical records about the injuries you are including in your insurance claim, the insurance company will understandably push back on paying for them, due to lack of clear evidence that these injuries are related to the accident at all.
Although it may not seem like something that is specifically related to recovery, hiring a lawyer can significantly reduce the emotional and mental stress that you must endure throughout this process. Emotional stress is proven to have adverse impacts on physical recovery, and by hiring an attorney you are prioritizing your own physical and emotional health while also boosting your chances of a positive outcome for your claim.