According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 2.5 million people went to the emergency room following a car crash in 2012. Based on this data, the CDC estimated that about 8 people in 100 who visit the emergency room following a crash end up hospitalized. Hospital visits can be costly and stressful, but are often necessary following a car accident, especially if you sustain serious injuries.
We’ve written before about the steps you should take if you’ve been in a car accident caused by someone else in order to protect yourself and your personal injury claim. However, what if you are too injured to photograph the accident scene, collect contact information from witnesses, and take other steps to back up your claim? Luckily, there are steps you can take to ensure you are protected. Our Florida car accident attorneys share what to do if you are too injured to collect evidence immediately following your motor vehicle crash.
It is not an exaggeration to say that the most important thing to do following a car accident is look after your own health. Even if you feel okay, don’t let your guard down—you may be in shock or have an injury with symptoms that are difficult detect right away.
Common injuries following a crash include:
Don’t tell anyone at the scene that you’re fine or unhurt, even if you feel that way. Such statements could potentially be used against you later—the at-fault driver’s insurance company will do whatever it takes to discredit you and your claim.
Insurance companies aside, many people do mistakenly believe they are unharmed following an accident only to later develop symptoms of an invisible injury. For this reason, it is always best to err on the side of caution. Even if you’re tempted to tough it out, listen to your body and get yourself checked at the appropriate time.
If you don’t have any obvious injuries and you feel lucid and sound, feel free to make it clear you don’t require an ambulance. Collect the other drivers’ insurance information and call the police to the scene as you normally would following a crash. Once those basic requirements have been taken care of, seek medical attention. Be as open and thorough with your doctor as possible as your medical records can be used as evidence to help your claim in the future.
If you do have obvious injuries or feel in pain, seek medical attention immediately. Describe your symptoms as best you can to the first responders—again, this information can help you later, so make sure to mention anything and everything, even if it seems insignificant. You can collect evidence like insurance information after you’ve been tended to.
If you fall unconscious and wake up in hospital or are rushed to a hospital before you can collect evidence, don’t panic. A lawyer can help.
Following a car accident, silence is golden—no matter what the scenario. This remains the case when you have been seriously injured. Even with obvious injuries, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is trained to craft a case against you. It is especially imperative you speak with an attorney before saying anything to the insurance company or signing any documents they send your way.
As soon as you are well enough, contact an attorney. Our car accident lawyer can assist you by collecting evidence on your behalf. We can also advise you on what to do next, even if you are incapacitated. Emergency visits can be costly and isolating. Let us help you by filing a personal injury claim that will help you pay for your medical bills, lost income, and other expenses while you recuperate.
To recap, we recommend doing the following if you have been seriously injured in a car accident:
Our auto accident attorneys at The Pittman Firm, P.A. have over 30 years of experience winning big for our clients in personal injury cases. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, contact us for a free case evaluation.