Car wrecks kill or seriously injure millions of Americans every year. These victims have a hard time recovering from these injuries, physically, financially, emotionally, and otherwise. Compensation is available for these serious injuries. Unfortunately, many victims unintentionally do things, or do not do things, which either hinder or derail their future legal claims.
The same thing is true in reverse. Doing, or not doing, a few simple things greatly improves your chances of obtaining maximum compensation for your serious injuries. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
DO See a Doctor
Mostly due to adrenaline from the wreck and the nature of some common car crash injuries, many victims do not feel as though they need medical treatment. Refusing proper treatment could have significant medical and legal consequences down the road.
Adrenaline, or epinephrine, is the brain’s “flight or fight” stress hormone. The sudden trauma of a car accident triggers a sudden release of epinephrine. The result is often stress-induced analgesia. In plain English, the hormone blocks pain. So, car crash victims might be in a lot of pain. They simply do not know it. As a result, they do not see doctors.
Speaking of brains, head injuries are among the most common car wreck injuries. Either a trauma injury or the sudden, violent motion could cause such an injury. The brain is very good at disguising its own injuries. That’s why concussed athletes often ask their coaches to let them return to the game.
Head injuries and other car crash injuries normally get worse without prompt treatment. So, for strictly medical reasons, it’s important that a doctor evaluate you, even if you “feel fine.”
There are some legal issues as well. Severity of injury is a key part of a claim’s settlement value. The worse the injury was, the more compensation for pain and suffering the victim is entitled to. If victims don’t immediately see doctors, insurance company lawyers usually argue that the victim’s injuries must not have been very severe.
DON’T Talk to the Other Insurance Company
Largely because of the aforementioned head injuries, people usually aren’t thinking clearly in the wake of an accident. So, they are likely to say things they shouldn’t or not say things they should.
There’s more. Insurance company telephone adjusters make a significant effort to sound nice and helpful. However, their actual mission is to collect information which can help the insurance company’s legal defense, and hurt the victim’s legal claim, down the road. Most telephones adjusters know how to extract such information very subtly. So, victims do not know the telephone representative is manipulating them.
Depending on your policy, you may have a duty to notify your own insurance company about a crash almost immediately. If that’s the case, simply say you were in an accident, you’re not feeling well at the moment, and you’ll provide additional details later.
DO Collect Evidence
This necessary step is usually the hardest one to take. Victims who sustain catastrophic injuries are obviously in no position to interview witnesses or otherwise collect evidence. Just do the best you can. Never rely on police investigators or other first responders to do this job for you. They are there to secure the scene and tend to injured victims. Collecting evidence for a future lawsuit is not on their radar.
Frequently, apologies express sympathy. If my daughter is sick, I might tell her “I’m sorry,” even though I most likely had nothing to do with her illness. So, the urge to apologize at the scene of an accident is natural, especially if you feel you were responsible. This urge is also potentially devastating, from a legal standpoint.
In court, an apology could be construed as an admission of liability. If a judge takes this admission at face value, it might be impossible to obtain compensation for your injuries. So, victims could be financially responsible for their own medical bills and other losses.
DO Contact a Lexington Personal Injury Attorney
If you do not remember any of these tips, don’t fret. A car crash lawyer takes care of all these things.
Attorneys connect victims with doctors, even if they have no money or insurance. These doctors are top-notch physicians who know how to diagnose and treat car crash injuries.
Furthermore, attorneys run interference with insurance adjusters, and later, with insurance company lawyers. So, instead of worrying about what to say and when, victims simply need to worry about getting better.
Finally, a Lexington personal injury lawyer builds a strong claim and advocates for you, both in the courthouse and at the negotiating table. If you have to go against insurance lawyers on your own, they will most probably eat you alive.
Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lexington, contact the Goode Law Office, PLLC. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters. #goodelawyers