Imagine taking, I-95 to go home from work during rush hour. Everybody is in a hurry, there are trucks all over the highway, people changing lanes without signaling, people driving while on their phones… someone gets distracted and it happens, that dreaded crash. When it happens you’re in a brief state of confusion. What happened? Where am I? Then you begin to realize you’ve been in a car accident and the frustration sets in and although you were not at fault, you feel like you could have avoided it. Either we’ve been in that situation or someone we know has and it sucks. The good news is that these situations can be managed to produce a positive outcome.
You got into an accident?
- CALL THE POLICE
The first thing you should do after an accident is call the police. Even if it just a minute scratch or your car appears to be intact, YOU might not be. You probably don’t feel pain any pain right after the crash but you might feel it the day after. And if you want to be able to claim compensation and benefits from insurance companies, you must notify the police of the crash. Take pictures of the scene, take pictures of your car, take pictures of any injuries because you need those receipts.
- GET THE CONTACT INFORMATION
In these tense and frustrating situation its best to keep your cool. There is no need for a situation like a car accident to spill over into something else. So keep cool and politely (as best you can) exchange driver information and insurance with the other driver. Also be sure to ask witnesses for their name and information.
- CALL A LAWYER
Call your lawyer if you have one and if you don’t… GET ONE. It is important to know what your rights are and what the appropriate course of action is. Also, after you call your lawyer, call your primary care physician. Your lawyer, that you smartly contacted after your accident, will work hand in hand with your medical care provider to fill out all the required forms correctly and stop the insurance company from denying your claim.
- LET YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY KNOW
Let your insurance company know about your accident right away; the same day if possible. While yes, you have a 7-day time frame to let your insurance company know, you need to cover all the bases if you want to become eligible for any benefits and compensations.
- CHECK YOUR INSURANCE POLICY
It’s important to know what your policy covers and does not cover.
- GO TO YOUR DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENTS AND REHABILITATION TREATMENTS.
If after your consult with your doctor it is recommended that you attend chiropractic or rehabilitative treatment, you must do it. These treatments are key for you to go back to your regular activities and be without pain. These also help to show the extent of your injuries and to obtain the compensation you deserve.
- KEEP COPIES OF YOUR RECORDS
It is important that you keep a copy of every document related to your accident. Be it the police report, that you definitely should request a copy after the report is made, your insurance claim, all correspondence with the insurance company as well as all your medical records, prescriptions and all documents that are connected to your accident. Remember, keep those receipts, back everything up. Talk the talk and walk the walk.
- KEEP TAB OF YOUR HEALTH
What is that you could physically do before the accident but can’t do anymore? Are you still able to care for yourself, go to work, drive, take care of your responsibilities? Or have all these activities been put on hold because you can’t longer do them after the crash? These are all important points that you should keep in mind and that you need to keep track of because it can be extremely relevant when it’s time to settle or recover for your claim.
- DON’T WASTE TIME, ACT.
Listen, it’s hard. You were just involved in an accident, your car may be a disaster, you are probably in a lot of pain. But remember the silver lining I mentioned earlier? Well, you can only get it if you act fast. All the paper work comes with deadlines and it is extremely important for these deadlines to be honored. Make sure you inform your insurance company right away and that you submit a claim against the driver who was at fault for the accident within reasonable time. The longer you wait, the harder it will get to recover benefits and get compensated. ACT. FAST.
- STAY AWAY FROM SOCIAL MEDIA!
I get it, we live in a super connected world and we feel like we must share all the good and bad that happens to us on social media. But please, don’t share anything about your accident. Do not post pictures or make any statements about your accident on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or any platform. Because if you do, your words, more likely than not, are going to get twisted. Insurance companies can access your social media sites and depending on what you wrote about the accident or the pictures that you posted, they might make it difficult or be unwilling to settle your case in a timely manner or give you the amount of money that you truly deserve.
Cox, Golodrino & Lafrance PA
If you or someone you know have been injured in a car accident please give us a call at 954-982-2124. Some is waiting to take your call NOW!