Accidents occur every hour in the US. According to statistics, you most likely have or will be involved in an accident. That said, none of us typically wake up with a good plan for what to do after an accident.
So what is the best plan for you and your family after an accident? How can you best set yourself up for compensation should that be necessary after your accident? We will discuss some of the best practices in this article to help you give yourself a fighting chance after an accident occurs.
Should I See a Doctor After an Accident Even if I Think I’m Ok?
An honest mistake many make after an accident is assuming that they are okay. Their injuries may be seemingly superficial or they don’t want to take the time to wait at a medical facility to be seen by a doctor.
The problem with this is that some symptoms don’t present immediately following an accident. There could be issues beneath the surface that you aren’t yet aware of, and without treatment, they could become a significant health issue for you.
It is best to take the time to be seen by a medical professional following an accident. This can help rule out underlying issues and ensure that if there is an issue it is thoroughly documented immediately.
What does this mean for you? If an issue goes undocumented, it can make it harder for you to pursue compensation for the damages in the future. Having a thorough and immediate exam on record is an established starting point. It creates a necessary paper trail you and your attorney can refer to should you pursue compensation in the future.
What are Common Injuries After an Accident?
Several common injuries can occur as a result of an accident. Some of the most common are listed below.
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Nerve Damage
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
This list is not all-inclusive and other injuries can occur. You must seek medical attention to determine whether or not you are at risk of these injuries after an accident.
What Are Common Types of Injuries That Don’t Show Up Immediately?
When the body is involved in an accident, a high impact has typically been absorbed by the body. This can lead to several soft tissue issues. Soft tissue injuries can be anything from numbness or tingling to whiplash, concussion, back injuries, or back pain.
Whiplash, for example, can take days or even weeks before symptoms present and lead to further issues. Symptoms of a concussion can seem harmless at first, such as a headache or dizziness, that you can mistakenly attribute to minor injuries or insignificant problems but can persist or worsen over time.
These injuries become especially problematic if they are not recognized or treated right away. You may not experience symptoms immediately, and problems could persist or worsen over time if not treated.
By requiring yourself or a loved one to have a thorough exam after an accident, these injuries can be documented and necessary treatment can begin immediately, avoiding further complications in the future.
What Else Can I Do After an Accident?
Document everything. This can include things like making sure a police report has been filed, your personal account of the accident details are recorded, and any eyewitnesses have been documented, including their contact information. Pictures or videos of relevant points can also help to ensure an accurate account of the elements that led to or resulted in the accident.
It is important to note that insurance agencies will want to settle with you immediately following an accident. Recognize that they don’t typically have your best interest at heart and will generally want to settle for less than is deserved in order to preserve the rights and interests of their policyholders. By declining to settle, you can help to ensure that any injuries that have not yet presented or seemed significant can be covered should you choose to pursue damages in the future.
You can benefit significantly from consulting a trusted attorney. They are trained and well-versed in accidents and can help prepare their clients to pursue compensation as necessary. They can help to ensure that you set yourself up for success and follow some simple guidelines that could mean the difference in you obtaining compensation or being denied for damages in the future.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Not all accidents will require compensation for damages. There isn’t a black-and-white rule regarding consulting an attorney. However, obtaining a professional opinion on the next steps can be in your best interest.
Attorneys have years of experience and training in dealing with clients that have endured an accident and can help you to understand what to expect and how to handle it best. It can be as simple as having specific questions regarding the details of your accident or wanting to ensure that you have adequate representation should you pursue compensation.
Experienced attorneys can help walk you through the following steps, speak with and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, ensure that you have adequate documentation of necessary items like the accident or any suspected injuries, and more.