Every Moment Makes a Difference
The moments after a car accident can be incredibly traumatizing. In just a couple of moments, your world can be completely upended through no fault of your own. What you do in the time after a car crash injury can also make or break your insurance claim. To that end, we would like to answer some common questions about what you should do following an injury crash and why these steps are important.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
If the car accident is minor, or your vehicle is still able to drive, it’s important to get it safely out of traffic. Once you’ve done that, shift it into park, turn it off, and activate the hazard lights. If you have warning triangles, cones, or flares, place them up-road from your vehicle to protect the scene.
Do I Need to Call the Police After a Crash?
Even if the accident seems minor, it is a good idea to call the police. You may need a police report in order to make an insurance claim, even if it is just to cover damage to the vehicle.
What Do I Tell the Police While Reporting a Car Accident?
When the police arrive, recount the details of the accident to the best of your ability. You do not need to speculate or guess, just the sequence of events objectively to the best of your ability. When asked about vehicle damage or injuries, it is in your best interest to say “I’m not sure” instead of “no”. The pain from some injuries may not become apparent until later. If you have a phone with a camera, it is helpful to take pictures of the scene in case they become relevant later on, provided that you are allowed to do so by the police. It is also important to photograph any injuries that you may have sustained.
Do I Have to Exchange Information After an Accident?
If you are in an auto accident, you must exchange information. Typically, this will be done by an officer at the scene. However, if there are no police present, it is still vital to get the other driver’s information. Ask to see the insurance cards for all vehicles present in the accident. Additionally, it is important to get the contact information for everyone present in the accident — both drivers and passengers. If there are witnesses nearby, it can be useful for your attorney if you get their contact information.
Should I Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident?
In some cases, car crashes are severe enough that victims receive on-site care or are transported to the hospital right away. It is extremely important that you follow the direction of your medical providers in these cases to ensure your recovery. In crashes where injuries are not as evident, even if you don’t feel injured, it is important to get medical attention. Some injuries from auto accidents do not show symptoms until hours or days later. It’s also important not to skip medical care because you feel the accident “wasn’t severe”. Even minor accidents can cause damage to your spinal cord, which can result in permanent, life-altering injuries. Additionally, getting medical attention can help solidify any documentation of the injuries you sustained at the scene. This may be a deciding factor when pursuing a claim later on. Medical bills can become overwhelming, but an experienced legal team can ensure these bills get paid, and that you receive the necessary recovery from your injuries.
When Should I Notify My Insurance Company After an Accident?
You should notify your insurance company as soon as you are able to do so. If you feel uninjured, you can start your report at the scene of the accident before filling in more details once you’re in a calmer environment. Remember, even if you feel uninjured, it’s important to seek medical attention.
What Is Medpay Coverage?
Medpay means that you have medical benefits as part of your insurance coverage. This means that your auto insurance provider will cover a portion of your medical expenses before your health insurance takes over. You’ll typically be paying more for an insurance policy that includes medpay, so it makes sense to use it! Remember that if you do, you are required to submit your medical bills to your insurance company.
Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer After an Injury Crash?
While you are not required to hire a lawyer after being injured in a car accident, we strongly recommend doing so. Recovering from an auto accident can be a challenging journey full of unforeseen medical expenses, lost time from work, and physical therapy appointments. You will likely have an insurance company trying to pressure you into a settlement as quickly as possible. Hiring a lawyer gives you better leverage when dealing with insurance companies, along with protecting you from the possibility of unexpected bills later on. Additionally, injury victims who hire a lawyer receive an average of three times more from insurance settlements. This means that even after subtracting attorney fees, hiring a lawyer consistently increases the amount of money that you can expect to receive for your personal injury case.
McDivitt Law Firm has been representing auto accident victims in Denver, Colorado Springs, Aurora, and Pueblo, Colorado for more than 40 years. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will fight on your behalf to ensure that you receive the settlement that you deserve!