After suffering through a car accident, you may find that you've suffered a personal injury that's more serious than you expected. Unfortunately, in the midst of the pain and suffering that often come from a motor vehicle wreck, you may find that your insurance company isn't as concerned with injured parties as they led you to believe.
Thankfully, that doesn't mean you're out of luck, because you may be entitled to a personal injury claim. Here are five things you should do to get the protection you deserve after experiencing a health issue relating to a car accident.
And I'm going to tell you five things to do after a car accident.
I have practiced personal injury law since 1987. I started in Louisiana where I went to law school at Tulane University. And then after that, I moved to Texas, where I was for 20 years. And after Texas, I moved to Colorado.
I'm currently licensed in three states. I've tried numerous lawsuits to a verdict and I have collected in either settlements or judgments over 100 million dollars for my clients.
The first thing to do when you get in a car wreck is stop, assess the situation, and ask yourself, "Am I okay?".
If you're able to get out of the car, do that and check on the other driver. Make sure that person is okay and find out if anyone else might have been involved in the accident.
Often, you'll feel okay immediately following a car wreck. However, a few hours later you may start to feel pain.
It's very common that I talk to someone that says, "I was fine that day. I went to the emergency room and had no problems. But the next morning when I woke up, I could barely get my head off the pillow."
If that happens to you, it's not uncommon. Don't exaggerate; don't tell anyone that your symptoms are worse than they are. But if you wake up the next morning and you're having a problem, go see a doctor and get the treatment that you need.
After you've made sure you and the other party involved in the accident are okay, you should call the police.
Sometimes people involved in car accidents feel some indecision about calling the police. They ask themselves if they should just exchange information and then take pictures.
However, I believe you should call the police as soon as you can. That's the safest thing to do, and 9 out of 10 times, it's the right thing to do.
Usually, people call the police as soon as an accident occurs, but if there's no one else around, call the police and get someone on-site to document what happened.
Your insurance company will usually want to see that a police report was made. So if you can get the police out there and get everything on a police report, that's going to help them.
After calling the police, you should exchange information with the other party as soon as you can.
Let's just use a simple example:
Imagine that you were stopped at a stoplight and someone plowed into you from the back and hit you. After you make sure you're okay and call the police, get out of the car, walk over, and exchange information. Then if you can, pull out your cell phone and take pictures of the front and back of their license and insurance. If you can't take pictures, write down their information on a piece of paper.
While the police will log the other party's information in a police report, you will want to have this information as well, because you don't know if they're going to flee the scene or change their mind.
After you exchange information, you should take pictures of the accident and the scene.
I like to get orienting pictures anytime I'm representing someone in an accident. If I know that you've been in an accident at 16th in Broadway, I'm going to want to take a Google Earth photo of that and put it up in front of the screen for a jury or a judge.
At the same time, I'd like to have some on-the-ground photos as well. Although we can get those from Google Earth's Street View as well, ideally you should take pictures of where the vehicles were at the time of the accident. If possible, you should also get pictures of where both vehicles were right before the accident.
For example, if someone came out from a side street, I would walk over there and take a picture from that direction and from where you were.
This is difficult to do and I don't expect that everyone will be able to do this after an accident. But if you have the presence of mind to do it, it's not going to hurt.
In my experience, all the pictures are relevant in personal injury cases. So, take pictures that show what you want someone to understand later because trials often occur as long as a year or two years after an accident.
Finally, you should call your insurance company and let them know what happened.
Give them all the information you can and just ask what they would like you to do and what information they need from you to begin the claims process.
Usually, this only takes a simple phone call. Your insurance company will have an entire claims division set up to handle these calls, so they will know what to do next.
The last thing I want to tell you is if you have any questions at all about a car wreck in Colorado, please give me a call.
I'll be delighted to talk to you, and it's not going to cost you anything at all. As I mentioned earlier, I've represented countless clients after they've experienced the emotional distress of a car accident, and I've recovered over $100 million since I finished law school. If I can't help you with your personal injury case, then I'll do my best to direct you to someone who can.
I hope you never have to use this information, but if you do, please call me at 720-805-1193 to see how I can help.