In an instant you’ve gone from mindlessly traveling to experiencing one of the most terrifying situations of your life. Being involved in an auto accident is not only terrifying but can be a traumatic and overwhelming experience no matter the severity. During the immediate aftermath of an accident, it is difficult to focus on anything but the pain, stress, trauma, and disorientation that you’re feeling in the present moment. However, if you can remember these few tips, it will help protect your rights in any future injury claim.
Make it Clear the Accident involved a Motor Vehicle
It is important to make it clear that the accident involved a Motor Vehicle. Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance state, therefore your first recourse for coverage of your medical expenses will come from the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) from your own insurance policy. A No-fault insurance state simply means that in Pennsylvania, your own insurance will cover the cost of your physical injuries, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
Document the Incident
Documenting the car accident is essential as you might have to repeat the story several times to law enforcement and your insurance company. Remember to take note of the driver’s name, address, insurance company name and policy number. Be sure to write down the make, model, and color of their vehicle, and make sure you have the other vehicle’s license plate number. Additionally, if there were any witnesses, get their names and phone numbers. Do not ever hesitate to take pictures of the scene and/or any property damage as well.
Inform the Physician of ALL Your Injuries and Symptoms
Following an auto accident, you are likely focused on your physical injuries. If you suffered bodily injuries, you need to undergo a medical examination and pursue the course of treatment necessary to heal your body. If you then file a legal claim against the responsible party, you can show your medical records and bills to prove the damages you deserve for these injuries.
Inform the attending physician of ALL your injuries and symptoms. This is extremely important in an emergency room context, since doctors tend to focus mostly on the most obviously severe injuries during this time. This makes sense, from the perspective of triage, even if most of your initial medical care focuses on your most serious injuries, try to ensure that all the injuries you are aware of are at least noted in the record of your visit. For example, if you have a broken leg, but are also experiencing lower back pain, make sure to inform the physician, as the initial lower back pain could eventually transpire into a deeper more serious injury.
Don’t Give the Insurance Companies a Reason to Pay Less
Insurance companies will always look for an excuse to minimize the amount they have to pay for a claimant’s injuries, and if you seek compensation for an injury that was not mentioned in your initial medical report, the insurer will probably try to argue that the injury didn’t come from your accident, and thus they don’t have to pay for it.
In most cases where the other party was clearly at fault, the injured party will receive at least some compensation for their pain and suffering. Most insurance companies recognize that people who are injured in a car accident deserve something for their pain and inconvenience. Often, the amount insurance carriers try to get away with, at first, is very low. But with proper attorney representation, this number can be increased to reach an acceptable sum.
Many car accident victims pay less attention to the effects of the accident on their emotional and mental health. There is not widespread attention paid to car accident victims who are emotionally or mentally injured due to either the trauma of the collision itself or the struggle they face in dealing with their physical injuries. An experienced West Chester car accident attorney understands that these injuries can be just as devastating as physical ones. At Wilk Law, we believe that you deserve to recover for all the injuries you sustained, including those that are mental or emotional in nature. Contact us today for a free consultation.