You are minding your business one day driving back from work, anxious to get home and enjoy your family when...BOOM! someone has recklessly ignored the rules of the road and turned your car into smithereens. As you casually get out of your car, you notice that your full range of movement is limited, you are hurting but you don't see any physical injury. You may even find that a day later your body is sore as if you entered a boxing ring the night before. What should you do? What can be done? These are common questions many people encounter as they sustain a personal injury from a negligent, or even reckless, driver.
Before you discount your experience as a car accident victim, there are a number of things you should first consider to make sure you receive adequate and fair compensation for your damages:
- Immediately seek medical attention - This is a common mistake that many accident victims fail to do and can later negatively affect their proof of damages. The more time between an accident and a review of a physician leaves the door open for other explanations for your medical condition unrelated to the accident.
- Make sure to seek legal advice - Many people fail to seek legal advice until the statute of limitations runs its course. The statute of limitations provide a timeline that allows you to file a claim against the negligent or reckless driver. If you fail to do so in a timely manner, you are forever barred from filing a claim.
- Report facts only - Many people at the scene of an accident tend to speak more than they should. It's important to simply provide only the facts of what happened and to leave your thoughts and opinions to yourself. Often, insurance companies record your statements when you are called regarding the accident. They will ask you leading questions to get you to commit to whether you are hurt or not. It is better to let them know that you are not sure what pain or suffering you have sustained and that you are seeking medical attention.
Remember, car accidents are very common to insurance carriers, medical personnel, and attorneys so do not feel ignorant when you are in this situation as it is not something that happens to you everyday. Don't feel afraid to ask for help.
Finally, do not feel guilty seeking compensation. Accidents cause a loss to someone and you are the party that loss something at the fault of someone else. All you are doing is asking for what you lost back. This is what our legal system is set out to do.