What are the most important things to know if you have been injured in a motor vehicle collision? Below are some tips from the injury attorneys at Stillman and Friedland:
- Get medical treatment IMMEDIATELY, either by ambulance from the scene or that same day to an emergency room.
- Use your own health insurance (if you have it). If you are not insured, a good lawyer can arrange treatment at no cost to you.
- If possible, look around the accident scene for any witnesses that may have seen the car accident and try to take photos of all the cars involved — only if you are physically able. If not, ask someone to do it for you at the scene. You will need to send these photos to your lawyer as soon as possible and by email if possible. Remember, time is of the essence in these personal injury cases!
- Be honest and courteous to the police officer(s) making the accident report and cooperate with them fully.
- Continue your medical treatment as long as is needed and build good relationships with all your doctors (don’t miss appointments without canceling first — a doctor’s pet peeve!).
- Keep a diary of all of your pain and suffering and the tasks that you are not able to perform on a daily basis. Also log the time and effort you put into your recovery each day and the effects your accident has on your family, spouse, children, etc. Remember, the more documentation, the stronger your case will be.
- Keep a record of lost time from work, mileage to and from all doctors’ appointments, all medical treatment, and receipts for all medications (both prescription and over-the-counter).
- Talk to your lawyer as soon as possible and say as little as possible to anyone else! This is extremely important and includes even your closest friends and co-workers. Your words can be twisted around and used against you and friends and co-workers can get mad or jealous as well.
- Be mindful of your activities and do not attempt any activity that will cause anyone to accuse you of being a “faker.” Despite what they say, insurance companies are not your friends and they are in business to make and save money. They are professionals that seek to reduce or avoid paying compensation if at all possible. They will even video you doing things you say you cannot do, or should not do. Beware! At times like these, trust your attorney, and listen to him.