Insurance companies are not profitable businesses because they willingly pay out fair compensation to victims injured by their insured. Especially now, the “new normal” of COVID makes it easier for insurance companies to deny and delay the paying out of money.
The five things to “KEEP” in mind after an accident is advice, I give new clients to ensure a more level playing field to ensure your claim is settled fairly.
► Keep quiet. After seeking medical attention, the most important thing is to consult with an attorney. It’s possible that after a vehicle accident, the at-fault person’s insurance company may contact you to make a quick settlement. Don’t fall for this. Do not speak to the other party’s attorneys or insurer as conversations may be recorded and used against you. Speak about your case only with your attorney. Do not sign any documents without your attorney’s consent. If you get any letters from anyone in connection with your case, send copies of them to your attorney immediately. Keep your original.
► Keep it real. Be honest when talking to your attorney about your medical history, including injuries, addictions, ailments, and illnesses. Insurance companies share information. Pre-existing medical conditions will likely be discovered so informing your attorney about past problems is especially important so there are no surprises.
► Keep records for all medical expenses. You have the right to copies of your medical records. Collect copies of everything, including prescriptions, bills, and receipts for medicines taken. All these expenses contribute to the value of your claim so save every bill relating to your claim (hospital expenses, medicines, therapy, appliances, home aides – anything relevant to your recovery). Pay bills by check or credit card. If you must pay by other means, make sure to get complete receipts with bill headings.
► Keep a complete record of all lost wages. Lost wages are another component of damages so documenting time lost, rate of pay, hours worked weekly, and any relevant losses suffered is critically important. Like medical expenses, keep copies of your lost wage documentation.
► Keep detailed notes. Daily journal entries detailing how your life has changed because of the accident may help illustrate to a jury the physical and emotional damage you may experience after an accident. Describe what you feel like in the morning, the type of effort put into your family, work, and personal activities. Describe all changes experienced in your post-accident life, symptoms, setbacks, and inconveniences.
No one is prepared for a car accident – they happen in an instant. And, unless you’ve been involved in a serious wreck, no one truly understands how disruptive it is…until it happens. Healing properly from the injuries sustained is the number one top priority. And, many times, the injuries are serious enough that time off work is necessary to recover. The question of when you can return to work depends on the specifics of your injury and situation. Every collision is different – every injury in different. There is no exact formulaic table of recovery time used to calculate when you’re healthy enough, and feel well enough, to return to work after being involved in a serious car accident.
However, many accident victims I’ve talked to feel pressure to get back to work as soon as possible for a variety of reasons, both personal and economic. Accidents are unexpected…THAT’S WHY THEY’RE CALLED ACCIDENTS. And, most people don’t save up sick or vacation days to take the necessary time off work needed to recover.
Plus, even if you want to get back to work right away, the potential exists that returning to work early may aggravate your injuries, delay the healing process, and needlessly suffer additional pain and complications due to the fact that you haven’t fully recovered.
The amount of time needed to recover depends on the severity of your injuries and the limitations caused by the accident. The most reliable source of information is your doctor. Most doctors will recommend a recovery time, and we advise that it’s best to ask your doctor when determining when it’s safe for you to return to work.
The pain and injury associated with being in a motor vehicle crash can be somewhat misleading. If you’ve ever been involved in an accident you know that it can take your body 24-72 hours before the adrenaline caused by the suddenness of the impact leaves your system. This is when accident victims really start feeling the full physical symptoms of any underlying injuries caused by a car accident. You may experience pain sooner, however, three days is a reasonable amount of time to determine if you have physical injuries that you cannot feel immediately after the accident.
If your injuries require hospitalization, employers are more apt to accommodate additional time off work. After seeking medical attention, and retaining an attorney, please be sure to notify your employer of the accident immediately. Your company’s human resource department will be able to relay the options available. Company rules differ from employer to employer so be sure to get all the details needed to properly understand your employer’s policy regarding time off for injuries.
It’s important to remember that lost wages is a component in a personal injury lawsuit. Call me at 317-636-7497 to discuss how you can recoup lost wages, as well as compensation for pain and suffering, in addition to medical bills after a car accident.
After you are in a car accident that you were not responsible for causing, it is vital that you take certain steps to protect yourself full-circle. Anything you say or do can be used against you when making a claim for compensation. For this reason, you must ensure that you make good decisions, starting at the very scene of your wreck. Of course, everything you do will be dependent on how physically capable you are, as some car accident victims are unconscious for days or weeks, while others must be rushed to the emergency room for immediate medical attention.
But even after a car accident, whether days or weeks later, once you are conscious and capable, you can begin to take the necessary steps toward protecting your auto accident injury claim.
Follow These Steps After Getting into a Car Accident:
☑ Collect People’s Information
Gather identification and contact information for all persons involved in the auto accident, including passengers, as well as any onlookers or witnesses. Write down their phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses. Witnesses are especially important, so do not be afraid to ask someone if they are willing to provide their information for the sake of your claim. For drivers involved, be sure to get their drivers’ license numbers, plate numbers, and registration.
☑ Record Evidence
If you can, take photos and video recordings of the accident. Snap shots of everything related, at all angles and viewpoints, including shots that might indicate how the accident was caused. If you are too injured, delegate this duty to someone who is with you. You can even ask a police office or EMT to contact a loved one to come to the scene and do it for you. If you are medically capable days or weeks later, pick up this step wherever you can, starting with photos and video of your injuries. Do this too if your injury symptoms arise after your accident.
☑ File a Police Report
As soon as possible, if they haven’t already responded to the scene, call 911 and report the accident. This step is vital to your accident claim, so do it even if you think you are only slightly injured. In fact, make a report even if you think you are completely fine. Injuries from car accidents are known to appear later, or worsen overtime, so you need an official record to refer back to in the case that you file a personal injury claim. If you leave without making a report, contact the police when you get home or to the hospital. In your police report, be 100% honest and stick to the facts. Don’t apologize, admit any level of fault, or say too much.
☑ Read the Full Police Report
After making a police report, not only do you need to be sure to get a copy for yourself and your attorney, but you need to read the report in full. If the police officer cannot provide you with a copy of the report at the scene, they can email it or mail it to you. When reading the report, look out for anything missing or incorrect, then notify your accident attorney about the inconsistencies.
☑ Seek Medical Attention Soon
After you have collected information and made a police report, it is vital that you accept medical attention at the scene by responding EMT’s. Otherwise, be sure to see a doctor as soon as you get home, without any delay. Just like a police report, medical evaluation and treatment serve as an official record of your accident and subsequent injuries. Never skip medical care, even if you think you are not seriously hurt.
☑ Don’t Give a Statement to the Adjuster
Do not speak with the insurance adjuster, your own or the other party’s, until you have spoken to a car accident lawyer. Anything you say can be used against you to lower the value of your claim. Not only do you want to avoid giving a recorded statement to the insurance company, but you also want to refrain from posting anything on social media that they can use against you to justify paying you less.
☑ HIRE A SKILLED LAWYER
IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF AN AUTO ACCIDENT THAT WAS NO FAULT OF YOUR OWN, WHETHER A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT, BUS ACCIDENT, OR PEDESTRIAN HIT AND RUN, YOUR BEST CHANCE AT OBTAINING THE MAXIMUM PAYOUT FOR YOUR DAMAGES IS TO RETAIN A SKILLED INDIANA CAR ACCIDENT INJURY LAWYER.
Carl Brizzi LAW retains the qualifications and experience to go head to head with insurance companies, and win the full settlement you deserve.
An Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyer That Fights for Your Right to Payment
Contact Carl Brizzi LAW at 317-636-7497 to learn more about car accidents, and how to make a claim for your personal injuries in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our accident lawyers will work around the clock to ensure your rights to compensation are protected and fulfilled. We can recover damages for hospital bill, lost wages, medical expenses, pain, suffering, and much more. Carl Brizzi LAW also offers free initial case evaluations, and does not collect lawyer fees unless we recover a settlement or verdict for your personal injury case. We also represent victims injured in motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, and all other motor vehicle collisions. Get started as soon as possible, before the statutes of limitations runs out on your claim. Call 317-636-7497 and speak with a friendly legal secretary who will help you schedule a free consultation to discuss the viability of your accident claim with a seasoned Indianapolis personal injury lawyer.