7 Steps to Take When You Have Been in an Accident
If you, your friend, or relative has suffered a serious injury, there are some important steps you’ll need to take within the first few days after an accident.
Knowing your rights from the very beginning is half the battle. Thinking about what you will need to do to get your life together as soon as possible takes time, but these steps will help you start to heal faster physically, emotionally, and financially:
1. Report your accident to police or other authorities
Make sure that the police or other authorities have all the necessary information about the accident and injuries.
2. Contact your insurance company
Notify your insurance company of the accident and injuries immediately. Your insurance company will ask a number of questions related to the accident and may provide you with specific help or suggestions right away. As more information about the accident become available, your insurance company may call you more than one time to get more details. Your insurance company may have a number of complicated benefits forms for you to fill out and we can help you with that process free of charge. This will allow you to focus on your rehabilitation, before you decide whether you want to retain a lawyer or whether you want to start a lawsuit.
3. Document everything
When you see us we will tell you to start a journal about the accident and to record the names of the people involved including witnesses and their contact information. It may also be beneficial to take photographs of the scene, if you or your family members are able. If there is a risk that the scene of the accident will change or evidence wil be lost, we can retain accident reconstruction engineers and investigators to document and preserve the evidence at the scene. Preserving the evidence of vehicle damage before repairs are complete with professional engineers or investigators can make the difference between proving that the collision happened the way you say it happened and proving that the forces were sufficient to cause your injuries.
It may also be helpful to have a friend or family member who knows you well document how the accident has affected your life. Your loved ones may need to drive you to appointments and help with activities of daily living. Information should always be documented for use in the case.
4. Notify your employer
Whether you are an employee or a student, contact your school or employer as soon as possible if your injuries prevent you from returning to work or school. If you are unable to perform the duties of your job because of the accident, your employer may have some questions for you regarding short-term and long-term disability benefits.
5. Coordinate and document healthcare required
Contact your family doctor as soon as possible to inform him/her of all of your injuries or symptoms. Your doctor may provide you with a referral to see a specialist or rehabilitation professional.
It is also important to keep any receipts if you require immediate help from a variety of healthcare professionals including chiropractors, physiotherapists, dentists and other specialists.
6. Check for other insurance coverage available
You may have accident insurance through a variety of groups and memberships. Check on accident coverage through your credit cards, school, work, professional trade organizations, CAA etc. This coverage could provide additional compensation and may be required to be exhausted before your accident benefits coverage begins through your automobile insurer.
7. Contact the HARRISON PENSAâ„¢ Personal Injury Group
The Personal Injury team at HARRISON PENSAâ„¢ will meet with you for a free consultation. Our experienced and compassionate staff will ensure that you get the help and compensation that you need.