DO contact your insurance company immediately to notify them of the accident. They may need information to assist in their investigation to confirm that you were not at fault.
DO seek medical attention immediately if you have any injuries, aches or pains resulting from the accident. Hard impact soft tissue injuries may not be obvious or painful until several hours, or even days after the accident. Many people report feeling much worse after waking up the next morning.
DO take photographs of the damage to your vehicle from several different angles. Do take photographs of the accident scene, and any other vehicles that were involved.
DO take photographs of any visible scars, bruises, or wounds to your body resulting from the accident. These photographs may provide important documentary evidence at later stages of your case, particularly if your case goes to trial.
DO file all your medical bills with your health insurance plan, if you have one. Keep a copy of any prescription receipts, and a log of time missed from work. Also keep a record of mileage for all accident related errands and appointments. These are part of incurred expenses for which you should be compensated.
DO keep a list of all the doctors you have seen since the accident. Also keep a detailed log of how you have been inconvenienced by the accident. (i.e. pain and suffering, disruption in normal routines, etc.) Such details may assist in enhancing the value of your claim.
What Not To Do
DON’T give a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster, including your own insurance company, without first consulting an attorney. Such statements could significantly decrease the value of your claim, and the “friendly” insurance adjuster may not really be trying to “help” resolve your claim.
DON’T sign any document or release provided to you by an insurance company without having an attorney review it first. You may be waiving important rights which may jeopardize or significantly impact the value of your claim. Once you sign a release, you may be waiving your right to recover additional compensation if you are still suffering from your injury.
DON’T sign a release and settle your property damage claim until the insurance company has repaired your vehicle to your satisfaction. If your vehicle is totaled, go to online car sales websites to determine the value of your car.
DON’T forget to make all of your scheduled medical appointments. Missed appointments and gaps in treatment usually adversely impact your case. Be forthright with the doctor about all aspects of your injuries, both before and after accident. Failure to do so may hurt the value of your case. Make sure to inform the doctor of all injuries related to your crash.
DON’T neglect yourself. Recovering from your injuries may take days, weeks, even months. Make sure you take it easy, abide by the doctor’s restrictions, if any, and do all prescribed therapies and exercises. Allowing yourself the opportunity to heal will help you reach maximum medical improvement. Failure to fill prescriptions, do home exercises, prescribed by the doctor or comply with your job restrictions may affect the value of your claim.
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If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, contact us immediately for a free and confidential consultation.
Dislcaimer: The Virginia State Bar rules of professional conduct require all attorneys to make the following statement and disclaimer to their case results. Settlement and verdict in all cases depend on various factors and circumstances, which are unique to each case. Therefore, past results in cases are not a guarantee or prediction of similar results in future cases.