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Injured in an Accident? 7 Steps You Need to Take Immediately

According to government data, there are around 6 million police-reported car accidents per year in the U.S., totaling over $340 billion in costs from deaths, injuries, and property damage. Millions of people visit emergency rooms annually for accident injuries, not counting those with minor scrapes and bruises.

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Being injured in any kind of accident can be scary, stressful, and confusing. You may be worried about your injuries, not sure what to do next, or wondering how you’re going to pay for medical treatment. When you’re injured in a car crash or other accident, there are some important steps you need to take right away to protect yourself both medically and legally. 

Here is an overview of the 7 most critical things you should do. 

1. Seek Medical Attention 

If you have been injured in a car crash, first and foremost, you need to seek medical care. Even if you think you feel fine initially due to adrenaline and shock, there may be underlying issues that need treatment. Getting checked out quickly can diagnose serious problems and establish a record of your injuries from the accident. With more than 2.4 million injuries resulting from car crashes each year, this is important. 

2. Seek Legal Help From an Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer

Contact an attorney as soon as realistically possible after the accident. Car accident lawyers understand what evidence needs to be gathered, the timeline for insurance claims and litigation, and how to build the strongest case for full financial compensation.

3. Document the Scene

If possible, take photos and videos of the accident scene from different angles. Capture images showing damage to vehicles, surroundings, road conditions, and anything else relevant to how the crash occurred. This documentation will be crucial to proving liability later.

4. Get Contact & Insurance Information

Don’t leave the scene without getting contact details and insurance information for the other parties involved, as well as witnesses if possible. You’ll need this to file claims later.

5. Report the Accident

Alert the authorities so there is an official report filed about the accident. Provide thorough details about what happened while the event is still fresh in your mind. If the police do not come to the scene, you may need to go to the local precinct later to file the report.

6. Notify Your Insurance Company 

Alert your insurance provider no more than 48 hours after the incident. Failure to notify quickly can jeopardize your ability to file a claim later. Be as detailed as possible about what happened and ask what steps they recommend you take next regarding vehicle repair, medical treatment coverage and managing injury claims.

7. Don’t Post on Social Media

Refrain from posting anything about the accident on social networks or online, no matter how innocent it may seem. Insurance companies and opposing legal counsel will be looking for anything they can use against you, including evidence that injuries seem exaggerated compared to activities posted online after the incident. Let your attorney handle all communications about the case.

Getting Justice After an Accident 

Dealing with serious injuries while trying to handle countless legal, medical, and insurance details is extremely difficult. Enlisting the help of an experienced personal injury attorney can help injured accident victims emerge from a challenging ordeal with their health, well-being, and finances intact. While no amount of money can make up for what’s been lost, it can provide the crucial resources needed for recovery.

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