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5 Essential Steps to Protect Your Health and Your Rights after an Auto Accident

Posted in Car Accident on April 5, 2018

If you’ve just been involved in a car accident, your life may feel like it has been turned upside down. You and your loved ones may be in pain, you may be unable to return to work for the foreseeable future, and you may be facing piles of expensive medical bills that you can’t afford.

The Nashville auto accident lawyers at Matt Hardin Law know how difficult this time is for victims like you, especially if you’ve never been in a serious accident in the past. You may be confused and overwhelmed, and you’re unsure of what to do or who to trust, as you may be receiving advice from multiple people or settlement offers from the insurance company.

After an auto accident, your health always comes first, but it’s also vital to make sure that your rights to compensation are also protected. Without them, you may be unable to pursue compensation for your accident-related expenses, including your medical bills and lost wages. That can put you and your loved ones in serious financial jeopardy.

Thankfully, completing the most vital and essential post-accident steps is a quick and easy process. Many of them can be accomplished over the phone, and you can be on your way to a full physical, mental, and financial recovery within days of your crash.

Do Your Best to Complete these Steps after Your Accident

We know that everyone experiences different levels of injuries during car accidents, and they may experience varying levels of pain and disability. That means not everyone is capable of accomplishing the same post-accident steps—and that’s okay. The more steps you can complete, the better you’ll be able to protect your health and your rights to compensation.

But regardless of your level of injury or disability, there are two steps that should never be skipped or overlooked after an accident:

  • Get medical attention right away – Being treated by healthcare professionals in the immediate aftermath of your accident should always be your top priority. No matter how serious or minor your injuries appear or seem at the accident scene, you should always get medical attention. A full examination not only gets you on the path to recovery faster, but it also gives your doctor and opportunity to look for, diagnose, or rule out internal injuries, which are common after accidents but not always obvious.In addition, seeking immediate medical attention creates a medical record of your injuries. And the sooner you get medical treatment, the stronger your medical record will be when it’s used as evidence to prove you were seriously hurt in the accident. If you wait too long, the insurance company may be skeptical of when and where your injuries occurred, and it may be less likely to pay you the money you deserve.
  • Call a law firm that knows auto accidents – After getting medical attention, your second priority should be getting the help of a law firm that can protect your rights to compensation. Auto accidents are expensive, and victims often face the full brunt of their medical bills and lost wages when they don’t have legal advocates on their side. Pursuing compensation on your own can be difficult, as effective claims require in-depth knowledge of car accident laws and how insurance companies prepare their defenses.

And when you’re hurt and disabled, the last thing you want to do is worry about collecting, completing, and submitting paperwork related to your accident. To make matters worse, small mistakes can and often do jeopardize claims. With an experienced law firm on your side, you won’t have to worry about losing out on the money you deserve due to technicalities or minor oversights.

Those steps are the most essential for auto accident victims, but there are three other steps that can help you further protect your rights to compensation. If you’re capable of completing them, do so as soon as possible:

  • Get contact information from witnesses and the other driver – Many auto accident claims turn into he said, she said situations where it can be difficult to prove exactly what happened. However, statements from witnesses and even the other at-fault driver can help clarify the events that led to your accident. It can be difficult to track down witnesses after a crash has already happened, so exchanging contact information with them at the scene can help you add more evidence and credibility to your damages claim.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company – Almost all insurance companies require prompt notice of any accidents. In fact, you may have only a few days to report your crash after it happens, even if you weren’t at fault. Be sure to report it as soon as possible and be honest about the details. However, stick to the facts and never admit fault. If you say that you were fully or partially responsible for the crash, it may be difficult for you to get compensation, even if evidence later proves the other driver’s negligence was the sole contributing factor to the crash.
  • Don’t talk about the accident with anyone except your family and your attorney – It’s human nature to want to share details of traumatic and painful events with others after they happen, as it’s a part of the coping and healing processes. However, auto accidents can be and often are complicated legal processes, especially when victims like you pursue compensation. Insurance companies are always on the lookout for ways to reduce or deny payments to victims, and the things you say to friends, coworkers, or even on social media can be used against you.

Other important steps that can maximize your chances of getting full compensation include:

  • Writing down what happened in the moments leading up to the accident
  • Taking pictures at the crash scene with your smartphone or digital camera
  • Following your doctor’s orders by being prompt to all appointments and rehabilitation sessions

Finally, you should always discuss any communication from the insurance company with your attorneys. In the days or weeks after your accident, you may get a settlement offer from the insurance company.

And while the offer may seem substantial, it’s unlikely to cover all of your accident-related expenses—especially the ones you’ll encounter in the future. To make matters worse, accepting it can nullify your chances of pursuing additional compensation in the months to come.

Trust Our Experience and Our Dedication to Our Clients

The Nashville car accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law have helped victims like you for 30 years. We know all of the tactics insurance companies use to reduce or deny compensation to people who were seriously hurt in crashes that weren’t their fault, and it’s our goal to stand up for innocent drivers and passengers.

Don’t go it alone when pursuing compensation, and don’t just settle for any law firm. We’re dedicated to getting maximum compensation for our clients and being there to answer their questions and address their concerns along the way. Get in touch with us today—call us at (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online form.