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What to Expect after an Auto Accident

Posted in Car Accident on December 22, 2017

Being involved in an auto accident may be one of the most traumatic experiences of your life. Car accidents are loud, shocking, painful, and even life-threatening, and they’re something that victims aren’t quick to forget—especially if they suffered serious injuries.

At Matt Hardin Law, we know that the initial shock and pain of car accidents can be overwhelming for victims, and we also know that many victims face multiple obstacles and potential setbacks in the days, weeks, months, and even years ahead.

Our Nashville auto accident lawyers are dedicated to helping victims get the legal representation they deserve for crashes that weren’t their fault. We believe that no one should have to pay out of pocket for an accident they didn’t cause, and that’s why we fight hard to help people like you get full compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

You shouldn’t have to worry about upfront attorney’s fees, collecting evidence, or negotiating with the insurance company when you’re recovering from an auto accident. Instead, you should be spending time with your loved ones and focusing on getting better. Call us today, and let us take some of the stress of the accident off your shoulders. Fill out a free online contact form or reach out to us at (615) 200-1111.

At the Accident Scene

Immediately after the crash, you’re disoriented, confused, and in pain. You may be worried about your own health and the health of your loved ones. You also may be concerned about being a victim all over again, especially if your crash happened on a busy roadway with heavy traffic nearby.

There are a few steps auto accident victims can take to protect their health and their rights to compensation before they ever leave the scene. Those steps include:

  • Call 911 – Getting in touch with an emergency dispatcher can save lives. The sooner that medical personnel can get to the scene and administer aid or transport victims to a hospital, the better their chances of recovery will be. Never assume that someone else has already called 911, and stay on the line as long as necessary to give the dispatcher relevant information, including where the crash occurred, the number of vehicles involved, and the severity of injuries.
  • Cooperate with the responding police officers – All accidents in Tennessee that involve property damage or bodily harm must be reported to police. When you call 911, a police officer will also be dispatched to the scene. Cooperate with him or her to the best of your ability, but never admit fault for the crash. In addition, never leave the scene unless you leave in an ambulance or are told you’re free to leave by the responding officer.
  • Get contact information from the other driver and witnesses – Getting compensation for an auto accident involves proving to the insurance company that the crash wasn’t your fault. Statements from others who were involved in the accident or witnessed it can serve as valuable as evidence, but those people can be hard to track down in the days or weeks after the crash occurs. Exchanging contact information can help you and your attorney locate them and obtain statements when you’re ready to file a claim.

The tips above are highly recommended, but they’re not always possible, especially if you were severely injured in the crash. Many victims also find it difficult to think rationally and logically after crashes, as they’re highly traumatic events. Regardless of what you do at the scene, make sure you get medical attention as soon as possible.

Auto accidents often cause victims to suffer internal injuries which can become debilitating or even life-threatening if they’re not treated immediately. In addition, waiting too long to see a doctor or visit a hospital after a crash can cause the insurance company to view your claim with suspicion, making it more difficult to get the money you deserve.

After You’ve Received Medical Treatment

After you’ve been treated for your injuries by a doctor or other medical professional, it’s time to start thinking about your future and how the accident may affect it. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may still be in the hospital, or you may be at home but in too much pain or too disabled to go back to work.

Many auto accident victims never get compensation for crashes that weren’t their fault, and they face difficult situations because of the medical bills that start piling up and weeks, months, or even years away from work and the paychecks their families rely on.

To protect your rights to compensation, it’s important that you:

  • Report the accident to your insurance provider – Insurance companies require almost immediate notice of crashes. In some cases, policyholders have only around 48 hours to report an injury or property-damaging crash. When speaking with your insurance agent or provider, stick to the facts of what happened and never admit fault. Stating that you did or might have caused the crash can jeopardize your claim, even if evidence later proves you weren’t at fault.
  • Write down what happened – Your account of what happened is valuable, but it can become distorted in the days and weeks after the crash occurred. Memories are susceptible to outside influences and the effects of time, especially memories of traumatic events like auto accidents. As soon as you’re feeling up to it, write down what happened in the moments leading up to the crash. Include details such as the weather and time of day when the crash occurred, the lane you were traveling in, and the movements of the other vehicle just before impact.
  • Call a Nashville car accident lawyer – It’s important to get a fast start on your auto accident claim. Evidence that proves you weren’t at fault can either become more difficult to find or disappear completely, and the insurance company will begin its own investigation of the crash as soon as it finds out the accident occurred. Don’t let them beat you to the punch. After our legal team takes on your claim, you can count on us to begin preserving evidence and handling all communication with the insurance company moving forward, letting you focus on your recovery.

You may be contacted by the insurance company shortly after it finds out about the accident. You may even be offered a settlement check for your injuries and lost wages. It’s vital to discuss any settlement offers with an attorney before accepting. Most initial settlement offers—especially those that come only days after a crash—are lowball settlements that aren’t enough to pay for all crash-related expenses. In addition, victims who accept initial settlements are no longer eligible to pursue further damages, even if the money they received was significantly less than what they owe for their healthcare-related costs.

Trust Our Experience and Track Record of Success

In addition to collecting evidence that proves you weren’t at fault, we’ll also negotiate with the insurance company to make sure you get maximum compensation. That includes calculating your current and future losses—and they may change in the days of weeks after the crash occurs. For example, your injuries may worsen and become more severe, requiring further surgeries and rehabilitation and extending your time away from work.

We’ll stay in close contact with you throughout the injury claim process to make sure the insurance company is aware of all the ways the accident has affected and will continue to affect your life. We’ll stop at nothing to maximize your chances of getting the money you deserve. Don’t wait another day to get the experienced and successful legal representation you and your loved ones need during this difficult time. Call the Nashville auto accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law today.