5 Things You Should Do After a Wreck
If you have recently been involved in a Car Wreck, it is not unusual to have questions:
- What Should I Do?
- Do I Need to Talk To Someone?
- How Do I Make a Claim?
- How Long Do I Have?
Those are all normal, expected questions. Navigating a sometimes complex legal system can be confusing. We’re here to help – Danny Glover
1. Get Healthy
After a collision, especially one involving injuries, the most important thing to do is seek immediate medical treatment.
Focus first on getting healthy.
Do NOT try to “tough it out.” Go see a Doctor without delay. Not only will you feel better, you will better protect any claim or claims you may have against the party whom caused the injuries.
Insurance Companies look for reasons to challenge paying Claims.
Delaying medical attention could call into question whether the injuries sustained were related to the wreck or something else.
Legal Professionals refer to such issues as Clear Liability and Proximate Cause.
Indeed, injuries may be worsened by waiting to begin treatment. Failure to seek immediate medical care could extend the length of time of recovery.
Do not take a chance. Go see a doctor now.
2. Make Your Online Profiles PRIVATE
Everyone loves to share things that happen to them on-line nowadays. Whether it is a birthday party, or long-awaited vacation, or even a car wreck with a trip to the Emergency Room, people regularly post on Social Media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and the like.
Insurance Companies know that. . .and they take advantage of the opportunity to gather information about you.
Therefore, take the simple step of making your accounts PRIVATE, where only your friends and family can see what you post.
Here’s what Richard Harer, Vice President of Specialized Investigations says:
Social networking research and investigation is a required tool
Understand, if a case goes to litigation, it is not unusual for lawyers for the insurance company to request the disclosure of information via a process called Discovery.
They may ask for copies of the Social Profiles, your posts, pictures, and comments associated with your wreck.
If you feel compelled to post something, realize this: A Jury may at some point review what you wrote or posted.
That is true even if you make your posts Private.
See More: How Insurance Companies View Claims
3. Write Down What Happened
We recommend you write down everything that happened before and after a wreck.
That serves two purposes:
- It will serve as your memory as time passes
- It will help in the recovery process, as you will not worry about having to remember everything
This simple step may seem a bit odd. “Of course I will remember everything. It was a very traumatic event for me. I’ll never forget what happened.”
The truth of the matter is, memories do fade over time.
If it takes a long time to get healthy again, you may not remember all the little things you missed in the process.
Cases that end ultimately in litigation can take a substantial amount of time to reach Court.
If you have detailed notes, it is much more convincing to explain why you saw a Doctor or went to Physical Therapy.
Writing everything down serves as your memory; but, it also does something else that is equally important.
What many people do not realize is that a wreck can be a traumatic, life-changing event.
Our minds can work in odd ways. We can add to our own level of stress, worrying about what happened and the need to remember things.
When you write something down, it serves as a type of mental release.
You allow yourself to stop thinking about an event. You “got it out of you.” You start to relax. You are able to focus on other things, like getting well.
And believe it or not, you may actually start to remember other things that happened once you start writing.
4. Get Witness Information, NOW
As stated, sometimes cases involving car wrecks take time to settle. If a lawsuit is required and litigation ensues, people whom saw the wreck may need to come to Court.
Do NOT assume just because the police wrote down what happened in an accident report that will suffice as proof.
More often than not, Live Testimony is preferable in Court.
People move. They get new jobs. They change telephone numbers and addresses.
Get as much information about your witnesses NOW, when you still have access to that information.
Obviously be nice about things. While one would not expect to need to give their entire life history, most people are willing to share their:
- Full Name
- Permanent Mailing Address
- Telephone Number
- eMail Address
- Place of Employment
Getting that information now may also increase the speed in which a claim may be made.
Most assuredly the Insurance Carrier will want to speak with witnesses and determine what they had an opportunity to observe.
It makes sense then to have that information handy from the outset.
5. Talk to an Attorney, Do NOT Talk to the Carrier
Lawyers are not required in every instance; but, in that most Personal Injury or Wreck Attorneys provide a confidential consultation, free of charge, it does not hurt to get information.
In North Carolina you are NOT required to give a Recorded Statement.
That is frankly often misunderstood by some insurance adjusters.
You are only required to “cooperate” with your Insurance Company and their representatives.
You are NOT required to assist the Insurance Company responsible for the wreck. In fact, their interests are directly contrary to yours.
That may not seem fair. . .but that is how it works.
Lawyers can help explain your rights and what you are required and not required to do. That’s what we do: We Help People – Danny Glover
Talking to or “consulting” with a Lawyer does not require you to retain their services.
In some cases, an attorney is not required.
Unfortunately, in many cases lawyers get involved because people feel they are not being treated fairly by an Insurance Company or Adjuster.
Remember, settling a claim is a business decision for the carrier responsible to pay for damages.
They are in the business of getting out of claims as quickly and as inexpensively as possible.
They are not in the business of making certain you are completely healthy.
They also are not required to “do the right thing” or be fair.
That’s why we have Courts and that is why some matters end in litigation. The Insurance Company or the person whose negligence caused the wreck does not want to take full responsibility.
If you are looking for a Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Lawyer, we encourage you to do your homework.
Find out their level of experience and what they do to help people.
Take your time.
If you have questions the attorneys at Glover Law Firm are here to help.
Call Danny Glover now for a free consultation.