Steps to Take After You are Injured in an Automobile Accident

WHAT TO DO AFTER INJURED AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT or CRASH: (Call, fax or email your information to us so we can assist - facts of collision, injuries, insurance companies involved (adjusters - phone and claim numbers), police reports or info on police reports, witness information, photos or video, medical bills and records received, any other information or documentation regarding the injury or collision):

Law Office of Doug Goyen
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There are multiple types of injuries you may suffer from an automobile accident (or collision).   You should consult an attorney in at least 3 of the 4 where you have been injured in an automobile accident. 

Four types of injuries after an accident:

1)  Serious and obvious injuries - Taken away by ambulance.  Loss of consciousness.  Broken bones or lacerations, etc.  

This type injury will likely have high medical bills, you will often have multiple different types of insurance you may be able to use.  You need help choosing which ones to use - which types of insurance to use so you maximize your benefits to ensure you do not end up "holding the bag" on medical bills.  You will often have long lasting (if not permanent) problems related to this type injury.  You need to know how to present these types of claims to the different insurers involved or companies that may owe for your claims.  You definitely need to have the help of an attorney in this type case. 

2)  You are hurting at the accident scene, but you are not sure how severe it is - You may have pain somewhere in your body that is not visible, but you realize you are hurt.  An ambulance may or may not come to the scene.  You might be taken by ambulance to the hospital with this type injury, or you might decide
that you will drive yourself to the hospital or clinic to get checked out.  

Hopefully these type injuries go away quickly.  Sometimes though, they turn out to be more serious than you first believed.   The ones that do not go away, and where you need medical attention, are the injuries you need a lawyer. 

If you are unsure if you will need future medical care, but think you will need or probably will need to seek some kind of medical treatment due to your injury, you need an attorney to assist you. 

You may have multiple types of insurance to choose from.   An experienced attorney can help you choose the correct path in getting your bills paid so that you maximize the benefits you have available.   You will need an attorney to help you present your claims in a way that ensure you recover from the various insurers involved.  

3) Pain or Injury shows up a day or two later - Sometimes in collisions, you may not realize you are injured at the scene of the accident, but later in the day, or in the next day or two, pain sets in and you realize you were actually injured in the automobile accident. 

The pain often can intensify, and be of a nature that you know you need to see a medical professional. 

In this situation, you will need an attorney to help you determine which insurance coverages are available for you to use.  You will need help in presenting the claim in a way that is acceptable to the insurance company(s) involved - to ensure you maximize the coverage available for you to use. 

4) Pain that does not require any medical treatment, and goes away. 

Sometimes you realize you are in pain, but it is not serious enough for any medical treatment.  You think about going to the doctor, but never do.  Eventually the pain goes away and you have no lingering effects from the injury.  You likely do not need an attorney for your injury claim in this circumstance.   You can call an attorney so they can ask you all the relevant questions, to make sure you have not left out anything that may indicate your need to hire an attorney, but most likely you will not need an attorney for an injury that never required any medical care in the past, and will not need any care in the future, and that resolves and leaves no lingering effects. 

IF YOU ARE AT THE ACCIDENT SCENE (TO DO):  If you are searching our website while at the accident scene (for yourself or a family member or loved one), you need to do the following if there are any injuries involved: 

1. Phone 911 and get the police to the scene if you are injured or may be injured (even if you are not sure, but might be injured). You need a written report if you are injured or think you might be injured.  If you are not injured, police will typically not come to the scene.  BUT IF YOU ARE INJURED or experiencing pain, report that to your call to 911 and they will send a police officer out to the scene.   Police officers will often want to just get you to exchange information without writing a report if there is no report of pain or injury. Insist on a written report, if you are hurt. The officer will not remember the details later if he does not write them down in a report.

2. Obtain names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses. Don't wait for volunteers to come to you, they may think that you already have witnesses and leave. If you see someone who is a witness to what happened, or a witness to the other driver admitting fault, gather that witnesses information. You will likely need to give it to the insurance company later. People involved in accidents often change their story after they leave the scene. Without witnesses, auto accidents often turn into swearing matches (which means the insurance company won't pay).

3. Take photos of the vehicles (yours and any others involved). Take pictures of any visible injuries (if you are a family member or friend of the injured person at the scene). Take pictures of the accident scene. If you are hurt, then get someone else to take the pictures for you. They can help later in determining how the accident happened, and how severe the accident was.

4. Get the insurance card or information from the other driver(s) (take a picture with your phone). Without this information, it can be difficult to get your vehicle repaired, or get your medical bills or lost income paid. Don't rely on the police to have it at a later date, make sure you have the insurance information before you leave the scene.

5. If anyone is hurt, get an ambulance, or get someone to take the injured person to the hospital or other medical facility.  People often do not realize how severe their injury is at the scene. Their adrenaline is up, and they may be in shock from what just happened. If there is pain, they should be seen by medical professionals to ensure there is no life threatening injury.

6. Obtain an estimate for the damage to your vehicle. Get your OWN estimate if possible.  You may not want to rely on the insurance company's estimate (depending on the insurance company). The insurance company will almost always write the estimate low in personal injury cases. They are trying to pay as little as possible, and will often use the "low cost of repair" to your vehicle as "evidence" that you could not have been injured in the accident (that your injury must have come from some other event, and you are trying to blame it on the accident).

Personal Injury Areas We Help With Are:

Auto Accident and Injury Cases, Personal Injury Cases, 18 Wheeler & Commercial Vehicle Injury Accident Cases, Motorcycle Accident and Injury Cases, Wrongful Death Cases, Pedestrian Injured by Automobile Cases, Slip and Fall & Premises Cases, Workplace & Constructions Injury Cases, Dog Bite Injury Cases, Bicyclers Hit by Automobile Cases .

Types of Coverage in Automobile Injury Cases:

Automobile Liability Insurance, Uninsured Motorist Insurance, Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Medpay Insurance, Property Damage & Collision Coverages for Your Auto

By Doug Goyen, 

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