The shock of getting into a car wreck can make you feel disheveled and out-of-sorts, clouding your ability to think clearly and make good decisions. However, how you act and what you do immediately following a car crash can greatly impact your personal injury case. It’s important to take the time to process exactly what happened, so that you can make the right decisions that will keep you and others out of harm. The personal injury attorneys at Fisher & Associates have put together a list of important steps to take if you’ve been in a car wreck.
- Never leave the scene of a collision, no matter how minor you believe it is. Colorado Revised Statute § 42-4-1603 requires any driver involved in an accident to stop and exchange information. Additional obligations arise where there are injuries or property damage.
- Car crash sites can be extremely dangerous and can even lead to additional injuries if not handled correctly. To prevent this from happening, take steps to create the safest possible crash site by keeping your flashers on, setting up flares and waiting in a spot that is clear of any oncoming traffic.
MAKE A RECORD
- Make sure that the collision is reported properly to the police and that the information provided is accurate. Report what happened to the best of your ability but never guess, misstate or speculate. You should never admit fault for the collision.If you are asked whether you are injured and you either don’t believe so, or you’re not certain, state that you are not sure. Don’t say that you aren’t hurt. Most people have elevated adrenaline levels that can mask injuries immediately following a collision. Frequently, these injuries do not begin to hurt or become apparent for hours or even days after the initial collision.
- Make sure you take pictures of the scene of the collision on a camera or cell phone. Also try to obtain the name, address and telephone information of all parties involved in the collision, including any passengers and witnesses. You should obtain the insurance information from all of the people involved in the accident by asking to see their insurance card. If the police respond, take note of the officer’s name and department and ask for a case number. This can be used to request the report at a later time.
SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION
- Always seek medical attention if you’ve been in a motor vehicle collision. Most injuries will not be apparent for hours or even days following an injury. Even car crashes with minor impacts can sometimes result in serious and severe injuries. You should seek medical attention from the local emergency room if there is any question at all. If you decline an ambulance, follow up with your primary care physician as soon as possible. When seeing a doctor, inform him or her that you were involved in an auto accident and what your symptoms are. It is especially important to relay any loss of consciousness or head trauma as these may indicate more serious head injuries.The longer you delay medical treatment – a period in which insurance companies call a “gap in treatment” – the harder it becomes to protect your rights. Insurance companies will argue that your failure to seek immediate medical attention means that you couldn’t have been injured in the car collision.
PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS
- Aside from seeking medical treatment, the most important thing to do following a collision is to contact experienced Colorado personal injury attorneys. Your attorney will make sure that evidence is preserved and your rights are protected from insurance companies. They will also advise you on all aspects of your car crash and will make sure that the insurance companies do not take advantage of you. The Colorado personal injury attorneys at Fisher & Associates, P.C. work on a contingency basis which means there are no legal fees unless your obtain a settlement or recovery. The insurance companies have teams of lawyers working for them. You should too.
Call Your Colorado Lawyers today if you or a loved one has been in a car wreck. We offer 100% free consultations to help you find out how much your case is worth.