Auto accidents happen a lot and most of them are not minor “fender bender” wrecks that snarl rush hour traffic. In fact, car crashes kill or seriously injure millions of Americans every year. Despite the statistics, many people never think they will be involved in a collision.
Such injuries cause significant economic losses, like medical bills, as well as non-economic losses, including pain and suffering. To obtain compensation for these injuries, a Rockford car crash attorney must get off to an early start. Remember, it’s important for vehicle wreck victims to help, and not hurt, their compensation claims.
Do Go to the Doctor
After a serious wreck, many people refuse medical treatment. They may honestly “feel fine,” mostly because of adrenaline from the crash. But once that adrenaline wears off, the victim will certainly feel the effects of injury. But by that time, car crash injuries are usually more difficult to treat.
There are legal reasons as well. If you do not see a doctor immediately, the insurance company will claim your injuries must not have been very bad. So, it will be more difficult to obtain compensation, especially for pain and suffering.
Don’t Say “I’m Sorry”
We often apologize for things that are not our fault, like if a spouse or significant other has a bad day at work. These apologies express sympathy.
However, in the car crash context, saying: “I’m sorry,” could be construed as an admission of fault or liability. Because of a loophole in the hearsay rule, these out-of-court statements are usually admissible in court.
So, instead of saying “I’m sorry,” say something like: “I’m sorry this accident happened.” These words express sympathy, but do not admit liability. Or, better yet, don’t say anything at all.
Do Collect Evidence
Emergency responders arrive promptly at the scene of any accident with injuries, but they are there to secure the scene and tend to victims. Collecting evidence for a future court case is not their priority. In fact, many emergency responders consider such matters to be a civil disagreement between the victim and insurance company.
So – you may need to pick up the slack. Take pictures of the property damage, your physical injuries, and the surroundings. Be sure to note any surveillance cameras in the area. Later, when you get to the hospital, be sure doctors know about all your injuries.
Don’t Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
In most cases, victims have no legal obligation to give statements to the other driver’s insurance company. So, don’t make one. Let your attorney handle this call.
Insurance company phone operators always seem nice. But in fact, these highly-trained professionals know how to extract damaging information from victims. Because of another hearsay rule loophole, these statements are usually admissible in court.
Do Call a Lawyer
If you are incapable of doing these things, don’t worry. Immediately call a lawyer and an attorney will take care of things you missed.
Attorneys can connect victims with qualified doctors, even if they have no money or insurance. Also, attorneys can collect evidence in the case, which includes things like the vehicle’s Event Data Recorder. Finally, a lawyer keeps the insurance company at bay. So, instead of fussing with adjusters, you just focus on getting better.
Reach Out to Savvy Attorneys
In the early going, victims can do things to help, or hurt, their compensation claims. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Rockford, contact Fisk & Monteleone, Ltd. We routinely handle matters in Winnebago County and nearby jurisdictions.