Law FAQ: What should I do if I’m seriously injured in a car wreck?
We have a helpful list of DOs & DON’Ts in the Auto Accident FAQ section of our website. Here are a few examples:
DO — call the police and be courteous to the other driver and any emergency personnel who come to the accident scene. If the other driver is confrontational or angry, then stay in your vehicle and wait for the police to arrive.
DON’T — move your vehicle until instructed by emergency personnel.
DO — report the accident to your own auto insurance carrier immediately. Our lawyers can handle this for you after we have been retained. (Click here to read more info about your own UM coverage, and click here for more info about not having to worry about your rates going up simply by submitting a UM claim to your own insurance carrier.)
DON’T — make comments at the accident scene or to insurance adjusters like “I’m okay” or “I’m not hurt.” A few days may pass before the full extent of your injuries are known or even felt, particularly with neck and back injuries, and your attempt to be helpful may be taken out of context. Indeed, a common tactic for insurance company adjusters is to try to contact you shortly after the accident to record a statement before you fully appreciate the extent of your injuries. Let your medical reports do the talking for you.
DO — hire an experienced, knowledgeable lawyer to assist you early on. While it is certainly possible to handle your own claim, the question is whether you are truly competent to do so. Remember that insurance adjusters handle personal injury claims for a living. They are trained and have considerable resources at their disposable to use against you, and their job function is to limit any payouts made by their company. You may not even know when the deck is stacked against you, and you deserve a level playing field to make sure that you are treated fairly.