If you have been injured in a Long Island car accident, there are several steps you need to take to ensure your rights are protected in the future. We urge you not to make the mistakes that our Long Island car accident lawyers have seen others make!
Failing to take the appropriate steps could seriously reduce your chances of recovering damages, either by way of settlement or verdict.
To protect your legal rights and maximize your chances of receiving the full amount of compensation available, always take the following steps after an injury accident:
- Call the police
- Seek medical attention
- Be clear about your symptoms
- Seek all tests needed to confirm or diagnose your condition
- Watch the statements you make
- Obtain a personal injury lawyer
- Follow through with therapies and prescriptions
1. Call The Police (911)
Alert the authorities of the accident as soon as possible. But first, determine if you or anyone else might be seriously hurt. If you are unable to make the call yourself, ask someone on the scene to do it for you. When law enforcement arrives on the scene, they will conduct a cursory investigation into the crash. The report created by law enforcement will serve as primary evidence later on.
When you are speaking with the police, do not admit fault. Do not apologize for a supposed mistake and do not claim to be uninjured. Provide answers to questions only if you are able to answer with facts. Provide your contact information, the make and model of your car, your driver’s license, and your insurance information. Remember that anything you say could end up in the report.
2. Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Your injuries may be so severe that you are transported to the hospital from the scene.
Your injuries may also be so unapparent that you are allowed to leave the scene of your own volition. If this is the case, seek medical attention on your own. Here’s what could happen if you deny emergency care or are slow in seeking medical attention:
- The insurance company could claim you were uninjured altogether
- The insurance company could argue that your injuries were sustained for some reason unrelated to the accident
There is no reason this should happen to you. Seek medical attention as soon as possible following your accident — even if your visit is to urgent care or your family doctor. Also, do not refuse emergency care if it is recommended by paramedics at the scene.
3. Be Honest About Your Symptoms
Now is not the time to act tough. Tell your medical care provider exactly where it hurts and what the level of pain is that you feel. If you truly don’t feel as though you are injured, explain to your doctor how the crash occurred, how the vehicles ended up, and where you were seated in the vehicle. This will give your doctor a clue as to what injuries could potentially come to be apparent over the next few days.
4. Consent to All Testing and Imaging Needed
Do not decline the diagnostic tests your doctor wants to be run. It may be tempting to say “no” to that MRI or X-ray but don’t. Your doctor cannot see inside your body, and imaging could locate injuries that are not immediately felt. It’s understandable that you may be concerned with the costs, especially if you don’t have healthcare insurance, but it should be covered by No-Fault Insurance and what is not covered can be part of your settlement later on.
Regardless, it is in your own personal interests to receive a full diagnosis quickly. Failing to diagnose or treat latent injuries can lead to complications, including conditions that make it difficult to live and work the same way you did before your crash.
5. Be Careful Of What You Say
If there is one important thing to remember, it is this — insurance companies are not out to protect the rights of the average person. They are out to keep money in their account. If they can deny your claim, they absolutely will.
You can certainly provide your insurance agent with factual information that will be found in the police report but that is the extent of what you should share. Do not offer your opinion, do not offer to tell the story of the crash, and never say you did not sustain injury!
Note that even your own insurance agent can use your statements against you, not just the other driver’s insurers. You are usually best off reviewing your case with the help of an experienced Long Island car accident lawyer to prepare for these conversations in advance.
6. Obtain An Experienced Car Accident Attorney
You can benefit from speaking to a Long Island car accident lawyer after your wreck. Do not hesitate to contact one. The personal injury lawyers at TonaLaw work on a contingency basis, meaning you do not pay anything unless your case is settled or a verdict is reached. You can speak with an attorney at no cost. They will review your case for free and then determine what compensation could be available and what your next steps should be.
In all situations, obtaining the opinion of an experienced car accident lawyer can allow you to prepare for the case ahead while keeping you informed of what forms of compensation could be available.
7. Follow The Doctor’s Advice
If you are diagnosed with an injury and given a course of treatment, stay the course until it is complete. This may mean medications, follow-up visits, or therapies. Do not decide that you are feeling better and can cease medical care. You will not recover physically as you should and doing so may negatively impact your case.
TonaLaw Fights For Your Rights
If you have been injured in a Long Island car accident, you need the experienced team at TonaLaw fighting by your side. We have won millions for our clients because we will not stop advocating for what is right. You can speak with a member of our team for free by calling 1-833-TONALAW or contacting us online. It costs you nothing to determine your best course of action!