WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTIONS THAT PEOPLE HAVE REGARDING AUTO ACCIDENTS WHEN THEY FIRST CONSULT AN ATTORNEY?
Usually, the first thing time an accident victim comes in to one of our offices seeking help with an injury claim they often will apologize for wanting to hire a lawyer. Having to meet with a lawyer makes them feel like a bad person. They feel that way because of the public perception about personal injury and automobile accidents is usually not good. They think that for people who get hurt in these accidents, getting a lawyer involved will be viewed as greedy or unnecessary. When it comes to protecting your rights, getting the help you need should not be something for which to apologize.
The second misconception that happens is that a lot of people assume that the insurance company is going to take care of everything for them. They have seen all the commercials, “you are in good hands,” “like a good neighbor”, and “we are on your side”. As a result of these commercials, people assume that as long as the other person has insurance, that insurance company is going to handle everything for them and take care of them. However, that is simply not the case most of the time. An insurance company is in the business to make substantial profits. They do this by paying as little as possible on claims.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO FILE A CLAIM OR LAWSUIT IF SOMEONE HAS BEEN IN AN ACCIDENT?
First, at the time of the accident, you will need to make sure that everybody is safe and out of harm’s way. Sometimes, that may require getting out of oncoming traffic or out of an intersection if you can move your vehicle safely without destroying the ability of an investigator to determine who is at fault. So, the first thing to do is to make sure that everyone is safe and out of the way.
The second step is to call the police. Have the police come to the scene to complete a written report and to make sure accurate information is exchanged. There are times when people do not call police. This is usually not a good thing to do. Simply exchanging information can have devastating results. Even with information from the other party, which is not always accurate, without a police report there is no way to determine who was responsible for the accident. Stories change and memories fade. If at all possible take photos of the vehicles and the accident scene. Most everyone has smart phones with cameras. Photos are usually helpful in resolving disputes as to liability and damages.
Next, you want to report the accident to both insurance companies. You can do this by calling your insurance company first. They will usually help get the other claim reported. Calling an insurance company without first speaking to your attorney can be dangerous. They have trained associates and your conversation will be recorded. If you have questions or concerns about setting up the claim, please call us or speak with an attorney as soon as possible
Therefore, the first thing to do is to make sure everyone is safe. The second is to call the police or law enforcement from that area. The next thing to do would be to make sure that if you are injured, you get medical treatment. If you are injured badly enough, then calling an ambulance to come to the scene is wise to do. Many times, the police will do that for you, but getting medical treatment is very important if you have been in an automobile accident and know you have been injured.
PAIN WEEKS AFTER CAR ACCIDENT & DIDN’T GO TO DOCTOR RIGHT AFTER CRASH
If You Feel Fine After The Accident But A Week Or Month Later, You Start Feeling Pain, Will That Be Too Long?
Waiting too long to seek medical treatment can have an adverse effect on your case. Typically, the more serious the injury, the more obvious it is. Sometimes, injuries are not serious, there is nothing broken. There is no blood spilled out on the pavement. Since adrenaline is running through your body, oftentimes you feel fine at the time of the accident. In that case, you may report to the police officer that you are not injured, but sometimes the pain will appear later in the day or the next morning. As soon as this pain becomes apparent to you, it is important to go and seek medical treatment for two reasons. One is to document that you did have pain following the accident, but more importantly, to get the necessary treatment in order to help begin the healing process.
How Long Is Too Long To Affect Your Case?
There is really no answer to ‘how long is too long’? The longer you wait to seek medical treatment, the more opportunities an insurance company would have to argue that your injuries were not related to the wreck. When there is a gap between the time of wreck and your medical treatment the insurance company will argue that something may have happened between the time of the wreck and the time you receive medical treatment that caused you pain or an independent event that caused your injury. As a result, causation becomes a problem the further out from the date of the injury or the date of the wreck before you seek medical treatment.
It is important to go and seek medical treatment as soon as you are aware or know that you have suffered some type of injury. Injuries typically do not go away. They do need some type of treatment, whether it is getting physical therapy, hot packs, cold packs, or chiropractic adjustments. Typically, soft tissue injuries need medical treatment and that needs to be done as soon as possible. Self-diagnosis and self-medicating are never advised. If you need help getting medical treatment, our attorneys can assist you in finding the right medical provider to help you get the medical attention you need.
Get Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Auto Accident Cases in Rock Hill or call the Schiller & Hamilton Law Firm for A Complimentary Strategy Session at (803) 366-0333 in Rock Hill, and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.