After you have been in a car accident, you should see a doctor as quickly as possible. This is true even if you feel fine at the time, or think you suffered only minor injuries. Unfortunately, many symptoms, such as pain, discomfort, dizziness, and numbness often do not appear for several days following an accident. Seeking medical attention quickly not only is the right thing for your health, but it also makes your personal injury claim stronger. Waiting days or even weeks after an accident to seek medical attention, on the other hand, increases the difficulty of proving that your injuries were caused by the car accident.
You should take detailed notes and photographs whenever possible. Detailing your injuries and medical treatment in a journal helps ensure you will be fully reimbursed by the insurance company. You should keep complete records of any and all doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists you visit as a result of the car accident, as well as any other professionals you may have been referred to. You should also keep all receipts for any medications you were prescribed, as well as receipts for any assistive devices, like crutches or neck collars, that you receive, and receipts for any other out of pocket costs related to your medical care. Keep a daily journal about your medical care and the nature of your injuries, and be as specific as possible, including things like the level of pain you are in, and any hindrances your injuries are causing you. These are things you may not remember several months from now, but are important to whoever is deciding your pain and suffering and other damage awards.
Keep all correspondence with medical professionals who are treating your accident-related injuries, including emails, text messages, and any notes you take on the phone or in person with any doctor or health care provider. You should also keep a record of travel expenses for medical appointments, with receipts as backup for those as well.
Keeping detailed records like this will help ensure you recover as many of the out of pocket costs you face as possible. We understand that a car accident can bankrupt you, especially if you are one of the many Orlando area residents who lives paycheck to paycheck in the slowly rebounding Florida economy. Following these steps will help you get the maximum amount you are entitled to when the time comes to settle your claim, and the goal is to make you whole.
Common Mistakes People Make After Being in a Car Accident
Sometimes even people who are entitled to damages as a result of an accident engage in behavior or make decisions that jeopardize their own personal injury claim. Do not be one of those people. To ensure you receive the maximum recovery you are entitled to by law:
- Do not settle your claim until your medical treatments are completed and your injuries are as healed as they are going to be. Settling prematurely means you are settling before knowing the total cost of your injuries, and this can often result in some of your medical bills going unreimbursed.
- Do not sign any release forms or cash any checks which might release your claims against an insurance company before you are ready to settle your case. If you do, your car insurance company, or the car insurance company for the at fault driver, may not be required to pay any additional claims relating to the same accident.
3. Always file a police report. Never cave in to pressure from another party to not file a report.