May 3, 2024 Michael M. Day Law Firm

Improving Your Odds of Recovery After a Car Accident

Car accidents are devastating emotionally, physically, and mentally. The toll they take on your life can be hard to overestimate. But no matter how much you have suffered in the aftermath of a car accident, you still need to take the right steps to demonstrate liability so that you can recover compensation for the full extent of your losses.

In our years of experience in personal injury law, we have seen numerous examples of situations where taking prompt action made it easier to recover substantial compensation after a car accident, slip and fall, truck accident, or even criminal activity. Here are some steps you can take to improve your odds of recovery after a car accident.

#1 Call the Police and Get a Report

Calling for police assistance at the scene of an accident provides protection for you in the short term and helps you build a case for recovery in the future. Police can help block the scene to prevent further injuries. They can ensure that anyone injured receives prompt treatment.

In most cases, officers called to the scene will file a detailed report that provides valuable evidence about the causation of the accident. It is nearly impossible to argue against this evidence, so it is the most persuasive proof you can obtain. Police can issue a report later, but evidence from the accident scene carries much more weight.

#2 Seek Medical Attention as Soon as Possible

This is another example of an action that benefits you tremendously both immediately and in the days ahead. A doctor may detect a dangerous condition requiring immediate treatment, so it is critical to get a thorough medical exam right away even if you do not feel pain. The adrenaline rush after an accident can mask symptoms of injuries, so it is important to get care quickly to protect yourself and speed up your physical recovery.

Moreover, you will need evidence of your injuries to recover compensation for medical bills, time lost from work, pain, suffering, emotional anguish, and other effects. Your first medical exam provides some of the most crucial evidence of your injuries. It can be very hard to claim that you suffered severe injuries if the record shows that you waited two weeks to go to the doctor. Get a prompt and thorough medical exam.

#3 Take Photos or Video of the Accident Scene

There are clues at the scene of the accident that will not be available for long, so it is best to capture images as soon as possible. Take pictures of damage to vehicles, the road leading up to the accident, any skid marks, photos of witnesses, potential obstructions, signs—anything and everything leading up to and around the site of the accident. It is not always easy to determine the details that will be important until later, so preserve them now with lots of photos taken close up and from a wider perspective. If you spot a security or traffic camera, snap a picture as a reminder to follow up on collecting the footage.

As time passes, the accident scene will change. Marks will fade. A hedge that may have blocked views of oncoming traffic could be trimmed. Vehicle damage could be covered up or repaired. The more information you can preserve from the time of the accident, the better chance you have of establishing conclusively what happened and who caused the accident.

It is also a good idea to photograph injuries such as cuts and bruises. Visual images of injuries can often have more impact than a written description.

#4 Collect Witness Information

If possible, you or someone else on the scene should try to get the identity and contact information for anyone who witnessed the accident. Then have your attorney follow up with an interview sooner rather than later. The more time passes, the less reliable the witnesses’ memories become.

#5 Write Down or Record Your Memories of What Happened

Recollections of an event are more reliable when they are preserved right after the event for the same reason that it is wise to interview witnesses early on. It becomes harder to remember details accurately as time passes. So as soon as you are able after the accident, write down or record yourself describing the incidents leading up to the accident and what you remember of the accident itself and your sensations afterward. Each day, continue to record how your injuries feel physically, mentally, and emotionally, and how they impact your ability to function. Your memories can serve as evidence of accident causation and the severity of your injuries.

#6 Talk to Your Attorney Before You Talk to Insurance Investigators

Despite the amusing advertisements and friendly voices on the phone, insurance companies are not your friends and they are not trying to help you. They operate to make money, and they do that by paying out as little as possible. That means they will often try to trick accident victims into saying or doing something that gives them a reason to deny liability or pay far less than a claim is worth. They may offer a quick settlement and try to pressure you into accepting it as your only option. However, an experienced attorney will know the value of your claim and how to answer questions without saying something that could be used against you later. You can let your attorney talk for you, saving you the potential headaches and giving you time to focus on rebuilding your life.

Michael M. Day Can Help You Make the Most of Your Opportunities for Recovery

When a car accident throws your life off track, no amount of money can make up for your pain, lost opportunities, and other losses. However, recovering a significant damage award offers a sense of justice and can provide the resources you need for the future. At Michael M. Day Law Firm, LLC, we know how to fight insurance company tactics and build your best case for recovery. Talk to us before you talk to anyone else, and find out what your case is worth.