Winter is coming! Temperatures will start to drop and the chance of snow is going to increase. Are you prepared for the changes? Here are some tips in case you should be unfortunate enough to get into an auto accident.
What you can do BEFORE:
- Carry a set of cones, warning triangles, or emergency flares in your trunk to help alert traffic.
- Carry a pen and a card with any relevant medical information for you or your family
- Get a medical evaluation, and all symptoms documented as soon as possible after the accident (importance of prompt medical attention is explained below.)
- Always follow through with the medical recommendations given by the doctor
- Check for injuries: call an ambulance when in doubt
- If the accident is minor, move cars to a safe place
- If you cannot move your car, make sure to move a safe distance away from it to avoid another accident and additional injuries
- Turn on your hazard lights
- Call the police, even if the accident is minor.
- Take pictures of the damage
- Take down witness contact information, as well as that of the other driver, including the other driver’s insurance information (insurance company name and policy numbers.)
- Get as much information about the other person as well as details of the accident as possible.
The biggest mistake the Mintz Law Firm can identify amongst our clients is their failure to seek medical attention immediately after the accident. Believe it or not, medical evaluations and documentation of injuries following auto accidents are extremely important factors in determining the strength and success of a motor vehicle claim. Insurance companies have the tendency to deny claims right away due to the failure of the client to seek immediate medical attention and thoroughly document their injuries. Insurance companies are even more likely to deny a claim when the property damage is low and there is a gap in medical treatment of longer than a week following the accident, or a significant gap between the start of treatment and when additional or follow up care is sought. With that being said, there can still be long-lasting, nagging injuries, when there are minor damages to your vehicle, so don’t assume that your injuries will go away over time.
Objective proof of the injuries sustained during a motor vehicle accident and diagnosis of those injuries by a doctor, are crucial elements of any claim against the liable party’s insurance. Objective proof establishes a timeline of the symptoms and diagnoses. It also provides the liability insurance company justification for the ensuing medical bills the client will incurs to treat those injuries.