What actions should I take to establish my claim and preserve my case and my rights after a collision?
While this is not a complete list, these are the essential steps and concerns any victim should consider after suffering an injury as a result of another party's negligence or wrongdoing:
- Identify all witnesses to the incident with reliable names, addresses and contact numbers.
- Secure detailed photos of property damage to all vehicles involved and of the accident scene to show road configuration, visual obstructions, and the condition of the roadway.
- Secure detailed photos of all visible injuries and bruising. Where wound care is progressive, secure photos of progressive care to document the healing process for bruising and surface wounds, and to show progressive healing of scarring.
- Seek medical attention immediately and voice all complaints to the attending physician to ensure that all medical complications are documented and all injuries are evaluated and treated as early as possible.
- Keep all medical appointments. This helps ensure the speediest, most thorough recovery from your injuries. Follow your doctors' advice and directives to show your commitment to health and recovery.
- Talk with several attorneys in order to locate the advocate who you feel will best present your story and who will most zealously fight for full and fair payment on all of your claims.
- Avoid discussions about your injuries or the accident facts with insurance adjusters until you have cleared all liability issues with an attorney.
- Begin a diary / daily log to help preserve your memories of the incident that resulted in your injuries. Record the day-to-day effects and losses that you experience during recovery. Begin your log with an address, "Dear Attorney," to protect your privacy through the Attorney-Client Communications Privilege.
- Save all accident-related documentation in one convenient, easy-to-access location. Important items include medical invoices, physicians' after-care instructions, pharmacy receipts, pay stubs and wage loss proofs, police reports, vehicle damage appraisals, and any other documentation relating to your accident and injuries.