In the last blog post (yeah it’s been a few months) I went through the common mistakes people make after getting hit. If you haven’t read that and have recently been in one you should revisit HERE. Now I’m going to give you the immediate action steps to take after a collision.
1. Most people decide what they will do based on how they feel, just like the rest of their health decisions. This is a massive error that will cost you thousands! The reality is a motor vehicle collision is the most injurious event most people will suffer in their lifetime according to studies, so you should take it very seriously. Trying to decide what to do after a collision is like trying to decide a birth plan once already in labor. At this point your nervous system is traumatized and shaken so judgement is not at it’s best even if you “feel fine”. Therefore, if your car is visibly damaged in any way OR you have even the slightest degree of soreness within two days of the collision, you should very seriously consider hiring an attorney to represent you. This lies in the fact that insurance companies are notorious for being really friendly on the front end, then denying the claims later because they are playing their chances that you won’t know what to do at that point.
2. Don’t just hire your favorite TV personality accident attorney! Think this through, attorneys who spend the most money on advertising pay for all that advertising by keeping larger portions of settlements than is reasonable or ethical. I have had attorneys bully us into corners for various aspects of cases (out of state collisions etc) on the basis that they’d simply drop the case if we didn’t accept peanuts on the dollar for our bill. They do it to YOU, the client, as well in order to maximize their pocket value. We have multiple good attorneys we refer to (as most doctors do) who we have a good working relationship with. That means we can get YOU back to health without worry, and when the dust settles everyone will be treated fairly since that relationship is respected.
3. Be prepared to do what is necessary to get well. Though pain is fleeting and often clears fairly quickly, underlying injuries such as ligament damage (which by the way is visualized on Digital Motion Xray technology, and we have one of only two in the state of Alabama) can take months of rehabilitation to restore. This should be the primary motive for care, not unrealistic TV ideas that you’re going to get a $100,000 settlement. But you must stay on track to recover quickly and on schedule for multiple reasons. First, if care drags out too long the insurance companies will have more room to argue. More importantly if recovery takes too long because you missed appointments all the time then they have a really good argument that you must not have been too badly injured. Any of these excuses they can use to reduce settlement, they will of course use!
Not every situation can be considered in a basic blog post, so if you’ve recently been in a collision or when you do, set up a consultation with us immediately at (251) 607-0040. Don’t fall into the many traps that may cost you lifelong injuries and compensation in your pocket.
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