I Was Just In A Car Accident And I'm Not Sure What To Do Next.
This is a comment that I hear on an almost daily basis. It's perfectly understandable.
“I've been in an accident and I'm not sure how to handle this.”
If the water main leading to my house broke I would have absolutely no idea how to handle that situation. If I woke up one morning and the lights in my house didn't work, I would have absolutely no idea how to handle that scenario, or what to do next. My next step would be to immediately consult with an experienced, seasoned professional in the appropriate discipline, seek their advice and counsel, and if necessary, employ them to fix the problem or handle the situation. Being involved in an automobile accident, or other unfortunate situation that results in personal injury, is absolutely no different. Although the answers sometimes surprises a victim, my standard advice is to get medical care first, and legal advice second. Now, sometimes those two go hand in hand. I am not a doctor, but I know of some very effective ones. Over the years, I have been able to assist many clients who lack a personal physician, or who may be unfamiliar with the local medical care system to, in getting needed and desired medical care and attendance. Once an injured individual's medical situation has been assessed and stabilized, the next step is a clear one.
The best course of action is to consult a top personal injury attorney.
Having never been in such a situation before, it goes without saying that, the individual sustaining an injury likely has little idea what to do next, what the appropriate steps are, or how to handle the unfolding events. The individual very likely is confused and disoriented in the shock of the aftermath of an accident, and possibly in pain, both of which are going to further alter the thought process. Moreover, the injured person is very possibly worried about:
- Where he or she can get fast, effective medical attention
- Other friends or family members that may have been involved in the same accident
- The property damage to his or her vehicle, and how to get it fixed
- Whether or not he or she is going to have to miss work
- How to get information from the other driver
- Whether or not legal claims are going to be made against me him or her
The list is not exhaustive. There are any manner of other perfectly valid concerns. All of these things are going to make the handling of the aftermath of a car collision or other personal injury event all the more difficult. My advice is exactly the same as in my plumbing or electrical failure scenarios above.
The injured person should talk to a professional that has handled that type of situation hundreds or thousands of times. It just makes sense to talk to someone who has seen it all before.
There are a variety of steps that must be taken immediately after any accident that results in injury, whether that's a car accident or otherwise. With many of these steps, timing is essential and prompt action is required.
You can certainly get professional advice for free. I offer a free initial planning and strategy conference. During this session, we’ll explore the various circumstances surrounding your accident, and the appropriate steps. I’ve frankly found that increasingly, through the use of emails, camera phones, and corresponding text and pictures messages, that many of these necessary, urgent preliminary matters can be handled remotely. The bottom line here is that there's no cost to talk to a lawyer and at least get your bearings, and some solid advice upon which to base your decisions. You may ultimately decide to hire a lawyer, or not, but at least you’ll have a basis upon which to make your decisions.