The first 48 hours after an accident will dramatically affect your case in the long term. Your top priority during this period should be your health. If you’ve been injured, visit an emergency room, urgent care, or primary doctor as soon as possible after the accident. While you may not feel any immediate pain, shock due to the accident could be masking your symptoms.
Seeing a medical professional is particularly important if you’ve hit your head or strained your back in the incident. Brain and spine injuries sometimes show symptoms only after they have become more serious.
It is important that you call the police and insist the responding officer write a report right after a car accident or other roadway collisions. Make sure to take note of the responding officer’s name, badge number, and contact information. Take pictures of the accident and your injuries as well. Also, write down the name and insurance information of the other people involved in the accident and names and contact information for any witnesses.
SLIP & FALL ACCIDENTS
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, seek immediate medical attention and file an incident report.
If you’re injured inside a business, be sure to report the slip, trip, or fall to management and complete their standard report. If possible, get witnesses’ contact information and secure any documentation that describes the conditions and scene of the accident. You should also take photos of the scene with a camera or cell phone.
If you were injured by a dog bite, seek immediate medical care to protect yourself from the risk of rabies, tetanus, and other diseases. Contact the police department and animal control as soon as possible. Make sure to acquire a copy of the report the responding agency writes. Obtain the dog owner’s contact information and details about their homeowner’s insurance policy.
TALKING WITH A TRUSTED ATTORNEY
The first 48 hours after an accident are also the best time to consult a skilled and trustworthy personal injury attorney about the specifics of your case. Because no two accidents are the same, speaking with an experienced attorney will ensure your next steps are tailored to the details of your case. At Sweet James, we know from experience that the sooner we get to a case, the more effective we can be. It is also easier on you, so you can focus on healing while our team does the heavy lifting.
Insurance adjusters will use anything you tell them to devalue your claim. They will ask you questions designed to reassign the blame of the accident to you, in hopes that they can reduce your settlement amount. Take some time to collect yourself and your thoughts prior to talking to an insurance adjuster. It’s especially important to talk to a personal injury lawyer if you feel pressure from an insurance company to give a statement, accept a settlement, or sign any unfamiliar documentation. Any of these things could jeopardize your claim.
Even if you’re not sure if you have a case, please call us at (800) 500-5200 for a free strategy session. Our experienced legal team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you determine if you have a claim and advise you on how to proceed.