The Definitive What to do After a Car Accident Checklist

What to do After Car Accident

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

October 14, 2021

Best Colorado Springs Car Accident Lawyers

If you Google “what to do after a car accident,” you’ll come up with hundreds of articles all offering the same basic advice. This blog article is our addition to that body of knowledge, grouped by the most crucial subjects to address after a car accident.

But first, a word of caution: this blog article, like others like it, provides broad advice that might be useful in several car accident situations. The following checklist is not and cannot address your circumstance.

In reality, some of the suggestions below may not apply to your case. Contact an expert car accident attorney for thorough information on the particular procedures you should take following a car accident to preserve your legal rights.

Also, the following advice applies to both accident victims and their relatives. Car accidents often leave drivers and passengers paralyzed and unable to assist themselves. This checklist is intended to give helpful hints to anybody concerned about an accident victim’s safety and legal rights.

MEDICAL ASSISTANCE

The most important thing to do following an car collision is to get immediate and follow-up medical attention. This is an absolute requirement. No one involved in a car accident should ever assume they are OK and forego medical treatment that might save their lives. There are so many reasons why this is vital that it’s practically impossible to enumerate them all. However, these are the three most important:

YOUR HEALTH IS ON THE LINE

Obviously. Only a doctor can tell you with any confidence if you were injured in a car accident and, if so, what treatment you should get. You can’t rely on yourself to be your physician. Some injuries might not have obvious signs right away. Others get symptoms that might be misinterpreted as something different.

YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE RELIES ON IT, SO DON’T RISK MAKING AN INJURY WORSE BY NEGLECTING TO GET THE NECESSARY TREATMENT

Colorado is a state with “no-fault” insurance. An car owner in Colorado is required to have no-fault insurance that includes medical costs coverage. You must first resort to this insurance coverage to pay for medical expenditures associated with a car accident injury.

 

In almost all circumstances, you must seek medical treatment within 14 days following the injury to get the benefits of this insurance. Failure to seek treatment may result in the loss of not just your no-fault coverage but also all insurance coverage and other legal rights to compensation.

IT AFFECTS YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS

Aside from insurance concerns, visiting a doctor is essential for protecting your capacity to seek compensation from the parties responsible for your car accident damage. Medical records are created when you see a doctor. Those medical documents serve as an important proof of the link between your car accident and your ailment.

INSURANCE

As previously stated, you must seek medical attention within 14 days of an car accident in Colorado to retain your rights under your mandated no-fault insurance coverage. That should be your first focus when it comes to insurance.

Furthermore, you may be required to notify insurance companies of an accident. You almost certainly have collision damage coverage on your car, and you may be required to inform your insurer of any damage to your car or any protected personal items.

If you have health insurance, it’s a good idea to let your provider know that you’ve had medical treatment. Many health insurance policies will cover your medical treatment for car accident-related injuries as secondary insurance, which kicks in if your medical expenditures surpass your main no-fault coverage’s maximum.

Some individuals also have long-term disability insurance, such as AFLAC, which covers some expenditures if you miss work due to a car accident injury. You may also need to notify that insurance company about any debilitating injuries.

Suppose you were injured in a car accident while driving a car for work. In that case, you must immediately tell your employer so that your company may report your injury to the workers’ compensation insurance carrier that covers you at work. Workers’ compensation insurance, which covers medical expenditures for work-related accidents, is required for almost all Colorado companies.

Avoid mentioning anything in your conversations with the insurance companies listed above that might be seen as you accepting responsibility for your injuries. Only mention the fact that you were in an accident and the type of your injuries. For the time being, leave any talk of blame out of it.

Finally, a representative from an insurance company may contact you who covers someone else involved in the accident. If this occurs, proceed with caution. The only reason an insurance company insuring someone else would contact you is to attempt to reduce its financial liability in the event of an car accident. That company’s representative is

 

not your buddy, and he or she is not looking out for your best interests. Refuse to communicate with anyone else’s insurance company and seek legal guidance (see below).

FINANCES

Victims and their families often face immediate and severe financial difficulties as a result of car accident injuries. The victim’s only method of transportation may be destroyed in the accident. The sufferer may be out of work for a long time. It may also result in enormous bills that the victim is unable to cover.

In the long run, insurance may be able to pay certain expenses. Compensation from at-fault parties might also be an option. However, it is critical to assess your financial situation immediately after a car accident injury.

What resources do you have to pay for urgent expenses?

How long can you survive financially if you or a loved one is injured in a car accident and cannot work for a week, month, or longer?

What bills do you need to be able to pay to prevent ultimate catastrophe, and which ones can you afford to ignore for the time being?

Taking a financial picture as soon as feasible after a car accident injury is beneficial in the following ways:

KEEPS YOUR PRIORITIES SAFE

An car accident’s aftermath is a tumultuous moment. Taking stock of your finances guarantees that you pay the bills you need to pay and that you don’t overspend on non-essential items.

POSSESSING A SENSE OF COMMAND

So many parts of life might seem out of your control just after a car accident. Choosing which bills you can afford to pay and putting together a clear picture of your finances provides you with something to concentrate your energy and attention on.

IT CLARIFIES THE REQUIREMENTS

Knowing how long you can hold out and when your financial situation may become exceedingly precarious will help you and your lawyer decide on the best course of action for you.

EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING

Being injured in a car accident is distressing for both the sufferer and his or her family. It is important to take precautions to preserve a good mental state after an car accident. Spend quality time with your buddies.

 

Make an effort to exercise. Take time out of your day for yourself as much as possible. Consult a mental health professional if it helps. To summarize, do everything you need to do to be grounded and capable of making potentially critical judgments.

WORK

Keep in touch with your boss and inform him or her of the situation. Do not risk losing a job that you may have retained if your employer had known why you didn’t show up for work in the days after an accident. If you can find someone to fill in for you, but it’s not always feasible. An essential thing is not to keep your employer in the dark about your injury, and if the accident occurred while you were at work, you must inform your employer for workers’ compensation purposes.

PRESERVATION OF EVIDENCE

Many websites advise you to operate like a forensic investigator at the scene of your car accident, photographing tire marks and car damage and gathering contact information from other drivers and witnesses.

If you think you can do it, go ahead and do it. If you can’t, the most important thing is to make sure that any evidence that may vanish doesn’t. Here are some pieces of evidence you may enlist the support of friends or family to preserve:

FOOTAGE FROM SECURITY CAMERAS

Many companies nowadays have security cameras. Even though the cameras’ goal isn’t always to monitor for accidents, they routinely film car accidents that occur on the street outside the company.

This film may be useful in determining the cause of an accident, but only if it is preserved immediately. Request that someone go to the company and request that the film not be removed or destroyed.

FEATURES OF THE ACCIDENT SITE

Some aspects of an accident scene may be key in determining who is to blame for your injuries. Send someone to snap photos with their phone in the days after the accident, at the time the accident happened, taking special attention to tire marks, visual obstacles, and any damage to barriers or other road features caused by the collision.

DAMAGE TO THE CAR

You’ll need your car. However, following a car accident, your car may become a crucial piece of evidence in determining who is to blame for your injuries.

 

Before performing any repairs, it is essential to have the damage to the car completely recorded and documented. It’s best not to fix the car at all if at all feasible, at least until you’ve consulted with an attorney.

PAPERWORK

After you’ve been injured in a car accident, you’ll likely start receiving a deluge of documentation in the mail or through email; most of it is linked to your medical treatment and insurance. Keep everything in a secure location. Things are wonderful if you can arrange them, but the most important thing is to make sure nothing gets thrown out.

Keep all of this documentation on hand for your meeting with an attorney.

LEGAL ASSISTANCE

After an car accident, contact a lawyer as quickly as possible. An initial consultation with a skilled Colorado car accident lawyer is free, discreet, and comes with no strings attached. There is no such thing as a premature consultation with an attorney.

The goal of consulting with an attorney as soon as possible is to maximize your legal rights to compensation for your car accident injuries. With each passing day, the risks of important evidence disappearing, memories fading, and parties with legal duty going out of business or attempting to dodge their commitments to you increase. Look for an attorney who has the following qualities:

A DEDICATION TO PROVIDING EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE

It’s challenging enough to live after a car accident injury. You don’t need to make matters worse by dealing with a lawyer who lacks empathy. Choose someone who inspires confidence, answers your inquiries, and makes you feel at ease.

A TRACK RECORD AS A TRIAL LAWYER

Hire an attorney with a track record of success in the courts to get the most compensation for your car accident injuries. The majority of cases are never brought to trial. However, suppose defense lawyers and insurance companies believe your attorney would prefer to avoid going to court. In that case, the amount of money they are ready to pay in a settlement will be reduced. Trial lawyers, on the other hand, can make a stronger case for high-value settlements.

PROVEN TRACK RECORD IN CAR ACCIDENT CASES

You wouldn’t employ an ophthalmologist to do foot surgery. Insist on a lawyer with a track record of successfully defending people in car accident cases similar to yours. In car accident cases, there are no guarantees, but a track record of

 

success provides you with confidence that your legal team has the skills and resources to obtain you every cent you deserve.

Want additional information on what to do if you or a loved one is hurt in a car accident? An expert Colorado car accident lawyer can assist you in weighing your choices.

 

Warrior Car Accident Lawyers

1902 W. Colorado Ave., Suite 100

Colorado Springs, CO 80904

719-300-1100

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