If you have been injured in a car accident in Denver or the surrounding areas, I can help. This article is being written specifically for the person who has just been injured due to the carelessness of someone else. If you follow these tips starting immediately after the car accident in Denver, then you will increase your chances for an easier claim that is worth more money.
Call Law Enforcement to Report the Car Accident
Most people in Denver are trustworthy, but your car accident case isn’t controlled by them-it is controlled by the car insurance companies. The person who caused the car accident has no say over how his or her insurance company will treat the accident. The best way to protect yourself is to contact the police. The police investigation will identify fault. The results of their investigation will be put into an accident report, which will be relied on by everyone throughout the course of the case. If you don’t have an accident report, the chances are that your claim is going to be delayed.
Take a Lot of Photos at the Accident Scene
The more photos at the scene of the car accident, the better. The photos that you take of the cars and the damage will be used all throughout the case. These photos are one of the most important factors in how the insurance company will treat your claim. You don’t need to be a professional photographer either. Simply take a few shots of the damage from different angles. Try to get some wide shots too so that it is easy to see the full vehicles. If it is too dark at the accident scene, then take some pictures the following day once it is light out.
Get the Names and Numbers of Witnesses Before They Leave
One of the most frustrating things that I hear as a car accident lawyer is that there was a witness, but the person left because the police took too long to get there. Once that witness leaves, the person is lost forever. So, it is very important that you protect yourself and get the contact information of everyone that saw the car accident. Although the police might mean well, don’t count on them. I have seen countless reports by the police with missing information or even wrong information about a witness. These witnesses can be vital to your case, so take the extra step if you can.
Go to a Hospital or Urgent Care Immediately
Getting medical treatment after the accident is the most important factor in your case. Always take care of your medical needs immediately even if you are just sore. Use your best judgment about whether you need a hospital or a walk-in clinic. The important point is that you should not wait. If you have not received medical treatment within the first 2-3 days of the accident, your claim will be worth much less money. It is worth the peace of mind to go get checked out to make sure that there is nothing seriously wrong.
Report the Car Accident to Both Insurance Companies
You don’t need a car accident lawyer to simply report the accident and get a claim number. Most medical providers will need that information before they can see you. But, use common sense when reporting the claim. There is no need to go into detail about your injuries. All you need to do is put the insurance company on notice. I recommend doing this within a day or two of the accident. You would be surprised about how long it takes the people who caused the accident to report it to their own insurance company. So, don’t leave your fate up to the other party if you don’t need to.
Don’t Give a Recorded Statement Without a Car Accident Lawyer
Once the car insurance companies learn of the accident, they will start calling you for more information. You never have any obligation to speak to the company for the at-fault driver about your injuries. But, you may have an obligation to cooperate with your own company. Within your contract, you have an obligation to report the accident within a reasonable time and to cooperate with them. They might ask you to provide a recorded statement. If they do, ask for a lawyer to be present. Remember the point of a recorded statement is to lock you in. If you ever change your statement in any way, they will be waiting to use it against you.
Don’t Go to Your Family Doctor
You might like and trust your family doctor, but they are not the right choice for a car accident injury case. Most won’t even touch these cases. You might wind up waiting a few days for an appointment only to be turned away. General practitioners are simply not set up to deal with the insurance requirements and the doctors don’t want to go to court. Save yourself the time and go directly to a doctor who specializes in the treatment of car accident injuries. If you need a referral to a good doctor, I can help you with that.
Don’t Have Gaps or Delays in Treatment
The car insurance companies look to see if you have gaps or delays in treatment. If it takes you a long time to get to a doctor or if you miss appointments, they reduce the value of your case. Their reasoning for this reduction is that if you miss time treating, you can’t be that badly hurt. I know that there may be other factors at play, but if the goal is to settle without a lawsuit, then you don’t want to give them any reasons not to pay you.
Follow Your Doctor’s Advice
The doctors in Denver who specialize in car accident injuries know what they are doing. They handle injuries like yours daily. If they recommend that you get a certain procedure, then you should do it. If you do not, the insurance company will not give you credit. For example, you may have a disc herniation in your back that is causing pain. Your doctor may recommend an injection to the area to numb the pain. If you do not get the injection, the insurance company will not give you any money simply because you need it.
Get MRIs, Not Just X-Rays
The difference between an MRI and an X-ray confuses a lot of people. X-rays are good at looking for broken bones, not much else. MRIs are more sensitive and can see the soft tissues injuries normally caused by a car accident collision. Disc injuries can only be seen clearly by an MRI. If you went to the hospital or to an Urgent Care and your X-rays are clean, that doesn’t mean anything. You could still have serious injuries to the discs in you neck and back. I always recommend that my clients get MRIs. Your doctors will likely recommend them, but I wanted to explain the reason why they are important and different.
Stay Off Social Media
Posting to social media after a car accident should be avoided at all costs. There is simply no benefit to it. I guarantee that the insurance companies will check all of your social media posts. They will use anything that you post against you. I assume that you will not be posting about the car accident. But, family dinners, smiling photos with friends, vacations, will all be used to show that the injuries are not affecting your life. Just use common sense about what you post and assume that the insurance companies are watching.
Be Aware That There Might Be Surveillance
In serious car accident cases or cases that are in a lawsuit, the insurance companies will hire someone to watch you. They will park outside of your work or home with a video camera aimed at you. The surveillance people are very good and it is unlikely that you will ever know that they are there. There is no need to live your life in fear, but before you are outside doing yard work or anything that is harmful to your case, make sure no one is watching you.
Contact a Denver Car Accident Lawyer
The roads of Denver can be dangerous especially when the road conditions are not dry. Car accidents are a fact of life. I hope that if you find yourself reading this article, your injuries are not severe. If you need help with any questions, please contact my office for a free consultation.