Motor vehicle accidents are unfortunate many time lead to a lot of hardship. Many people don’t know the steps that need to be taken after a collision. Here are 10 important things to keep in mind after someone you know is in an auto accident.
- All motor vehicle accidents have the potential to result in lifelong conditions that could lead to pain and degenerative changes to the spine, joints, and soft tissues of the body, even if the accident does not result in a trip to the Emergency Room.
- Not everyone responds in the same way to a car wreck. Some people do not feel any negative symptoms for up to two weeks after an accident, while others may feel pain and discomfort immediately after impact. Some people take medication to deal with their pain expecting the injury to go away after a few weeks, yet this only covers some of the pain rather than treating the cause and can lead to prolonged healing.
- Choosing to “self treat” can lead to the insurance company withholding funds that they have already allocated for the needed medical care. Establishing care with a health care provider that can help to direct at home care ensures that medical conditions do not slip through the cracks, and increases the chance of the insurance company covering the financial implications of the accident.
- Always take photos around the scene of the accident. Pictures of not only your vehicle but also any other involved, from all angles, is ideal. Even if your vehicle does not have any visible damage, documentation stating that a collision occurred is important for the adjustor managing your case. Additionally, get a police report, even if it is a hassle. The police report will help the insurance company to establish fault, and ensure that you are protected financially. The more information the insurance company has the better.
- When medical care is warranted, avoid big gaps between treatment sessions. Furthermore, prolonging treatment too long after the accident can also create hassles with the insurance company. The adjustors in charge may decide that someone no longer needs care if there are gaps between visits, as it shows that care may not be needed, indicating that you are not really hurt. Always follow the recommendation of the health care provider.
- If you are being treated by a health care provider and are not getting positive results, then it is perfectly ok to get another opinion. The doctor will have a list of other providers in the area that can help. When symptoms are not improving, sometimes additional tests or treatments are needed to identify and adress the problem. MRIs, and steroid injections are common when a patient is not responding to conservative care.
- Seeing a health care provider after a motor vehicle accident does not mean you will have to pay more later. Texas insurance laws include a $2500 minimum for Personal Injury Protection that protects against rate increases, regardless of who is at fault in the accident. If it isn’t used following the accident, it cannot be used later.
- Never try and handle the claim alone. Insurance companies know when someone does not understand the process and can take advantage. Get advice from someone that is familiar with the process. In some instances this may include the staff at the doctor’s office, in others, it may require legal council.
- Never sign for a check from the insurance company within 30 days of a motor vehicle accident to cover medical expenses, especially without a comprehensive examination from a health care provider. Once signed, the claim is closed. This results in having to pay for the damages to the car and additional healthcare separately. Any legal questions should be taken up with an attorney that is experienced in personal injury. Insurance adjustors are incentivised to settle cases early, as it saves the insurance company money if the adjustor can convince you to settle for a reducded rate before the need for healthcare and autobody repairs are determined.
- VERY IMPORTANT! It is your body. Take care of it and it will take care of you. The forces that occur in an accident are strong enough to bend steel, and even with the advances in safety technology, research indicates that soft tissue injuries are common as a result of an auto accident. Take the time to heal properly from the injuries sustained in a car wreck.
If we can be of any assistance to you, or your loved ones, we would love to help you return to the optimal health that was present before the auto accident.