6 Tips if You Get Injured in a Knoxville Car Accident
No one wants to be in a car accident, but, unfortunately, many hundreds of them happen in Knox County, Tennessee every month. Here you will find helpful information to ensure that you are prepared, if you become involved in a Knoxville car accident. Check out these 6 tips you should follow to ensure that your health and potential claim for compensation are both protected, if you get injured in a Knoxville car accident:
1. Call 911
The first thing you should do if you’ve been in an accident is make sure that any injuries received by you and/or your passengers are evaluated and emergency aid rendered as needed. Then, you should call 911. You should let them know where you are, that you’ve been in an accident, and any other information they ask for. Never agree to simply settle the matter privately with the other party, without calling the police. If you were not at fault in the crash, you need the police to document that in the form of an accident report. If you fail to do so, then there is a significant chance that the other party may decide to try to avoid liability later, and you will not have any documentation as to how the accident happened. You should contact the police from the scene of the accident and wait there for them to come prepare a report, even if the other person fled the scene.
2. Get Medical Attention
Once the authorities show up at the scene, you should report all injuries and complaints of associated pain and agree to receive medical attention. If you don’t, it will almost certainly work against you in your claim. Insurance companies routinely argue that no injuries were reported to the responding officer and/or that medical attention was not promptly sought, which they take to be evidence that you were either not injured at all, or that your injuries could not have been very bad, and therefore not deserving of much compensation. If you have health insurance, use it to cover your treatment, as using it you will help end up with more money in your pocket once the case resolves. If you do not have health insurance and cannot afford to pay for all of your treatment out of pocket, then let us know. We can usually arrange for you to get all the quality healthcare you need AT NO UPFRONT COST. This means that you can get the treatment you need to both protect your health and to document your injuries, to ensure that you will be fairly compensated for your injuries.
3. Gather Information at the Scene
If you are physically able, you should gather as much information as possible. Take pictures of your vehicle and the other person’s vehicle. Get pictures of the entire crash scene. Speak with witnesses and ask for their contact information. Have the responding officer provide you with the report number, so that you or your lawyer can obtain the full report when it is ready, which is usually a few days after the crash.
4. Do Not Make Statements to the Other Party
After being involved in a Knoxville car accident, you should never make any statements to the other party involved, regarding what you believe caused or contributed to the accident, or any fault that you think you may have had in the crash. Likewise, you should refrain from unequivocally reporting to the other party, or the responding officer that you did not suffer any injuries at all. Often, people initially believe that they are not injured in their crash, only to begin to experience significant pain, within hours to a few days after leaving the scene. In those cases, insurance companies will use their initial honest, but erroneous statements against them, to reduce or deny their injury claims. If asked directly, you should just let them know that you were shaken up in the crash and will have to wait and see how you feel over the next few days. You should also never speak to the other person’s insurance adjuster directly. It is not required and cannot help you in any way. They are trained to take your statement, in hopes of using it against you to try to reduce or deny your claim, so never give them one. Nothing your attorney says to them can be used against you, unlike your own statement, therefore it is always safer to allow your attorney to speak to them on your behalf.
5. Document Medical Bills and Time Off Work
If you end up receiving any medical treatment, ensure that you note all treatment dates and names and contact information of your providers. You should also keep copies of all bills and other papers you receive from your medical providers. In addition, if you miss any time from work, always ask your medical provider for a work excuse, even if your employer does not require one. You will need it to be in your medical records in order to help your lawyer make a lost wage claim on your behalf. Finally, you should also keep up with the days and hours that you missed work, so your lawyer can determine how much compensation you are entitled to for lost wages.
6. Contact an Attorney Early
Our best advice is to contact an attorney early on after you’ve been in a Knoxville car accident. A qualified and experienced lawyer will be able to help you obtain information, speak to insurance adjusters for you, and advise you on what to do.
While the goal is to never be in a Knoxville car accident, they still happen pretty often. It is better to be prepared beforehand, so you know what to do. Have you recently been in an accident and need a lawyer? Contact us to set up a free case review today!