What to do if you are injured in a traffic collision:
Make a police report—failure to make a police report could make your chances of recovering from the responsible party much more difficult. Some people simply do not want to wait around for the police to arrive, or they think it is unnecessary because there was not a lot of property damage. A police report significantly increases your chances of recovery because the investigating officer usually makes a determination of fault.
Get witness information—the name, address, telephone number and picture of the driver’s license of a witness can be the difference between winning and losing a case. Do not take it for granted their information will be in the police report, or think all is well simply because the other driver admitted fault; they will likely not change their mind when they speak to their insurance adjuster. A solid eye-witness to the collision and your injuries can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.
Go see your doctor or go to the hospital—the old adage “if you did not go see a doctor, then you must not be hurt” is very true. In most cases your injuries are likely to get worse before they get better and any gaps in your treatment more than a week or two are almost impossible to overcome with the insurance adjuster later; saying you waited to see a doctor because you hoped it would go away or you were too busy can make it almost impossible to recover for your injuries.
Do not talk to the insurance adjuster about your injuries—admitting to the insurance adjuster that you feel fine on the day of the accident, and then waking up in pain so bad you cannot go to work is quite common. It is better to immediately report the collision your injuries to your own insurance rather than accept a call from the other driver’s insurance company. The only reason they want to talk to you is to get you to admit you were not hurt, so they can get out of paying you later. You are under no legal obligation whatsoever to talk to the other driver’s insurance company. Remember the other driver’s insurance adjuster person calling you works will do anything to get out of paying for your injuries.
Hire an experienced personal injury attorney—the best way to avoid making any of these common mistakes is to seek the advice and guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney ASAP.