You’re a Passenger in a Vehicle Involved in an Accident… What now?

First, take care of yourself! Never hesitate to seek medical treatment, whether that is an ambulance ride from the scene of the accident, an ER visit, or an appointment to your Primary Care Physician. Going soon is best, immediately is preferred. Waiting to seek treatment can increase your risk of further injury to your body and lessen the ability to be fairly compensated for your injuries in an accident.

Second, if no one is calling the police, call them yourself! The drivers of the vehicles are not the only parties affected by this accident, you are too. You have just as much right to call the police and request all the driver’s insurance information. If you are able to, snap a photo of each driver’s insurance cards (even if they are on their phone app), your lawyer will thank you later. What insurance company is going to be involved is tricky, getting all of the information protects you and gives you the best chance of being compensated fairly.

During any medical appointments, be upfront about what happened with all the medical professionals starting with that initial conversation. “I was a passenger in a motor vehicle accident, and I got hurt”. Telling all the nurses and doctors will not only help their diagnosis be accurate with your injuries, it also allows your injuries to have a paper trail and be traced back to the accident they were sustained in.

If you’re struggling to feel well enough to work, STOP. Seek medical help and share your struggles with them. They will be able to write doctors notes that give you the time to heal that you really need. If you choose to go back to work, even if pain is present, an insurance company can claim you were well enough to work, and downplay your injuries. Not giving them an arguable defense is the best way to know they will not have one.

After taking care of yourself, perhaps while you’re healing and off work, contact a local attorney. An attorney will be able to meet with you and give you your options early on after your accident. They will be able to evaluate your specific situation and give guidance that is unique to your situation.

Remember, all accidents are different, but many of them are similar. Going with a trusted experienced attorney will give you the power and voice you deserve.