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What to do in the Event of an Auto Accident

If you are in a traffic wreck, you should know how to behave so as to protect your rights. Call 911: The call will activate an emergency response from law enforcement and emergency medical responders.  No matter how minor the incident, or what the other person says or does, you should remain at the scene of an accident until law enforcement officers arrive. Get checked for injury:  Any injury that you or others may have should be evaluated by emergency medical responders.  Even if you do not think you are injured you should be evaluated at the scene by the EMTs.  If you think you have an injury, be sure to go to the ER to be checked out.  An immediate examination by an MD will help you rule out serious injury and help your case when the MD documents an objective evaluation of your pain. Cooperate with law enforcement:  Responding law enforcement officers will evaluate the circumstances of the incident and give you, involved parties, and witnesses an opportunity to make statements.  The officers will attempt to determine the party at fault.  Cooperate with the officer completely and talk to him with respect.  He or she will try to take down the contact information of any witnesses at the scene, which could be very valuable to your case.   [It is good if you are able to obtain the phone number of one or more witnesses]  The officer will make a report of the incident.  Dealing with the insurance carriers without an accident report is much more difficult and will make resolving your case take longer than it otherwise...

Holler When It Hurts

Jim is rear-ended in a car accident.  He hops out of the car assuring all who can hear that he is just fine.  Despite significant damage to his car he refuses to be taken to the hospital. Two days after the accident he wakes up with a great deal of pain in his neck and back. Injuries caused by a car accident may not be immediately apparent. Whiplash, for example, is a common neck injury that can occur during rear-end automobile collisions when your head suddenly moves backward and then forward—similar to the motion of someone cracking a whip.  These extreme motions push your neck muscles and supporting tissue beyond the normal range of motion.  Whiplash does not always result in symptoms immediately after an accident. It can take up to 78 hours for symptoms such as swelling and sensitivity to occur. A small linear fracture (“hairline fracture”) is another example of an injury that can be slow to cause pain.  Oftentimes these fractures do not show up on an x-ray in the emergency room.  Hairline fractures can widen and then begin to cause problems months later.  A herniated disc of the spine is yet another form of injury that may be diagnosed months after an accident.  It is only when the pain persists that the doctor orders additional testing such as an MRI to help diagnose a herniated disc or other abnormality. Postponing treatment in hopes that pain will go away complicates your medical treatment as well as your insurance claim.  The insurance industry uses the phrase “lapse of treatment” to try to discredit your medical damages if...

Before and After Photographs

We have all heard the old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.”  In the case of many of our Personal Injury cases, those seven words hold enormous truth and have made thousands of dollars of difference in obtaining a good settlement for our Personal Injury clients. The next time you are near your car or truck, take photographs of your vehicle showing its general condition.  Should you ever be involved in an automobile collision and have a claim with an insurance carrier for property damage, those photographs may be valuable! If you are in an accident, a series of photographs from the scene can be powerful evidence.   Be sure to take photographs of the exterior and interior of your vehicle after the collision and prior to having your vehicle repaired. Remember with before and after photographs in hand, your claim for property damage can be less of a hassle with the insurance...