What to do if you've been in Hurt in a Car Crash

Posted almost 4 years ago. Applies to Colorado, 3 helpful votes

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1

Get Medical Help

If you're hurt in a car or truck crash, take the ambulance ride--don't try to save a few bucks. It's vitally important to get medical help if you need it. First, this is your health--you may be injured worse than you think. Second, it's important that a medical doctor evaluate you for serious (sometimes life-threatening) injuries. Third, if you are seriously injured, medical records will record that injury (it's commonly said that if it's not in the medical records, it didn't happen). However, if you didn't take the ambulance ride and you think you were injured in the crash, don't wait to go get help until your regular doctor is available--GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM! This isn't about lawsuits or insurance claims--this is your body. Protect your health: Go get medical help. If it's crash-related, it will be covered by insurance (if you and the other driver were insured). Follow up after the Emergency Room with your regular doctor and follow her advice.

2

Get a Lawyer Immediately

If you were hurt in the crash hire a competent lawyer ASAP. Your lawyer, will help you with your claims against (1) the other driver's insurance company; (2) sometimes the other driver's employer's insurance company; and (3) even your own insurance company (for medical payments and uninsured/under-insured coverage). Insurance claims are difficult to present. They take time, knowledge, expertise, and experience. Depending on the insurance company(s) involved, you may have to file a lawsuit to try to get treated fairly. Your lawyer will identify injuries, damages, and losses, such as: Things that can be fixed (a mildly damaged car and some broken bones or other injuries); Things that can't be fixed but can be replaced (a severely damaged car or a hip, cooking/cleaning); and Things that can't be fixed or replaced, but can be "made up for" with money (a life, a permanent body or brain injury, disability, and impairment).

3

Follow Your Doctor's Advice

After you've started treatment for an injury in a car/truck crash, follow everything your doctor says. If you disagree, ask why or go see a different doctor. Visit the other doctors your doctor tells you to see. Also, ask your lawyer to help you find a specialist if your doctor doesn't know one. Again, this isn't just about your insurance claim--it's about your health. Don't take shortcuts and don't ignore your doctor's advice. Keep treating your injuries until they are fixed or you have reached maximum therapeutic benefit of the treatment. Get surgery if they tell you it's necessary (don't if you don't need it).

4

Do NOT Give Blanket Medical Records Releases to the Other Driver's Insurance Company

The other driver's insurance company (in fact, often your own insurance company) will not protect your social security number and other private information. They don't have to do that, and they won't. They upload your records to databases so that unknown people can access them. They are not concerned with the security of your private information. Be vigilant with your own private information or hire us to be vigilant for you.

Additional Resources

www.justice.org www.ctlanet.org www.citizensforpatientsafety.org http://www.justice.org/cps/rde/xbcr/justice/InsuranceTactics.pdf http://www.justice.org/cps/rde/xbcr/justice/AAJ_Report_TenWorstInsuranceCompanies_FINAL.pdf

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