There are several things your lawyer can do for you immediately after an accident. We can’t think of a single good reason to not consult with an experience personal injury attorney after an accident where you’ve been hurt. Rest assured, the insurance companies and other parties are likely working hard behind the scenes to preserve their interests!
So, here are just a few things that your personal injury attorney can, and should, be doing after taking you on as a client. These things should be done by an experienced and skilled attorney, who knows what to look for and protect your interests early.
- Go To the Scene, Take Pictures, and Preserve Evidence: Waiting months to hire a lawyer to do this critical work is a mistake. Evidence gets lost or stale. It is reasonable to use something like Google Maps to get an immediate and quick understanding of the location where an incident occurred, if possible. But there’s just no substitute for actually being present at the scene to see, hear, feel, and understand the context of an accident. The sooner the better, as evidence gets lost. For example, skid marks get lost over time. There may be cameras that could have picked up the accident. This type of evidence is not available on a collision report or Google.
- Call and Interview Witnesses: Their memories are fresher right after the shock of seeing a crash, and more willing to help. It surely isn’t better to wait several months to call witnesses. They may forget key details, no longer care to help, or simply not be around. Your lawyer can and should contact the witnesses and take their statements, in writing, while the witnesses’ memories are fresh, and they’re willing to testify. Different witnesses will have observed things differently, that is normal and will help your legal team understand how everything unfolded and beat frivolous defense arguments.
- Inspect and Preserve the Vehicles: After any accident or crash where vehicles are towed to a yard, the insurance company and tow yard will want to get rid of the scrap of metal that used to be your vehicle. The tow yard will charge outrageous daily storage fees, and the insurance company (yes, yours as well) will not want to pay these charges. In the meantime, your lawyer should be taking photos of your vehicle, preserving it for evidence if necessary, and getting experts access to the vehicles to conduct critical inspections and analysis. Waiting months to hire a lawyer will likely result in your vehicle being sold for scraps and key evidence being destroyed. That could certainly hurt your injury case and ability to communicate the true facts to a jury.
- Obtain Medical Records and Assist with Medical Care: If you were taken by ambulance or treated at the emergency department, your lawyers should be obtaining these records to learn what the initial assessments and treatments were. From there, if you have trouble getting medical care, or do not have adequate health insurance coverage, your attorneys can and should help you get the to the medical professionals you need. There is no reason why your medical care should be delayed or burdened with the road blocks and red tape after you’ve been injured because of another’s negligence and unexpected injury. Your legal team’s first priority should be getting your injuries addressed and helping you recover.
- Help You Get Back on Your Feet: After being injured in an accident, many things in your life may be disrupted. You will need alternative transportation or your vehicle repaired. You may need help getting fair value for your vehicle if it is a total loss. Medical bills and letters will start pouring in, now adding an anxiety and additional work to your already busy life. You do not want to have to be dealing with health insurance, medical billing, professional insurance adjusters working for insurance company interests, coverage issues, etc. all while trying to physically and emotionally recover from the shock of being involved in a serious collision or accident. You should sleep at night knowing your legal team is taking care of all theses issues. Your only job should be doing everything possible to get well…