Witnessing the pain of a loved one can be traumatic. In this case represented by Bellingham personal injury lawyer Bill Coats, the pedestrian hit by a truck sustained fractures in both ankles. Her husband also was awarded compensation for the psychological impact of witnessing his wife's accident and caring for her through her recovery.
What to do after an accident
After a serious accident, it is hard to know what you should do
No one expects to get in an accident, and so when it happens, the experience is always shocking. Even a minor collision is stressful, and it is difficult to know what to do immediately after an accident, to protect the safety of those involved, and to protect the rights of the victims going forward.
When a crash occurs, people may be injured or in danger, and emotions run high. Try to remain calm, to avoid anger or confrontation with other drivers, and to assess the scene for safety issues.
The following are important things to do after an accident:
- Check on the condition of all people involved, and get medical attention for anyone with injuries. Do not move an injured or unconscious person until trained medical personnel arrive, unless there is an imminent danger present.
- Call the police if there is physical injury, death, or significant property damage. Request that a police report be filed, and get the names and badge numbers of the responding officers.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved. If they had passengers, or if there were witnesses to the crash, try to get their contact information as well.
- Let your insurance company know you've been in an accident. Tell them the truth about what happened and the extent of your injuries. Your insurance company is on your side, and your adjuster is there to help you.
- Take photos of your vehicle damage and your injuries. They can help your insurance adjuster or personal injury lawyer prove the value of your claim.
- Be cautious of early settlement offers. Don’t settle a claim until you know the full extent of your injuries and required medical treatment, including future surgery. Consult a lawyer before signing any settlement document.
Why should you consider working with a personal injury attorney on your insurance claim?
You should consider finding an experienced injury lawyer who will help you throughout the entire claim process and will protect your rights. A lawyer has the knowledge and resources to oversee all phases of the case, from the initial gathering and organizing of information, to getting statements from witnesses and physicians, to the final negotiation of a full settlement to compensate you for your financial losses. Having an injury attorney on your side allows you to focus on healing and recovery.
We've all heard the expression, "follow the doctor's orders" and after a car accident, it's not different. Yet you'd be surprised at how many accident victims stop going to the doctor for follow up care, even when they don't feel completely better. Click this link for a video about why you should continue to follow your doctor's instructions after your auto accident.
As with so many things in life, it helps to be prepared with knowledge before you need it. As a wise friend once said, "It's easier to repair the roof when it's sunny than when it's raining." Hopefully you or a loved one will never need this guide, but if you drive or ride in any vehicle on the road, you might. Click here for the top ten tips on what to do after an auto accident. Also included are local resources for Washington state drivers.
Accident victims have a wide range of reactions after a crash, and as a personal injury lawyer here in Bellingham, WA, I have seen them all. While one might expect that someone would seek medical attention soon after a collision, that's not always the case. I created this video linked through this article on what all accident victims should do after an auto accident.
Auto accidents - no matter how minor - are shocking, scary events to all involved. First and foremost, the top priority is to get the injured medical care ASAP, as those first few moments are critical to recovery, and sometimes, survival. However, accident victims have other things to consider too. This article is intended to be shared with friends and loved ones before an accident happens, to keep in mind some things to do in the event of an accident that can help in going through the insurance claims process or even building a tort case. Click for information on the importance of collecting physical evidence after a car crash and other tips.
At about 1:15am, two deputies were in a police SUV when they were struck by a driver that failed to stop at a stop sign. The collision pushed their vehicle off of the road, and they were both injured along with a passenger in the other vehicle, but are expected to be okay.
At about 3:00 pm, a man hijacked a woman's car, struck her with it, and fled the scene, which lead police to pursue the man. Eventually, the man crashed the vehicle and was detained, and the woman who was hit was hospitalized, but only sustained non-life threatening injuries.
Lee County deputy was found at fault in an accident that killed Austin Dukette, 15. Deputy Douglas E. Hood was cited for careless driving following a two-month investigation.