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What Should I do if I am in a Car Accident?

No one expects to be injured in a car accident. Immediately after the accident, you may not even know you’ve been injured.  However, once you realize you’re hurt, concerns begin to rise. Can I work with my injuries? How can I support my loved ones? How will my medical bills be paid? Will my car be fixed or replaced? When will my life get back to normal? Every day, the injuries sustained in car accidents instantly change the lives of those involved. Those injured in car accidents can profoundly impact any financial recovery they may receive by following these basic steps.

  1. Call for Emergency Medical Services and Police

The safety of all involved is the highest priority. If there is a need for emergency medical attention, then all else is secondary. In addition to any emergency medical services, the police should be contacted. When police are contacted, they typically complete a neutral accident report. The police report will help establish the liability of those involved and to document important facts about the accident.

During the police investigation, it is important to assist their investigation by answering questions truthfully but without adding any unnecessary information or assumptions. Only provide information that you know to be true.

  1. General Accident Information

If you can stay at the scene of the accident or return a short time later, you should document the general information about the accident. The general information can include driver’s license numbers, addresses/phone numbers for others involved, insurance information of all involved, and other vehicles’ license plate numbers.

  1. Scene of Accident

Obtain as much information on the scene of the accident as possible.  Take photos of the road conditions, any damage caused by the accident, any skid marks, and all vehicles involved, from as many angles as possible. Speak with witnesses to the accident, obtain their contact information, and make yourself notes about what the witnesses saw.

  1. Call Insurance Company

The terms of your insurance require you to contact your insurance provider immediately.  However, you are not obligated to give a recorded statement right away. It is wise to speak with an attorney prior to giving any statement.

The insurance companies of other drivers will begin to try and get a statement from you. They may also offer you an early settlement.  Respectfully decline any settlement offer or providing any statement until you have had a chance to speak to an experienced injury lawyer. Colorado law sets the timeframe for the other driver’s insurance company to talk to you after an accident, but not all insurance companies abide by the laws designed to prevent you from being taken advantage of by them.

  1. Get Non-Emergency Medical Attention

No matter how minor you think your injury can be – or if you think you might not be injured at all – seek medical attention early after the accident. It may take several days or weeks for your injuries to be disruptive or unmanageable.  Many injured Coloradoans hurt their cases because they wait to get medical attention. Follow all the doctor’s advice and continue with your medical care until told otherwise by your doctor. Remember that immediately following your accident, adrenaline can cover your injuries.

  1. Document, Document, Document

Document how the accident has changed your life. Document any changes such as pain, loss of work, loss of income, daily tasks, and extracurricular activities. No matter how small or major you think, the change in life is, document it. This documentation will be necessary to prove your damages that were caused by the accident. Following a car accident, damages come in many forms and having the documentation to prove damages will increase your chances of being compensated for them.

  1. Contact Burnham Law.

The attorneys at Burnham Law are here to represent your interests in obtaining a meaningful resolution to your accident case. Burnham Law will be your advocate and fight for everything that you should receive. Burnham Law will handle your case so that you can concentrate on your health, knowing that you have attorneys working hard towards a fair result.

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