What To Do After an Accident Injury

Written By: The Champion Firm Team

Date Posted: 07.02.24

Category: Personal Injury

Sustaining an injury can be painful, frustrating, and devastating. These negative feelings are only amplified when your injury is caused by a negligent third party.

When you’re injured at the hands of another, you may have a valid claim for compensation. To ensure you protect your rights to file a claim and obtain fair compensation, it’s important to take certain steps after suffering your accident injury. A skilled car accident lawyer in Marietta can provide guidance and help you achieve the best possible result.

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Accidents that Most Often Result in Injuries

Many accidents can cause serious injuries. However, not all accidents are actionable and allow you to seek financial recovery for your resulting injuries.

The following accidents are some of the most common that, if caused by a third party, can result in a claim for compensation:

  • Vehicular accidents: Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents are some of the accidents that happen most frequently. In a recent year, over 36,000 vehicle crashes occurred every day in the U.S.
  • Bicycle collisions: Bicyclists face many risks while on the road, as negligent, inattentive drivers and road hazards pose the most risk.
  • Pedestrian accidents: Simply walking down the street can be dangerous for pedestrians, especially in busy, high-traffic areas.
  • Rideshare accidents: Collisions while riding Uber and Lyft are common, whether due to negligence by the rideshare driver or other drivers on the road.
  • Premises liability accidents: Accidents on another’s property, including slip and falls and dog bites, can happen on both public and private property.

If you sustain injuries in an accident that you know or believe was caused by another party, it’s best to consult with a skilled accident attorney. A lawyer can investigate your accident to determine whether you have a viable claim and, if so, work diligently to seek justice on your behalf.

Common Accident Injuries

Accidents can result in a wide variety of injuries. Injuries often depend on the type of accident you experience, the cause of the accident, and the severity of the situation. Some of the most common kinds of accident injuries are as follows.

Broken Bones

Bone fractures, or broken bones, usually occur due to trauma, like that experienced in an accident. You can break just about any bone in the body, but some of the more common bones that break in accidents include the bones in the arms, legs, and ribs.

Healing of a broken bone depends on the severity of the fracture and the bone itself. Some bones just require a cast, while others may need more intense treatment, like surgery.

Burns

A burn is more common for certain types of accidents, like vehicular collisions or premises liability accidents. Depending on the type of accident and cause of the burn, you can suffer burns from a fire, as well as chemical or friction burns.

Burns range in severity from first to third-degree burns. Any type of burn can seriously affect both your physical health and the appearance of the area, as burns commonly leave hind scarring.

Neck Injuries

Neck injuries are particularly common in auto collisions and falls. During an accident, you can suffer many different kinds of neck injuries, including sprains, herniated discs, and pinched nerves. The most common type of neck injury is whiplash, which occurs when the neck experiences a rapid back-and-forth movement, mimicking the cracking of a whip.

A neck injury can be uncomfortable. You may experience pain in the neck that travels down the arms and a limited range of motion for some time.

Head and Brain Injuries

Head and brain injuries occur when the head suffers trauma. A head injury usually affects the scalp and skull, like a scalp laceration or skull fracture, while a brain injury affects the brain itself and the surrounding area.Head and Brain Injuries

Some of the common traumatic brain injuries many accident victims sustain include:

  • Concussions
  • Contusions
  • Hemorrhages
  • Diffuse-axonal injuries
  • Coup contrecoup injuries

Injuries that specifically harm the brain can be particularly dangerous. They can affect you not only in the short term but also in the long term, causing brain damage and many cognitive issues.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are among some of the worst you can sustain in an accident. The spinal cord plays a vital role in numerous bodily functions, from balance to temperature regulation. Depending on the area of the harm, a spinal cord injury can have detrimental effects on a person’s well-being.

Victims may recover from spinal cord injuries, but it’s also common to suffer complications. A spinal cord injury can result in paralysis, loss of bowel or bladder control, or trouble breathing.

Internal Injuries

An accident can cause injury to the body internally, not just externally. Trauma can result in serious injury to organs, including the liver, stomach, and lungs. Internal bleeding is tricky, as it doesn’t always produce symptoms. This is one of the reasons why it’s critical to seek medical attention as quickly as possible after an injury.

Crush Injuries

A crush injury occurs when excessive pressure is placed on a part of the body. This can result in bruising, bleeding, and open wounds. In the worst cases, a crush injury can cause compartment syndrome, which causes severe damage to muscles, blood vessels, and tissues and can lead to amputation.

What To Do After Suffering an Injury in an Accident

After suffering an injury in an accident, you may feel confused and unsure of what to do. It’s important to keep in mind that what you do following an accident can impact your claim and future. Therefore, it’s crucial to take certain steps in the right direction to set yourself and your claim up for success.

Seek Medical Attention

You should always put your health first. When you suffer an injury, no matter how minor or serious you think it may be, you should seek medical attention.

It’s helpful to understand that not all injuries exhibit symptoms right away. Some injuries can be tricky, and you won’t feel or see any signs of injury immediately after your accident. This is especially true because, during a traumatic experience, the body releases the adrenaline hormone, which suppresses pain to put your body in “fight or flight” mode. Therefore, you may think you’re fine, but you may not be as okay as you feel.

Seeking quality medical care after an accident can ensure you know the full extent of your injuries, allowing you to begin treatment right away. Getting medical attention can also help avoid potential complications from your injuries.

The Importance of Medical Care Following an Injury

Obtaining medical attention after an accident is primarily crucial for your well-being. However, getting healthcare can also have a positive impact on your case.

For most accident claims, medical records play a key role. From the moment you first seek medical care, you begin building your record. Every hospital visit and doctor’s appointment is carefully documented, along with pertinent information, like your treatment plan, your medications, and your progress.

Failing to get swift medical care can negatively impact your claim. When you don’t have sufficient medical records to prove the severity of your injuries, you can count on the insurance company trying to use this against you. The insurer may try to undermine your case and claim your injuries are not as bad as you claim.

When you seek medical care from qualified healthcare providers and follow through with your treatment as recommended, you’re not only improving your chances of recovery but also strengthening your claim in the process.

Report Your Accident and Resulting Injuries

Depending on your accident, you may need to report it to the proper authorities. For example, if you’re involved in a car accident, you should contact law enforcement for officers to complete a police report. Many states’ laws actually require reporting collisions to the police, especially if they involve injuries and extensive property damage.

You should also report premises liability accidents to the appropriate party, whether it be a landowner, tenant, or manager. If you slip and fall in a grocery store, for instance, you should notify the store’s manager of what’s occurred, as they’ll likely need to complete an accident report.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Notify Your Insurance CompanyWhen you’re involved in an auto collision, you should notify your insurance company right away. Depending on your insurer and their policies, you may have a certain number of days following the collision to report your accident, or you may need to notify them within a “reasonable time.”

Failing to report your accident to the insurer can affect your ability to recover compensation in the future. Even if you were not at fault for the collision, you should still contact your insurance company and let them know what occurred.

Consult with an Experienced Accident Attorney

After any type of accident, you may feel overwhelmed and stressed. Fortunately, you have someone to turn to. A skilled accident attorney can be the light in the dark.

An accident lawyer can provide much-needed guidance, advice, and direction for your claim. They can assess your accident and injuries and determine the best way to pursue justice and monetary recovery. When you hire an attorney, you can feel confident that your case is in capable hands.

Pursuing Compensation After an Accident Injury

Following an accident caused by a third party, you may have the opportunity to seek compensation. But how? The journey to financial recovery can vary based on the specifics of your accident and who is at fault.

Filing an Insurance Claim

If you’re involved in certain kinds of accidents, like vehicular collisions or premises liability accidents, you can file an insurance claim.

For an auto insurance claim, you can file a first or third-party claim, depending on your state’s laws. If your accident occurred in a no-fault state, you can file a first-party claim with your own personal injury protection insurance (PIP) to help cover your medical records and other related expenses. Should your collision have occurred in a fault state, you can file a third-party claim with the liable driver’s insurer.

When your accident happens on another’s property, you can file a claim under their homeowners, renters, or premises liability insurance.

Sometimes, an insurance claim is all you need to obtain the compensation you deserve. If your claim is approved and you obtain a fair settlement, there’s nothing else to do. Should the insurance company not offer a just settlement or deny your claim, you may have additional options.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

A personal injury lawsuit may be the way to go under certain circumstances, for example, if the responsible party is uninsured or the insurance company isn’t willing to settle your claim fairly.

During the lawsuit process, your accident attorney works to build your case. During the discovery process, your lawyer obtains important details and information to strengthen your claim and get you one step closer to a beneficial case result.

When the time comes, your accident attorney engages in settlement negotiations with the opposing party to try to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. While not as common, should it be necessary, your lawyer is also prepared to represent you in court should you need to take your case before a judge.

Damages Available for Accident Victims

As an accident victim, you may be entitled to receive damages to compensate you for your injuries and losses. Some of the damages you may pursue include:Damages Available for Accident Victims

  • Present and future medical expenses
  • Lost earnings
  • Diminished earning potential
  • Property damage
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Disability

Your accident attorney can thoroughly examine the details of your accident to assign a dollar amount to your case. Understanding the value of your claim is key to helping ensure you get the settlement you deserve.

A Lawyer Can Assist You After Your Accident

If you’re unsure what to do after an accident injury, you’re not alone. Let a seasoned personal injury lawyer in Marietta guide you through the process. A lawyer can safeguard your rights, do what is in your best interests, and fight for justice and an advantageous case result.

About the Author

The Champion Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.C. is a full-service personal injury law firm serving the greater Metro Atlanta area. Our award-winning team of attorneys specializes in car accidents, wrongful death, premises liability, and slip-and-fall cases. Learn more about our team here.