What Should You Do After Serious Bodily Injury?
There are many types of accidents that may result in serious bodily injury and greatly affect your quality of life; so what should you do after receiving such an injury?
An individual can suffer from a serious injury from a variety of causes, including:
- Aggravated assault
- Car Accident or driving under the influence
- Construction accidents
- Other accidents
To determine if you have suffered a serious bodily injury, the court typically look at the severity of the injury, the recovery time (if not permanent), necessary medical care, type of injury sustained, the psychological trauma of the incident, and other considerations.
What Is Serious Bodily Injury?
One of the most common causes of serious bodily injury is car accidents and collisions. Motor vehicle accidents can cause innumerable forms of injuries, from minor to serious.
How does one know which classification applies to their injury? Does it really matter? It matters tremendously when it comes to how much compensation is recovered.
In addition to awarding compensation for expenses related to an accident, the car accident lawyers will consider the emotional impact of the pain and life disruption a victim experiences.
The Definition of Serious Injury Caused by a Traffic Accident
A serious injury is a non-fatal injury, but potentially nearly-fatal injury, received in a motor vehicle accident that results in:
- Severe laceration that exposes underlying tissue, muscle and/or organs and causes a significant loss of blood.
- A broken extremity.
- Any crushing injury.
- Abdominal, chest or head injury more serious than a bruise or minor laceration.
- Second or third degree burns covering more than 10% of a victim’s body.
- Removed by first responders as an unconscious victim.
- Any paralysis.
What Should You Do After You’ve Been Involved in a Traffic Accident?
Being involved in a car accident can be scary.
Once the fear response is triggered, emotions can affect the decision-making process. Couple that with impairment that can be caused by serious bodily injury, and a person may have made decisions that affected the outcome of an insurance provider granting a claim.
What are the recommended steps to take after an accident?
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), these are the steps that should be taken when involved in a motor vehicle accident:
- 1. Receive Medical Attention:
- Often, a car accident victim will wave off treatment from emergency responders. Instead, immediate medical attention should be received. Delayed onset of injury symptoms is common.
- Some symptoms may show up within a few hours, or a few days. Adrenaline will disguise pain. Once the initial adrenaline rush wears off, pain will begin to appear.
- Other medical issues, such as post-traumatic-stress or numbness related to nerve damage may take days or weeks to manifest. Even if you experience no pain immediately after an accident, it is important to get medical attention.
- 2. Document Everything:
- Take photos of the accident site, vehicles involved, property damage and any injuries that are visible, such as cuts and bruises. Collect all medical reports, receipts, police reports, and witness reports related to the claim.
- Gather contact information for all treating medical personnel, law enforcement, witnesses, victims, drivers, and insurance providers. Keep notes that journal details of the accident and any after-effects that begin to present, as well as any ongoing medical treatment and communication with anyone involved.
- 3. Don’t Unnecessarily Admit Being At Fault:
- Insurance providers will call. They will ask questions related to the accident. It is important not to admit fault without consulting with a car accident attorney.
- Improperly assuming blame for an accident may cause any claim to be denied. Even if it is determined later that the accident was not your fault, this could become a hurdle to overcome.
- 4. Don’t Settle Too Early For Too Little:
- Do not accept any settlement offered by an insurance provider until you have completed a prescribed medical treatment regimen. Once a settlement is agreed upon, a check is released and the case is closed.
- What then happens if an unexpected complication arises that extends an expected recovery period?
- 5. Consult A Personal Injury Lawyer:
- Insurance providers are looking out for their best interest. A personal injury lawyer is looking out for yours. Serious injury accidents, like those necessitating the help of brain injury attorneys, can result in long-term care and extensive recovery and rehabilitation programs.
- An accident victim needs to focus on their recovery. Turn over the stress related to recovering compensation to a skilled legal advocate.
Why Legal Help Is Advised:
It is easy to see that when serious bodily injury has occurred, a victim is truly in a vulnerable condition. This is not the time to go it alone.
Serious injuries can lead to life-altering changes that can begin to affect an accident victim immediately.
Medical treatment expenses can quickly deplete a person’s bank account who is no longer able to earn a living, whether temporarily or permanently.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a motor vehicle accident and were seriously injured, contact us for the legal help and support you need to get the compensation you deserve.