Were you ringing in the new year when you got injured in a car crash? Unfortunately, New Year’s accidents are common and you’re far from alone.
The hours between 6:00 p.m. on Dec. 31 and 6:00 a.m. on Jan. 1 make up one of the most dangerous times to drive all year. New Year’s Eve auto accidents often involve alcohol or drug use, and raise the crash rate over 70 percent higher than a normal weekend night. Overall, New Year’s Day is in second place for the worst crash fatality day in the U. S.
So what should you do if you got hurt? There are several steps you need to take now that the accident is over to protect your rights and keep yourself from experiencing more problems.
See a Doctor
Even if you don’t feel pain or discomfort from the accident, it’s in your best interest to seek medical care after an accident. Many symptoms may not show up for days or weeks after a crash, yet you can still have serious injuries that may require ongoing medical treatment. Getting checked out by a medical professional now will be your first line of defense if future medical problems arise.
Why? Because medical reports and bills are the best evidence for injury and financial damages that result from the accident. The insurance company will be far more likely to offer coverage for your medical expenses if you seek treatment soon after the accident.
Once you are treated for injury, it’s important to carefully follow the doctor’s orders. For example, you should not go bowling or golfing after a back injury, because you could risk not only your health, but also the loss of your insurance settlement. How so? Engaging in physically demanding activities – particularly those that fly in the face of doctor recommendations – provides the insurance adjuster with evidence that can allow them to deny your claim.
Contact the Insurance Company
When you call your insurance company or the at-fault driver’s insurance company, it’s best to be patient and polite in your interactions. Since adjusters process many claims at once, yours may not be at the top of their priority list. It’s fine to check in regularly and make follow-up calls, but remember to stay on the insurance company’s good side to maximize your chances of getting paid.
Remember not to settle too soon with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If you were treated in an emergency room right after the accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may try to pressure you into a fast settlement for your medical bills. However, you don’t know yet if you will have lingering symptoms.
Settle too quickly and you are likely to find that the money you receive doesn’t cover all of your costs, but at that point you will have little recourse since you have already agreed to a settlement. It’s not easy, but if you are willing to take your time and work with a knowledgeable injury lawyer, you are far more likely to get a better settlement. Speaking of which…
Call an Attorney
If you still aren’t getting anywhere, it’s time to call an experienced New York injury lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney will understand how the process works and be able to push the insurance company to provide you with fair compensation for your medical bills, loss of income, and more. Schedule a free case review today.