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When you’re injured in a car accident, because you slipped and fell, or any other way that was not your fault, it is important to ensure you’ll be able to take care of yourself.
Because the consequences can follow you for a long time, take these four steps after an injury.
1. Document your case
After your injury, take photos and videos of the scene, and ask for witness accounts.
“You want to make sure, to the extent you can, that you get the names of anybody who happened to witness the accident, and their contact information, if possible,” said Michael McLean, partner at local law firm Wall, McLean & Gallagher,PLLC.
In the weeks following your accident, keep a daily journal of any impacts.
“At the end of the day, write a few thoughts down on how you're doing physically and mentally and how this is impacting you so that, if need be, you can get that journal out and rely upon it,” McLean said.
2. Take care of your health
Even if you’re not sure you’re injured, visit your doctor.
“More often than not, people are more seriously injured than they realize,” McLean said. “There's an adrenaline rush. There are all kinds of thoughts that go through people's minds, and the last thing they're thinking of is, ‘Am I or am I not injured? And sometimes it's not for hours, days, possibly even a couple of weeks until they go, 'I've had this pain between my shoulders, and I just thought maybe I slept wrong or whatever.' And it turns out it's related to a car accident they had some time ago.”
3. Don’t take on insurance alone
After your accident, an insurance company may contact you as part of its investigation into the accident.
“Before they agree to do anything, I would at least call an attorney,” McLean said. “Give us a call. We can answer some questions and make sure that you don't do anything that would be an unintentional damaging event to your case.”
Fortunately, Wall, McLean & Gallagher offers free consultations, so you can ask questions and ensure you feel comfortable.
“We view our relationship with our clients as a partnership,” McLean said. “We're going to be relying on them every bit as much as they're going to be relying on us. They're going to be required to provide us updates, provide us dates of their medical treatments, if they're missing work, how their medical treatments are going — just a general day-to-day participation in their case.”
4. Hire an experienced attorney
There is no substitute for experience when it comes to attorneys.
“It's to your advantage to make sure you have somebody who's not only well versed in insurance law but, if necessary, capable of trying a case to a judge and jury,” McLean said. “You want to try and get in and see them as quickly as you can so that they can help you shape the early stages of your case.”
The attorneys at Wall, McLean & Gallagher have extensive experience helping people who have been injured.
“My partners and I have tried cases all over the state, in both state and federal court,” McLean said. “We have over 75 years of combined trial experience. It's something we're well versed in.”
Your attorney will advocate for you, so you don’t have to navigate insurance or the legal system alone.
“We value their business, and we are going to fight like hell for them, if that has to happen in a courtroom, to make sure that they're treated fairly.”