Aftermath of an Accident

Pitfalls, Do’s and Don’ts in the aftermath of an accident…..

It is important that in the aftermath of any accident involving you, or a loved one, that you understand your actions, even if innocently taken can have significant impact on your future legal rights to recovery and recompense.  The following are general concepts to keep in mind after an accident occurs: 1. Do cooperate with any authorities that are involved, if you are mentally, emotionally and rationally capable of doing so. 2. Do not engage in aggressive or untoward behavior in the aftermath of an accident. 3. Do realize that you are likely upset, “shaken up”, as a result of what are often sudden and unexpected injuries.  4. If you are experiencing any pain, and are offered medical treatment at the scene or transport to a local emergency room or hospital, it is not in your best interest to decline such treatment.  Often in the aftermath of an accident because of the effect of adrenaline on the human anatomy many injury victims feel that they will be okay and that they are just “shaken up”.  More often than not this is not true and in order to ensure your own health you should be thoroughly examined by medical and health care professionals.  5.  Do follow-up as recommended by the professionals at a hospital, emergency room, or other facility, even though it is the tendency of many people to believe that they will get better in a week or two.  There are subtle injures that can occur from a motor vehicle or many other trauma producing accidents, which are subtle and not readily apparent.  This is particularly true of any type of any closed head injury with or without loss of consciousness. 6. Do  not assume because the impact in an accident was minimal that you could not have sustained serious damage. 7. Do consult with an experienced personal injury and trial attorney so that you are fully informed of your rights. 8. Do understand that insurance companies, like any business entity, are in the process of maximizing profits.  Realistically that means that to any extent they can save money on a claim or any other claims, that in the long run they make a higher profit.  Your only protection in terms of a fair recovery is to consult with a personal injury attorney who is experienced in dealing with Defendants and their insurance carrier in order to ensure that your case is handled fairly from the start. 9. Do be careful in terms of communications with any insurance carrier, including your own insurer.  Most policies require that you cooperate and give a statement if requested to do so; however, the sooner you see a qualified and competent personal injury attorney it becomes more likely that he or she can protect all of your rights including against any conduct of an insurance company, which may sometimes be questionable.  10. Do not give a recorded statement to any insurance representative or investigator, be polite but insistent that you will cooperate and give a statement, but only with your attorney present. 11. Do not under any circumstances accept any payments directly or sign any paperwork provide to you by third parties and/or their insurance carriers without consulting with an attorney first.  This includes any form of release and any statements of any type. 12. Do not, if it is at all financial possible, elect Limited Tort on your insurance policy.  Limited Tort is a horrible deal for the insured and also binds your family members in certain cases and prevents recoveries as well as denigrating the value of most non-permanent injury cases in the eyes of the insurance companies.  For more information consult the Limited Tort page. 13. Do not rely upon any general understanding of a Statute of Limitation (known as Limitation of Action under Pennsylvania Law).  Many cases have a discovery statute or various notice provisions, which are not within the knowledge of layman.  Pennsylvania has a minor’s tolling statute, which plays a role in numerous cases when the representation of a minor is undertaken by an attorney.  Your statute of limitations should be computed by an attorney.  Do not rely upon any third party or any insurance personnel to inform you of your statute of limitation rights.   Your only assurance to make sure that any legal rights you have are brought timely is to consult with an experienced trial lawyer who will protect your constitutional right to bring a suit for recompense.  

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(610) 258-6625 831 Lehigh Street Easton, PA 18042
John R. Vivian Jr. Attorney
Motor Vehicle Accidents | Accidents and Personal Injury | Medical and Hospital Malpractice |  Trucking Accidents | Other Civil Litigation and Personal Injury