According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it was estimated that during the first half of 2016 (Jan – Jun) 17,775 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. This projected amount portrayed an increase of about 10.4 percent in 2016 as compared to the 16,100 fatalities that were reported to have occurred in the first half of 2015. This statistic alone shows how real and detrimental a car crash can be.
Sadly, this statistic does not include all of the victims of car accidents that live in pain because of an injury they got from driving. Many people silently suffer from pain and have no idea what to do next. Getting into a car accident is scary and stressful enough without having to worry about dealing with everything perfectly so that insurance companies don’t take advantage of you. If you have been in a car accident and are wondering what the next step is, please take note of important do’s and don’t’s as you deal with your personal injury case.
Don’t: believe car insurance is your friend. Do: seek legal help.
First and foremost, do not assume that a car insurance company has your best interest at heart. Many car insurance companies will try to contact you before you get an attorney. Little to your knowledge, they are probably recording your conversation, looking for you to say something that may help them pay less to you in the long run. Many people who do not seek professional legal help may be severely hurt by what they disclose to anyone in the future about their injury and accident.
That is why it is important to get an accident attorney who is an expert on personal injury claims. This is especially true if you feel as though you received an injury during a car accident. When you get an attorney, they will not only help you combat car insurance professionals but they will also help you decide which doctors may be helpful to see as you recover. Remember, this may be your first time dealing with a car accident injury, but it is not theirs. You are going to want someone with experience so be careful as to who you choose. Always take time to get to know the individual that is going to represent you before you hire them. You want to pick someone that you can trust and that will have your best interest in mind.
Don’t: go through it alone. Do: seek professional council.
If you have been dealing with your injury for a long period of time, it can take an emotional toll on you. If you feel like your emotional health is being affected by your injury, it may be time to either ask a family member or friend for emotional support and help. From the very beginning of an accident, it is important to set up a strong support system. If for whatever reason you are not able to get a strong support system, talk to your attorney about the possibility of seeing a professional psychologist or psychiatrist. Having someone to help you through the emotional stress of an injury is half of the battle. Do not worry about insurance because your attorney will be able to answer all of your questions.
Don’t: assume that you won’t get better. Do: stay positive
Another huge mistake people can make is giving up too soon. Because of the emotional pain an injury takes on a person, it is easy to give up when you are not given the results that you’d hoped for. Although doctors can give you a rough estimate of how long it will take heal, they will never be able to predict how long your injury will last. If you are told that you should heal in three to six weeks and four months later you are still in pain, remember that every person is different and that does not mean you won’t heal eventually. Once you become negative about the situation, your chances of healing are a lot less.
Don’t: sacrifice your quality of life. Do: everything you can to ensure you heal properly
Although physical therapy or surgery may sound worse than dealing with the pain you are in, remember that you should never sacrifice your future quality of life for instant gratification. If you refuse to put the work in that it takes to heal, then you will deal with the consequences in the future. Taking the “easy way out” will affect how slowly you heal. The sooner you start listening to the doctors, the sooner you will heal. Your doctors, along with your accident attorney, want you to get better, so it is important that you take their advice when it’s given. Surgery may seem scary but if your doctor suggests it that means it is your last result. Keep in mind that many times, painful, debilitating injuries can be fixed by a simple surgery.
Don’t: assume you don’t deserve financial compensation. Do: remember your life has value.
Many people who are victims of someone else’s recklessness automatically assume that they are not entitled to financial compensation. However, this is a misconception. Insurance companies were created to protect drivers. So when someone that is under their coverage makes a mistake and injures someone else, it is their responsibility to pay for the damages they caused. If you have any kind of an injury that interferes with your quality of life, you should be compensated for it. Your life and your happiness are worth something, even if the injury you sustained works itself out sooner rather than later. That being said, do not assume that a small cut or bruise deserves thousands of dollars. Be realistic and fair. You deserve compensation that reflects the amount of pain that you suffer. All in all, a personal injury does not mean your life is over. With hard work, a good attitude, a support system and a personal attorney, you will find that dealing with your injury is a lot less stressful than you imagined it to be.