Question

What Are My First Steps After A Motor Vehicle Accident In Ohio?

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Nathan Stuckey - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Nathan Stuckey

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Answer

A motor vehicle accident can be traumatic, and the time immediately afterwards can be confusing, overwhelming and stressful. Even minor accidents can cause major headaches when it’s time to speak with the insurance company or file a claim. If you or someone you love was seriously injured, you may have a long list of concerns regarding unexpected hospital bills, your inability to work while you’re getting better and more. A motor vehicle accident can damage more than just your physical health; your psychological and fiscal health may be at risk, too.

Care For Your Injuries First

Knowing what to do after an accident can provide a lot of clarity and help you take the first steps toward recovery. The first thing to do after a vehicular crash is call the police and potentially an ambulance. If you were injured, your priority is taking care of your physical health and you should seek medical attention immediately.

Directly after an accident, your adrenaline may contribute masking the symptoms of your injury. Some symptoms don’t become apparent until hours, days or even weeks after an accident. Regardless of how serious your injuries look or feel, it’s important to follow through on all care as directed by your doctor. If you feel symptoms days or weeks after an accident, speak to a medical professional immediately. Not only is it necessary for your physical health, but an exam by a doctor after your accident can also be used as evidence of your injury if you decide to file a claim.

Other Things To Do After An Accident

If you can, immediately after the accident has occurred, take photos of the scene, the damage, and any injuries you’ve obtained. Gather as much information about the other driver as possible and take notes about what happened before, during and after the accident. If the police arrive at the accident scene, follow their instructions and make a statement, if possible.

If you don’t feel physically able to write notes at the scene of the accident, write recollections in a journal as soon as you can afterward. This information can help you file a claim for the maximum amount of damages.

You Don’t Need To Accept The First Offer

It’s unusual for an insurance company to offer a low settlement after someone files for damages. They may ask you to sign paperwork that states you won’t ask for more compensation after accepting their settlement amount. However, some physical and psychological damage after a vehicular accident doesn’t become apparent until the days or weeks after the accident. If you accept an offer that is too low, you may still be facing huge, unexpected medical bills that your damages should have been able to cover.

It’s your right to speak with an attorney about your settlement offer, and you don’t have to accept the first offer you receive. Car, truck and other motor vehicle accidents can be stressful; you don’t need to accept the added stress of unpaid bills and other unexpected expenses.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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