Our lawyers at Hastings, Cohan & Walsh have been representing injured parties and their families for decades. As a result of representing so many people who have been injured in a wide variety of accidents, we have noticed some commonalities. Oftentimes, there is a noticeable pattern when it comes to the mistakes that these people make. Unfortunately, they have the potential to create some far-reaching consequences which could reduce the value of their claim by tens of thousands of dollars or, in certain cases, can destroy it completely. The following are the most frequently forgotten steps to take after an accident that can increase or solidify the value of your case going forward.
Not Calling the Police
No matter what type of accident you have been involved in, this should always be your first step. Whether you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, bicycle accident, pedestrian accident, have been bitten by a dog, or if you have been injured in a trip and fall or slip and fall accident, you should always call the police and asked that an accident report be prepared. It is imperative that you never admit fault when discussing this matter with the police officer, but rather, explain why the other party is responsible for your injuries and damages.
Not Seeking Medical Attention
According to a CDC report published in 2021, approximately 40 million people visited a physician for an unintentional injury. While this number is high, many people decide not to see a doctor after they have been injured. Even if you feel okay initially, you should insist on getting prompt medical care and attention. The best course of action is to be taken by ambulance from the accident site to the nearest hospital emergency room. Many times, people will underestimate their injuries or may try to deal with the pain on their own before deciding that it is time to seek medical care. It is important that you get checked out as soon as possible. You may have some type of an injury that requires immediate medical care and attention without even knowing it until a doctor is there to identify it.
Not Gathering Evidence
You should begin to gather evidence as soon as possible and these days, most of us have the ability to do so. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, take out your cell phone and snap pictures of the vehicles from many different angles. You may want to show the severity of the impact, the damage to the vehicles, the site lines that were present at the time of the accident, the individuals involved, the license plates of the vehicles, skid marks, the point of impact, as well as any and all other information that can help your lawyer to advance your case.
For example, if you are injured as a result of a dog bite, you should take pictures of the dog, the individuals that are present, and your injury or if you were injured in a slip/trip and fall accident, you should take pictures of what caused you to fall and contact the person responsible so you can fill out an incident report. It is important to know that you will not be given a copy of the incident report once you fill it out so before you return that report to the person that provided you with the form, be sure to take a picture of it with your cell phone so you can preserve that information.
Our firm was able to win over a hundred thousand dollars for a client who slipped and fell on ice outside of a local Dunkin' Donuts. We were able to do so in part because her daughter had the foresight to take pictures of the icy patch before the employees had a chance to sprinkle salt on it and destroy the evidence.
Speaking About the Accident
You may be shocked to find out how quickly you are contacted by the insurance adjuster who is representing the party who caused your accident or is responsible for your injuries. You should not speak with this individual as they will be trying to get you to admit that you are responsible in some way, that you had pre-existing medical conditions, or that you are not really injured as a result of their insured's negligence. If you are contacted by the insurance adjuster, representing the person that caused your accident, you should tell that individual that you have an attorney and that you cannot speak with them.
Not Acquiring a Legal Advocate
Most importantly, you should contact an experienced Connecticut personal injury lawyer at the earliest possible moment. There are many things that you need to be doing, as well as many other things that you should not be doing, in addition to the above. You do not want to attempt to handle your own case and make a great number of mistakes before you contact a Connecticut accident attorney. Our Connecticut injury lawyers handle these cases on a contingency fee basis and advance the costs to develop your case so that you do not have to come up with any money out of your own pocket.
Call us at 888-244-5480 or click here to contact us as soon as possible so we can help you to maximize the amount of money that you are able to recover for your accident or injury case.