5 Mistakes People Make After Suffering an Injury in an Accident
Accidents happen. Some accidents are harmless, while others can leave you in a world of hurt and pain. If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve been injured as the result of an accident, you need to be intentional with your actions.
The 5 Mistakes You Need to Avoid
By definition, an accident is a deviation from the norm. Nobody expects to encounter an accident in a given situation. As a result, people aren’t always prepared for how to handle them.
Whether it’s a car crash, slip and fall, sports injury, or something else entirely, you need to be prepared for how you’ll handle sudden accidents. In doing so, you’ll stand a much better chance of avoiding mistakes like these:
- Not Seeking Medical Attention
The first priority is to seek immediate medical attention. Whether it’s something serious like a head-on car crash, or minor like a twisted ankle, getting checked out by a medical professional is wise for a number of reasons.
First off, a doctor will be able to give you the care you need and verify that you’re in stable condition. Secondly, seeking immediate medical attention provides you with clear proof of the injury should legal action need to be taken at a later date.
- Not Documenting the Injury
Not only do you need to seek medical attention, but you also need to keep meticulous records. You need to document the scene of the accident, keep all medical records and files, save receipts, and make copies of all insurance information. The more documentation you have, the greater your chances are of obtaining a successful personal injury claim (if this is a route you pursue).
- Not Obtaining Legal Representation
“The most important step you can take after an accident – after seeking medical treatment – is to retain an experienced and recognized personal injury attorney to handle your case,” Friedl Richardson explains.
A lot of people don’t obtain legal representation because they don’t want to go through the hassle. Other people are under the impression that they’ll make a quick recovery and won’t need to get a lawyer involved. But failing to contact an attorney is a mistake. You might not end up needing the assistance, but exploring your options on the front end will help protect your best interests.
- Signing a Release Form
Let’s say you’re in a car accident. You get out of the car and the other driver, who is at fault, is nice and cooperative. He accepts responsibility for the accident and wants to work everything out. He offers to pay your deductible and asks you to sign a release form in return.
While this might seem like a smart idea, never sign anything until you know the full extent of the damage to your car and injuries. Once you sign a release form, the other party is completely off the hook.
- Returning to Normal Activity Too Quickly
In the aftermath of an injury, the last thing you want to do is return to normal activity prematurely. In doing so, you could actually worsen the underlying issue and increase the overall time of recovery.
Listen to your doctor and gradually reintroduce activities and responsibilities over a period of time. Only then can you be sure you’ve actually recovered.
Make Smart Choices
Most people aren’t in the right frame of mind immediately following an accident. That’s why it’s important to have a response plan in place prior to the event ever happening. By thinking ahead and figuring out what you would do in a hypothetical situation, you can give yourself the greatest chance of experiencing a safe and healthy recovery.