Taking the Right Steps to Protect Your Health and Your Legal Rights
A motor vehicle accident can change your life in an instant. Depending on the nature and severity of your injuries, you may be unable to work; may experience significant pain and discomfort for weeks, months, or years; or may be forced to give up activities you love. You have a right to seek compensation for all your losses, but there are specific steps you should take to fully protect your health and your legal interests. Though one of your first acts should be to retain an experienced attorney, there are other things you can do to protect your interests.
Step One: Get the Medical Attention You Need
In the aftermath of an auto wreck, your physical well-being needs to be your top priority. Your injuries can be serious even if you weren’t traveling at a high rate of speed and even if you don’t notice any obvious issues right away. This isn’t the time to shake things off, to try to be strong. Provided it’s safe to do so, be willing to stay right where you are until emergency medical professionals arrive and defer to their expertise regarding whether you should go to the hospital in an ambulance or seek medical care on your own.
Even if you’re able to move about under your own power, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Go immediately to the hospital or an urgent care facility, or make an appointment to see your personal physician.
When receiving medical treatment, be sure to tell doctors and nurses about anything that seems out of the ordinary. Don’t focus on obvious injuries—lacerations or broken bones—and neglect to mention the stiffness in your back or neck. Often, the injuries that seem the most insignificant at first end up being the most debilitating in the long run. In addition, be sure that medical professionals document everything in writing.
Step Two: Gather Information to Help Your Attorney
To the extent possible, try to gather as much information as you can about other parties and witnesses so that your lawyer can contact them and gather evidence to support your claim. It’s also helpful to get pictures of everything, including road conditions, weather, your injuries, and any damage to vehicles. You don’t need a special camera—the one on your phone is fine.
Contact Barnard, Mezzanotte, Pinnie & Seelaus
At Barnard, Mezzanotte, Pinnie & Seelaus, we have protected the rights of personal injury victims in Pennsylvania since 1980. We offer a free initial consultation. We are currently communicating with clients by phone, text message, e-mail, and videoconferencing. To schedule an appointment, call us at 610-565-4055 or contact us online.
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