Accidents happen. Whether it’s a fall at home, a car accident involving multiple parties, or an accident at work, they’re bound to happen. While you can’t always prevent accidents, you can plan for what to do when they happen. You’ll need to have an idea of what kind of steps you need to take immediately following the accident, what kind of accident attorney to work with, and what you’ll need to do in the long run when an accident happens. Here are three types of common accidents and how you can prepare for them.
Car collisions are one of the most common types of accidents in which people will be involved in their lives. If you haven’t prepared you may feel confused and overwhelmed when an accident happens. While there is likely to be stress and concern regardless of whether you’re prepared or not, following these steps will help to relieve some of the stress and have decisions made beforehand.
What To Do Immediately Following
Immediately following a car accident, there are a few important steps you need to take:
- Stay at the scene. When an accident happens, even if it’s a minor one, you need to stay at the scene. It’s your legal obligation. If your vehicle is blocking the roadway, move it if you can. If not, use other means to warn other drives of broken glass or other debris in the roadway.
- Determine damage to property and people. Check to make sure that everyone in your vehicle is okay, then make sure that the involved parties are okay as well. People’s first instinct when an accident happens is to check their car to see how much damage was caused. After checking on the physical safety of everyone, go ahead and check the damage to your vehicle. You may want to take pictures as well for insurance reasons.
- Call the police. Regardless of the level of damage or injuries, it’s a good idea to call the police. You may need a police report to file a claim with your insurance company.
- Exchange information with other involved party. Whan an accident happens, there are generally two or more parties involved. You will need to exchange information with the other parties, regardless of who caused the accident. Once you’ve exchanged information, limit your contact with the other party. You don’t need to discuss the details of the accident with them.
- Write down what you remember. Once the initial shock has worn off, you’ll want to record the details that you remember about the accident. This will help when you submit an insurance claim and especially if you end up pursuing legal action.
Whether you were the cause of the accident or the victim, it can be smart to seek legal counsel. Even if you don’t think that your case will move to a trial, having a lawyer to talk through any logistics will keep you safe.
When the car accident was your fault, you will likely want to get legal defense. Even if the other party seemed like they weren’t going to pursue actions, you need to be prepared in case they change their mind. Contacting a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident could also help to lessen your problems. If you talk with a lawyer before the other party has a chance to sue or pursue legal action, they may be able to work with the other party to work out a fair settlement and keep the issue from escalating.
Even if the car accident wasn’t your fault, working with a lawyer will keep you safe. Especially if you or anyone else in your vehicle were injured, you’ll want to talk to a few auto accident injury lawyers to see what your best course of action is moving forward. You’re not required to get a lawyer when you are not at fault, but working with one could get you compensation for your injuries and damages. You may even consider talking with a lawyer before you submit your insurance claim. Insurance companies are notorious for finding ways to lessen what they have to pay to you, so talking with a lawyer before the process will give you the knowledge to get what you need and deserve from your claim.
Long Term Steps
When an accident happens, you’ll need to communicate with your insurance company to takes steps to get your car repaired and even set up physical therapy or health care for any injuries you sustained. Make sure you contact your insurance as soon as possible with the claim. The claims process can sometimes take a long time, so starting the process sooner rather than later will put you ahead.
Once you’ve submitted your claim, get a list of approved car repair shops in your area to get an appointment scheduled for your repairs. You never know how long it will take to get your car in, and while insurance companies will generally cover a rental car while your car is getting repaired, it’s better to start the process sooner.
If you have suffered any physical injuries, you will also want to work with your health insurance as soon as possible to visit a doctor and figure out a course of action, whether it’s physical therapy or treatment for other injuries. Visiting a doctor as soon as possible when an accident happens will help your body to start healing sooner and get you back to the things you need to do.
Occupational accidents are those that occur because of or while you’re at work. These kinds of accidents are common for occupations where there is a lot of physical labor, such as construction. In 2011 alone there were over 200 fatal occupational accidents in Florida. But an injury or accident can occur even when you’re working a typical desk job. They can be anything from slips and falls to acts of violence from other employees. These kinds of accidents can be especially stressful as you’ll have to work with your employer to figure out coverage and treatment. Here are a few things you need to consider when an accident happens at work.
What To Do Immediately Following
- If you have been injured at work, the first thing to do is seek emergency treatment.
- After you’ve been treated, you’ll need to contact your employer right away. If you fail to notify your employer within 30 days of the accident, you may lose your right to workers’ compensation benefits. Letting your employer know and soon as possible when an accident happens can also ensure that the process of getting compensation goes more quickly.
- You will need to complete a claim specifically for workers’ compensation. This may also be when you consider talking with a lawyer.
Working with work injury attorneys to handle your occupation accident case is a smart choice. The hope is that your employer will be easy to work with and will be fair in covering the cost of treatment and loss of income when you’re not able to be at work. But this is not always the case. This is why it’s smart to have a lawyer help.
A lawyer can work with you to collect all of the evidence and information surrounding your case and make sure that your employer pays the full amount necessary. If it comes to it, they will even defend you in a trial if your employer is hard to work with.
In a case like this where you never know how your employer will react, it’s better to be safe than sorry and work with an attorney.
Long Term Steps
Once you have received emergency treatment and have started the process of receiving workers’ compensation, you will want to focus on healing and getting back to work as soon as possible. If you have suffered a fall and need back pain treatment, work with your doctor to get physical therapy or prescribed medication for the pain.
If you end up needing to pursue legal actions to receive your workers’ compensation, make sure to always attend hearings when you are notified to appear. Stay in contact with your lawyer to be updated on what is going on with the case.
Personal accidents or injuries that happen away from work or a car accident are common and unfortunate. When an accident happens at home, you want to be prepared with what steps to take to get healing quickly and get back to your life.
What To Do Immediately Following
A few examples of personal accidents that could occur are falling at home, breaking a bone, having something heavy fall on you, or even an injury in the kitchen. Falling is the most common accident that can cause personal injury for both the young and old. For example, if someone was performing roof repairs, and slipped and fell off the roof, that would be considered a personal injury because it was not the cause of anyone else. If there was some machinery or tools they were using that malfunctioned and caused them to fall, they may be able to pursue legal action against the company.
When an accident happens, the victim will want to seek immediate medical treatment. To be prepared, do research on the closest hospitals and urgent care centers to your area so you can travel quickly following an accident.
Depending on your health insurance, you’ll need to be prepared to contact them regarding any big bills or treatment that is necessary post-accident. This, however, is where you will also want to consider legal assistance.
Even if an accident was your fault, you may want to seek legal counsel. In this situation, it’s not to defend yourself from another party, but to make sure that your insurance company treats you fairly. Personal injury lawyers have knowledge of insurance companies and what a specific injury deserves as far as coverage and compensation. Insurance companies will always try to lessen the amount they will pay out or cover for treatment. Your lawyer can talk directly with your insurance company to make sure they are treating you fairly and that you receive the right coverage for your treatment.
Long Term Steps
Once you have received the proper care and coverage for your accident, the main thing you’ll need to focus on is healing and treatment. You may need physical therapy or surgery to care for any injuries you sustained. If you will be unable to move about, you may want to ask for help from family or friends. Make sure to contact your work to let them know about your injuries and figure out the time off you’ll need or how to work from home.
Depending on your type of accident, you could be dealing with doctors’ appointments and healing for a while. Be patient. If you have prepared well and have worked through insurance and coverage for your treatment, all you need to worry about is yourself. Be patient with your healing process and don’t push yourself harder than is necessary. The last thing you want is to get injured again and have to start the process over.
Accidents happen. It’s scary and can cause stress and heartache. If you have taken the proper steps to prepare ahead of time for potential accidents, you will have the peace of mind in knowing that big decisions are already made and taken care of. Set up your insurance coverage, find a few potential lawyers you could work with, locate the nearest emergency facilities in your hometown, and you’ll be prepared for when an accident happens.