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THINGS TO CONSIDER IF YOU HAVE BEEN INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT

Jun 23 2016
In many instances, people refer to falls, harmful impacts, and collisions of any type as an accident.  Football players collide with each other and MMA fighters intend to physically torture each other.   These violent interactions are not referred to as “accidents.”  It is also hardly an accident if someone intentionally uses substandard equipment to perform a job or utilizes equipment in a way that most common people would understand to be dangerous. Thus, you must protect yourself when you have become the victim of a harmful collision or event that has caused you injury.

1) CHOOSE THE WORDS YOU SAY AFTER YOUR INJURY VERY CAREFULLY

People tend to record or remember almost every word you say after you are injured.   Do not comment on fault or responsibility for the impact or event.  Some people often discuss liability or want to be apologetic for the outcome of a serious event even if they are not at fault. Your caring statements at the impact site will be turned into statements of truth about the event in later circumstances. There is almost no situation where you should admit fault for the accident―not to the other party, your passengers, the police, witnesses, or your auto insurance agent.  More importantly, even if you have some worry that you may have been at least partially to blame for the accident, do not discuss your thoughts about wrongdoing on your part.  You will have opportunities to discuss you participation in the events on many occasions. You need full and complete information before speaking out.


We have been imprinted for years about how to respond to various sudden situations.  Your understanding of what happened and perception of the event could easily be clouded by your emotional state.  Many people are defensive or over apologetic as a defense mechanism or a nervous response.  Do your best to set aside determining how to resolve the matter or comment on the matter until you have had the time to settle down from the events of the moment.  Start training yourself now and envision yourself working on getting the proper medical attention for yourself and others.  Let your insurance company or a trusted family member or attorney handle the other details.

2) SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION

Many injuries are self-evident. It is important that you seek qualified treatment for all of your injuries. Many people are altered or affected by their body’s response to an accident. People commonly refer to that as an adrenaline response.  That is, our mind temporarily overrides certain parts of our injuries to help us survive in the moment.  That is how many people survive injuries from combat or other situations where they have to move to safety and then receive valuable personnel attention to their injuries. Although you may not feel all of the effects of an impact, have them checked out immediately following any crash, collision or other situation where you have come in contact with extreme force against your body.   You may think you are fine at the moment or think your injuries aren't very serious, but symptoms such as pain, discomfort, dizziness, or numbness may appear in the days following the accident.  Unfortunately, people attempting to make a business decision about how to resolve your claim may look for ways to associate your pain with things other than your impact and failure to have these injuries timely examined may work against you.

You must be very detailed and specific with the people giving you medical attention. Have them examine every aspect of your injury to make sure that you get the treatment that you need and your records reflect all the areas where you are experience pain or received an impact.

3) DOCUMENT AND TAKE PICTURES

Have someone with you take pictures and note everything they can about the people, location, and details of the event.  Pictures of the location, people involved, the vehicles, equipment, and identifying information are all valuable.  Also, have someone to take pictures of your injuries.  Pictures and videos will be important information for your case. Cuts, swelling, bruises, and scrapes heal over time. It is never easy for anyone other than you to have your exact injuries in mind.  Do not fail to record your healing process.  If you don't have access to a camera, take pictures on your phone and save them to a safe place.

4) GET BILLS, RECORDS, AND TAKE NOTES

Your bills, treatment papers, prescription records, and notes about where you have been for treatment are critical. Most insurance companies will not reimburse or value any treatment that is not recorded. Record the names and addresses of any emergency medical people (if you can), doctors, clinics, chiropractors, physical therapists, or other professionals you went to after the accident.

5) GET THE POLICE REPORT

Your local police agency should be able to provide you a copy of your report. Make sure that you obtain the case number from any person making a report at the scene of any injury or car wreck. Get the name of any person at a work site, retail facility, or property who appears to be making a report. Obtain a copy of the police or business report to verify that all information regarding the facts and your situation are correct. Errors or omissions in the report, that are not timely pointed out, can be a problem.

6) COUNSEL WITH A SHAWLAW LAWYER

Again, seek appropriate advice before commenting on the facts of your situation.  Many people, such as health care professionals or other people at the scene of the incident, record every word you say.  Your emotional and unaware response could become the “facts of the case.”   Focus on your injuries and the health and welfare of all involved.  The decision about blame can come in time. If you are asked to sign any documents you don't understand, do not, until you have had proper advice.  Having representation is the best way to make sure your rights are investigated and protected.  Even to the extent you are concerned about some fault that you may have had in the events, get representation that can help you analyze all aspects of the situation and help move you to resolution.

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Carl Shaw

Having over 20 years in law enforcement and having played a pivotal role in some of the nation’s most visible landmark cases, Carl Shaw has earned the recognition and respect of the legal community and his clients as a capable and compassionate attorney who will not flinch in the face of opposition.

Website: www.shawlawtexas.com

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