Steps To Take After a Car Accident in Irvine

If you have been involved in a car accident, the following is information regarding the first steps you should take in order to ensure you are not damaging your case. For more specific information or to learn what steps you can take, call and schedule a consultation with an Irvine car accident lawyer today.

What Are the First Steps to Take After a Car Accident?

If you are in a car accident, here are some of the most important things to do:

  • Get your car to the side of the road immediately
  • Call the police and an ambulance if necessary (call 911)
  • Attempt to obtain the license plate number of the vehicle that caused the accident
  • If possible, also obtain the driver’s license information of the other driver

Following these steps can assist your car accident attorney’s ability to conduct a thorough investigation immediately following an accident and gather evidence that may be crucial to your case.

Seeking Medical Care After a Car Accident

One of the first and most important things to do after a car accident is to obtain the appropriate medical treatment, whether at the scene of the accident or at a hospital. If you are able to leave the scene with the help of a friend, family member, or bystander, immediately go to an emergency room or see your own doctor.

When you contact your doctor, it is important to tell them that you were just in an accident and that you have sustained injuries (head injury, arm, back, spine, neck, or any other type of injury). It is exceedingly important to immediately obtain the appropriate medical treatment. After your initial treatment or medical evaluation, follow the directions of your doctor, even if it is an emergency room doctor that you  have not seen before.

If the emergency room doctor recommends that you see your own primary care or family doctor, you should make the appointment and see them as soon as possible. If you have a broken arm or an orthopedic injury and the emergency room doctor sends you to an orthopedic surgeon or other type of specialist, you should follow the recommendations of that physician regarding your injuries and need for follow-up medical treatment.

Importance of Following Through With Medical Treatment

Failing to follow through and heed medical advice can become a major issue after a car accident. For example, the injured individual is seen by the emergency room doctor or an urgent care doctor, and they don’t get the appropriate follow-up care in a timely manner. This can hinder your car accident lawyer’s ability to negotiate with insurance company, making a case much more difficult to pursue successfully.

Common Mistakes People Make in Car Accident Cases

First and foremost, it is extremely important to get the appropriate medical treatment. You want to follow the advice and recommendations of the doctors, specialists and therapists who treat you following the car accident.

In the initial medical record, the physician may indicate, “Instructed the patient to follow up with their own family doctor,” or “Instructed the patient to see an orthopedic surgeon,” for example.

What if the Patient Does Not Follow Recommendations?

If the patient does not do what the physician recommended, then there is a glaring omission that the insurance company or adverse attorney will point to in the medical records. Then, as the case proceeds in litigation, the adverse attorney may point out, “Well, why didn’t you follow up as the doctor told you? Why didn’t you go back and see the specialist? Why didn’t you see orthopedic surgeon or the neurologist or the therapist?” If the patient does not have a reasonable explanation, depending on the facts of the particular case, this could detrimentally affect their case and could adversely affect the compensation and damages that they should be awarded.