Car accidents are one of the most common causes of serious injury and death. You should call the police and seek immediate medical attention as soon as possible, either through a visit to an emergency room, or through your primary care physician. Very often symptoms will not be felt until days after the accident. More importantly, only a medical professional can determine whether you have sustained a head or neck injury that requires urgent care. A physician will perform x-rays or other scans to confirm or rule out injuries, such as fractured vertebrae in your spine, or intracranial bleeding (head bleed). Even minor, low speed accidents can result in significant and permanent injuries.
Following an accident, it is also important to immediately contact the police so that a record of the accident is made. This is true even for minor accidents. The responding police officers will create a report that reflects your recollection of the how the accident occurred. They will also identify any witnesses, report their version of events, and record witness contact information so they can be reached in the future.
A car accident can be a very stressful event, however, it is important to remain calm and avoid a confrontation with any other drivers involved in the accident. Take photos of the accident scene before the vehicles are moved, but only if it can be done safely. Also make sure not to interfere with the work of the police.
In the days after an accident, it is important to follow-up with your primary care physician if you have on-going pain complaints. Very often, defendants will argue that your lack of visits to a doctor establishes that you were not truly injured. Likewise, large gaps in visits to your doctor will also give a defendant a reason to argue that your ongoing pain is related to something the occurred after the accident.
Car accident cases involve claims of negligence against a defendant. In a car accident case, negligence is the failure of the other driver to use that degree of care that a reasonably prudent person would have used under the same circumstances.
If we accept your case, we will collect copies of all of your medical records and medical expenses for review by our in-house nurse. In more serious accidents, we will hire an expert accident reconstructionist or a civil engineer to help explain to a jury how the accident occurred. In some cases, we will also obtain other experts. We routinely work with an excellent network of surgeons, radiologists, toxicologists, and other health care professionals. We also retain experts from various disciplines, including economists, and life care planners.
If someone in your family has suffered a catastrophic injury or you believe you may have a wrongful death claim, call our Central Illinois office at 217-639-7800, our St. Louis Metropolitan area office at 618-628-3800 or contact us online. We handle cases throughout Missouri and Illinois. We offer a free consultation and evaluation. If we take your case, there are no attorney fees unless you receive compensation.