What should you do if you believe you are injured?

If you believe at the scene of a collision that you are injured, it is important to make sure that the authorities are aware of this.  They will often invite you to leave the scene of the collision in an ambulance and while we would never recommend any unnecessary medical treatment, it is often better to be safe than sorry.  If you think that you are injured at the scene of the collision but do not wish to go to the hospital in an ambulance, advise the authorities that you are injured but that you are going to make your own way to your treating doctor or a hospital emergency room at your earliest convenience. 

Whether you go to the hospital in an ambulance, in your own vehicle, or with a friend or family member, it is important to completely describe all areas of your body that were injured.  A broken finger or toe or a large cut may be the primary focus of your attention and that of the hospital or doctor.  Long after that fracture or cut has healed, an injured party may have serious neck or back problems that trouble them for the rest of their life which they did not mention at the emergency room.  This would be used by the insurance companies and their lawyers to attempt to suggest that your permanent back or neck injury is unrelated to the collision as it was not mentioned at the first visit to the emergency room.  It is better to give a detailed and comprehensive review of all areas of your body that were injured to any degree at the outset rather than to have to explain later why you did not notice problems with an area of serious injury until days, weeks or even months afterwards.

If you go to the hospital and they recommend following-up with another doctor, it is important to do so.  Often, in the immediate aftermath of a collision, the symptoms we suffer will increase with time rather than decrease.  If at the emergency room you had a slightly stiff neck and a sore back, the only way to clearly demonstrate that these conditions both worsened and were related to the collision, is to go see an appropriate physician and to describe your problems and the fact that they have worsened.  Our experience in trying many collision cases is that unless specific injuries are documented in medical records, jurors will not accept them as being related to the collision.  Medical documentation of the extent and severity of your injuries is vitally important to getting fair compensation for your claim.