What you do immediately after a car accident can significantly impact the amount you are able to recover in a settlement. Here are the most important steps you should take after a car crash, as well as helpful information about finding trusted legal advice or a car accident lawyer in Memphis, TN.
5 Critical Steps in the First 48 Hours After A Crash
1. Get Medical Help and Assessments
Seek medical attention at once if you have the slightest awareness of injury. A complete medical assessment immediately following a car accident is critical. Closed-head injuries and other potentially life-threatening injuries are not always evident right away.
2. Make a Written Record of What Happened
It is much easier to remember important details right after your accident, but as time goes on, it becomes harder and harder to do that. A common example is capturing what the other driver may have said at the scene. Often, they might apologize or attempt to explain what happened by saying “I didn’t see you,” or “I was in a hurry / running late.” Anything like that can make a critical difference if the other party’s insurance company attempts to deny coverage or claim you were at fault in the accident. If you can write down exactly what was said and everything that took place at the scene of the crash, it can make a big difference in your case.
You should also write down how the accident happened. The weakest ink is stronger that the greatest memory. For example, write down the length of time you waited at the intersection before being struck, or the approximate distance from the other vehicle you were when you saw him emerge from the driveway on your right and into your path. Write down your estimate of your speed, as well your estimate of the other driver’s speed when applicable.
3. Begin Keeping a Daily Record of Your Pain and Discomfort
Your goal should be to keep a comprehensive diary of your physical and mental suffering. It may be months or even years before you will need to provide details about how your injuries have impacted your life, so a thorough written record is incredibly important.
Physical suffering and information you should record includes:
- Any pain
- Medications you take
- Things you enjoyed but can no longer participate in (dancing, golf, working out / exercise, travel/car trips)
- Events you are forced to miss (vacations, weddings, your child/grandchild’s recitals or sports event)
Mental suffering and information you should record includes:
- Frustration with the rehab process
Don’t be ashamed of any of these feelings, which are common for people recovering from a car accident. The best thing you can possibly do in this situation is to keep up with your diary each day to record your physical and mental suffering.
4. Take Photos and Videos
Photographic evidence of the vehicle damages and your physical injuries can provide powerful materials to present in your case. Document your rehabilitation process with frequent photos, keep them organized by date, and keep them safe for future use. For example, photos of you in a hospital bed and or in your orthopedic boot or neck brace can be valuable pieces of evidence when determining the severity of your injury.
5. Avoid Discussing Your Accident
You should report the accident to your insurance company, but do not discuss your thoughts about the incident with them. At this stage, it is also a good idea to opt out of providing any sort of recorded statement about the accident. Without trusted legal advice, it is often difficult to know what kinds of information or statements might be decisive evidence in a car crash case.
Common Injuries and Damage After a Car Accident
A car accident happens in a flash but can leave a life-long impact in a victim’s life.
Many accident victims experience profound pain and complications that include:
- Pain and suffering from physical injuries
- Hospital stays and doctor visits
- Doctor and hospital bills
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Vehicle property damage
- Lost wages or earnings
- Permanent impairment
- Scars and disfiguration
- Insurance issues
- Wrongful death
The Danger of Distracted Driving
There are three main types of driving distractions (which can often overlap):
Your eyes are not on the road. You might be reading a map or an email, or looking over your shoulder at the kids in the backseat, but if you’re not paying attention to the road, you can’t see important signposts, where you’re going, or what other cars are doing.
Your hands are doing something other than operating the vehicle. This might include eating, adjusting radio settings, or holding a phone. You do not fully control your vehicle if your hands are not on the wheel.
This category often goes hand in hand with visual and manual distractions, as it simply means that you are not focused. Your mind might be wandering deep into a daydream, or you might be thinking hard about composing the perfect text message. One common misconception is that having a conversation via a hands-free device is not distracting. In fact, this is a good example of a cognitive distraction, since your mind is on the conversation rather than on the road.
The CDC reports that each day in the U.S., nine people are killed in an accident that involves a distracted driver. Over the course of the year, those distracted drivers account for around 17 percent of all traffic injuries.
Here is a video about texting and driving from the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office:
How We Investigate
At the Law Office of David E. Gordon, you will get one-on-one attention from Attorney Gordon, and we will start work on your case right away. Our first priority is to determine what caused the traffic accident that injured you. Our team will carefully investigate different factors, such as:
Was he or she driving too fast? Were they distracted? Was alcohol or drug impairment a factor? If they were talking or texting when the accident occurred, we can secure cell phone records to establish this critical information.
Did something about the tires, wheels, or brakes play a role in the accident? Our team is trained to know what to look for when examining vehicles and damage.
Road hazards could be a contributing factor in a crash. Construction, wet pavement, or slick roads are some of the things we will be looking for in our investigation.
Weather is another element that can often play an important role in accident cases. We will gather information about the weather conditions as a part of our thorough fact-finding process.
Traffic data and/or eyewitness accounts can be a tremendous help in identifying which party was at fault in a car crash.
Once we have established fault for your accident, we move on to determining the full extent of your suffering and losses. Our goal is to build the strongest possible case for the maximum compensation you are entitled to receive under the law. Time is of the essence, so we are ready to begin work on your case immediately. David Gordon is an attorney who will skillfully negotiate or fight aggressively in court on your behalf.
What to Expect When You Call David Gordon for a Free Consultation
- You will speak with an intake specialist trained to discover how we can best assist you.
- If you have a need we can meet, we will try to connect you immediately with David Gordon.
- You and David will discuss your situation in detail so you decide your best course of action.
How We Can Help
When you need a car accident lawyer in Memphis, we have the experience and reputation you can depend on for your representation.
Here are some reasons to work with our car accident lawyer in Memphis:
- Tested Experience at Work for You David Gordon has strictly focused on personal injury for 18 years, especially car accident cases.
- A Board-Certified Civil Trial Specialist Only 2% of Tennessee lawyers hold this certification, which ensures that a lawyer’s skills, integrity, and experience have been scrutinized by a national board of experts and found to be exceptional.
- One-On-One Attention From Your Lawyer You will work with Attorney Gordon directly and you can expect him to promptly respond to your calls and requests for information.
- One of Tennessee’s Best LawyersDavid Gordon has consistently received the highest review ratings by the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell® and Avvo. They have included him in the Super Lawyers® listings from 2011-2018. David has an AV rating of pre-eminent, the highest rating Martindale-Hubbell reviewers give.
Our Clients’ Success
Attorney David Gordon has won many victories and recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for the car accident victims we represent. Some of our recent successes include:
- A case in which our 85-year-old client was involved in a high speed rear-end collision. In the end, we fought to secure an award that was over three times more than what his insurance company offered him.
- A car crash case that we resolved in mediation for a large sum.
- A policy-limit settlement for a client injured when a driver ran a red light.
- A substantial out-of-court settlement on behalf of a family involved in a crash when an 18-wheeler rear-ended them.
- A wrongful death case in which we secured a large settlement for our client with no lawsuit.
If you or a loved one have suffered serious injuries as a result of a car accident, you should take a little time to consult with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer as soon as possible. We will need to obtain and preserve evidence to build your case. Contact us today.
More Car Accident Resources for You
Our blog has a valuable archive of additional information that can help. Keep exploring resources such as: