What You Do Now Can Make All the Difference
Not everyone knows what to do when they’ve been in a wreck. It’s extremely important to know, however, because it can make a huge difference when it comes time to make a claim. Once the smoke has cleared and you’re over the initial shock of the accident, there are a series of steps that need to be taken.
(1) Go to the hospital
Even if you aren’t showing symptoms, you might be injured. It’s a good idea to get checked by a medical professional immediately to make sure you’re okay.
(2) Take pictures
Cars get fixed, and bruises and scratches heal. So, take pictures of the damage to your vehicle and any injuries that you may have sustained. Take video if something unusual happens at the scene, like the two cars being pulled apart by a tow truck.
(3) Start a notebook
You might think you’ll remember every little thing that happens in relation to the accident. However, the average personal injury case can take months to complete. By the time those months have gone by, you might forget about the sharp pain you felt, or the events you had to miss because of your injury. A notebook will help you remember those details.
(4) Get a free consultation
Attorney Lance D. Youd has helped his clients in Salem, Portland, and the Willamette Valley area get full and fair compensation for their injuries. All personal injury cases are taken on a contingency basis — this means that Mr. Youd is paid when he successfully negotiates a monetary settlement or wins a judgement on your behalf.
(5) Start to deal with the insurance companies
Contact your insurance company to report what happened. They’ll ask you some questions and open a claim. This is important for medical treatment as well, since your insurance company will pay for the treatment you need right away. If the other party is at fault, your insurance company will be reimbursed by the at-fault party’s insurance. Don’t speak with the other side’s insurance provider until you have obtained representation. What you say to them can and will be used against you.
(6) Report accident to the DMV
In certain circumstances, you must report the accident to the DMV within 72 hours:
- Damage to the vehicle you were driving is over $1500
- Damage to any vehicle is over $1500 and any vehicle was towed from the scene as a result of damages from this accident
- Injury or death resulted from this accident
- Damages to any one person’s property other than a vehicle involved in this accident is over $1500
(7) Follow the doctor’s orders
If the doctor prescribes physical therapy or other treatment, follow through with what the doctor orders. While you may feel that your injuries aren’t bad right now, they could be aggravated later on if they are not treated early. Plus, if you wait too long, you may no longer be eligible to make a claim on your injuries.
(8) Watch the date
Oregon has a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims. If you wait longer than two years after your accident, you will be barred from making a legal claim. If you are getting close to the two-year mark, act quickly to hire an attorney.
Already in the process?
Even if you’re already in the process of dealing with your claim, give us a call for a free consultation. You can contact us at any time during the process. We can organize your claim and work to get you the best outcome possible. Whether it’s been a day, a year, or any time in between, we can guide you through the complicated insurance process and make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today by email or call us at 503-399-8967 if you need help with your claim.