Car accident injuries are extremely common in Nevada, with over 1,200 of them reported in 2014 alone according to the Nevada Department of Public Safety. These injuries can often be quite severe, hindering your ability to work while sometimes causing lasting damage, such as a ongoing neck and back pain.
Fortunately, injury victims have the ability to seek compensation for their medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and future damages for a long term injury. One of the challenges that injury victims often have is collecting the evidence needed to prove their claims you need to prove to a judge or jury.
With the help of an experienced attorney, you can build a solid evidence based case that is required to convince a judge or jury of the severity of your injuries, as well as the person or company that caused them.
Immediately After the Accident
The moments after an accident can provide crucial evidence to both sides of a car accident injury case.
For injury victims, they must be careful not to disclose any statements about their health. Saying something like “I’m fine,” or “I don’t think I’m hurt” is considered a res gestae statement, which can be difficult to disregard as hearsay during a trial. Making such statements to police can be particularly damaging since they go in the official report.
Likewise, actions like sprinting to the other car and then claiming you had a sever injury, can hurt your case since witnesses could potentially attest to your contradictory actions.
Of course, many injuries such as soft tissue injuries, nerve damage and others, may not be felt immediately after an accident because of the adrenaline and confusion that typically follows a crash. Testifying physicians are often hired to explain why some injuries do not produce immediate symptoms as well as the long lasting effects of your injuries.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
If you experience symptoms after an accident, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible. Make sure that you carefully describe ALL of your symptoms. Documenting your symptoms and injuries shortly after an accident is critical evidence for your case. Also, make sure that you give detailed statements to your examining doctor so that these statements are documented and become part of the record. For example, statements like: “When I wake up, I feel pain in my hips” or “Occasionally, I feel numbness and tingling from my neck that goes down my arm and into my fingers,” document your symptoms and assists the doctor in determining the type of injuries caused by the accident. Some injuries resulting from car accidents can be simple to diagnose, such as a broken bone. However, other types of injuries such as concussions and spinal disc or spinal facet injuries may take time to diagnose after imaging such as x-ray or MRI.
Talk to an Experienced Attorney and Not Insurance Companies
After a collision, it is common for your insurance company as well as the other driver’s insurance company to ask for your statement. Often times these statements are recorded since insurance companies also know that evidence obtained immediately after an accident is critical. While you are obligated to speak with your own insurance company, you are not obligated to give a recorded statement to the insurance company for the driver that caused the collision. You must be aware that any statements that you make to the opposing insurance company can and will be used against you later.
Talk with an experienced attorney before you give any statements to the other drivers insurance company. An experience attorney may tell you not to give the adverse insurance company, or he/she may advise to give them a limited statement consisting only of: your name, address, occupation, the date and location of the collision. Other details can be withheld if you explain that you are “conducting a personal investigation into the accident and resulting injuries,” and that you will disclose these details “at the appropriate time.”
Even disclosing elements of your injury to your own insurer can prove problematic, so be discreet and promise to follow up later when you have more specifics from your doctor and police or accident scene investigators. Instead of confiding in an insurance adjuster, you should consider hiring an experience attorney to aid in your investigation and begin assembling the evidential components of your personal injury case.
Avoid Contradictory Actions and Statements
Another crucial aspect of a personal injury case is avoid actions or statements that appear to contradict your injury claim. For instance, returning to work as soon as you can does not usually make you appear as “a trooper.” Instead, returning to work is an action that allows the adverse insurance company to argue that you may not be injured since you were able to go back to work immediately. While you may want to go back to work immediately, you should consider holding off until your injuries completely heal or until a significant amount of your pain is gone.
Other actions to avoid are: going on vacations, recreational activities that require physical effort and even volunteering if these actions require any sort of physical activity or labor. Remember, like the statements that you give, your actions can be used against you by the insurance companies. It is best to avoid discussing the accident or your injuries with anyone other than your physician and attorney.
Find a Car Accident Injury Attorney to Represent You
The complexity involved in proving a personal injury car accident case requires an experienced car accident injury attorney to represent you. They can assist you finding skilled physicians that will completely and thoroughly document your injuries and the cause of those injuries. An experienced attorney will also begin their investigation immediately after the collision to obtain critical evidence and to assemble a set of facts that will compellingly document the injuries that were caused by the car accident as well as justify the total amount of money to compensate you for your injuries, medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering.
If you are looking for an experienced attorney to begin documenting your personal injury car accident case and to obtain the critical evidence needed to justify the compensation that you deserve, call Eglet Prince at (702) 450-5400 for a free consultation.