You were just in a crash. Next thing you know, you're lying in a hospital bed with no recollection of what happened. Anything you do remember about your crash may come as a blur.
Serious catastrophes such as this can happen in the blink of an eye. While you were going about your day as usual, you likely didn't expect to be hit by a distracted driver or run off the road by an aggressive driver.
You may be wondering what course of action you should take when you can't tell your side of the story. You may be wondering how you will build a solid claim when you never had the chance to take pictures of the crash scene or speak to witnesses. That doesn't mean you don't have a chance at pursuing damages accrued from your crash.
A police report can offer details of your crash
A detailed police report is one of the most critical pieces of evidence. When a police officer responds to a crash, he or she will document the following:
- The nature of the crash — crash type and severity
- If any parties were injured and/or required immediate medical attention
- Physical details, such as skid marks in the road, direction of vehicles, and damage to roadside structures
- If anyone was cited or arrested
- If anyone involved in the crash was impaired by drugs and/or alcohol
- Any statements made by the at-fault driver (such as admittance of fault, or denial)
- Statements made by witnesses
How can an attorney help me if I was severely injured?
Your attorney can help you build a claim by launching a thorough investigation into your crash, including:
- Obtaining a copy of the police report
- Tracking down and speaking to witnesses
- Obtaining surveillance video (if available)
- Getting a copy of your medical evaluation or medical bills
What course of action should I take next?
The only course of action you should take during the initial process of your claim is to consult with an experienced attorney and refrain from speaking to the at-fault driver's insurance provider. Anything you tell the insurance companies can hurt your claim. Let your attorney do the talking instead.
Depending on the severity of your injury, the recovery process can take months or years. You will likely need to take time off from work and avoid certain activities during this time. Even if you feel OK during the course of your recovery, don't push yourself.