Attorney Ron Kramer shares seven things you should do after being involved in a car accident in Utah:
The Seven Most Important Things To Do:
- Make sure the police have documented the crash. If they haven’t, and it hasn’t been that long (2-3 days) call them and have them do one.
- Get medical treatment as soon as possible if you haven’t done so already. If you have auto insurance or live with someone that does, you should probably have at least $3k for med treatment. If you have been to the emergency room and have been released, you should follow up with your own private doctor. You can also refer yourself to a chiropractor if you have neck or back injuries. If your injuries are more severe, you should see a specialist, either by referral from your own doctor or by setting an appointment yourself.
- Remember to document the crash with photos, especially in more moderate to severe crashes. This is not as important if you have a bumper scuff.
- Tell your insurance carrier about the car accident. They will have forms that they will send you that you should fill out to qualify for benefits, including at least $3k in medical benefits, lost wages up to $250 per week for one year, and “household services” benefits of up to $20 per day for one year.
- Continue your treatment and be compliant with all the doctor/therapist wants you to do. If you have to miss an appointment, make sure you have a good reason and you give your doctor/therapist advanced notice of this.
- Remember that you don’t have to give a statement to the insurance company. There is no law that says you have to give one. The danger with these is that the insurance person may ask questions to get information that they can later use against you. If you do give a statement, stick to describing how the crash happened, e.g. “I was at a stop and this car rear ended me.” You have to be really careful if you could be blamed in any way for the crash because they may try and elicit admissions or confessions out of you. The same thing applies with describing where you were injured. Suppose your back is hurting really bad and they ask you to tell them everywhere it hurts. So you tell them about your back but can’t at that point appreciate a shoulder injury you also sustained. Later, they might say that you’re shoulder injury is not related because you didn’t mention it to them. This is why there is a rule in Utah that says if the statement is taken within 15 days of the accident, they can’t use it against you unless they gave you a copy of it and gave you a chance to make corrections.
- Most important: Be honest. Be honest to your doctors and those that treat you. In other words, don’t try and exaggerate (or minimize) your injuries.
Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-666-3959 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah car accident attorney.