In the immediate aftermath of an auto accident, paramedics are often called to the scene. If you are injured (especially if you are significantly injured), your best bet is going to the emergency room. If it is feasible for you to take an ambulance, you should do so. If not, you should try to have a friend or family member drive you to the ER.
The next best option is an urgent care facility. There are several around Bakersfield. They are usually able to see patients quickly and do all standard triage care, evaluations and X-rays, and may be able to prescribe you some pain medication and/or muscle relaxants.
Afterward, the best course of action depends on your injury. If you don’t feel like you have been significantly injured, and the urgent care doctors didn’t see anything worrying during your visit, you may not have to pursue additional care.
However, if you feel any persistent or new symptoms, you should make an appointment with your primary care doctor as soon as possible. Your primary care doctor will examine and evaluate you, and discuss your next options. They may order imaging and tests, and/or may refer you to a specialist (such as a chiropractor, physical therapist, or orthopedic surgeon).
What Should I Do After A Car Accident To Help Myself And My Personal Injury Claim?
The first thing you should do is to seek triage medical care, either at an ER, an Urgent Care facility, or your primary care doctor. You should also contact an attorney as soon as possible. Even if you don’t think you need to hire an attorney, you should at least call an attorney for advice or consultation. If you do have a personal injury case, the earlier on in the process an attorney gets involved, the more they can do to help you. An attorney can also tell you which next steps are most important in your case, and can help you strategize about how to deal with insurance companies (both your own insurance company, and the insurance company of the other accident in the party).
Then, you can take the following steps:
- Make sure to follow up and comply with prescribed treatment from any medical professional you saw.
- Start gathering your insurance information and any documentation from the accident.
- Keep all medical documentation from your doctor’s visits in one place, so it is easily accessible.
- Follow your attorney’s guidance about contacting your insurance company to file a claim. Do not communicate with the other party’s insurance company without clearing it with your attorney first.
- If you have symptoms, start a diary recording those symptoms. This can be written or recorded via video or both. Describe as much as possible. The more information you have, the better.
- If necessary, start to plan for missed work and reach out to your company’s HR department to discuss the immediate future.
- If you are struggling with home tasks, reach out to friends and family members for help.
- Follow up with the police or highway patrol who came to the scene of the accident to get a copy of the police report.
How Soon After Filing A Personal Injury Claim Will A Claims Adjuster Be In Touch With Me?
Each insurance company operates on their own timeline, and responds to different types of accidents in different ways. In general, though, when you have a car accident, an insurance adjuster is usually in contact within 1-2 days.
There are a few different types of claims adjusters. There are property adjusters, who will usually be in contact about your car or other damaged property. There are also bodily injury adjusters, as well as medical payment adjusters.
However, no matter what type of adjuster you are dealing with, they will almost always be contacting your to gather information about the accident and the aftermath which they will try to use against your claims. They may also help with things at first, such as coordinating with you to get your car repaired, get an estimation of the damage, and get a rental car. They will also start various processes for medical payment coverage (if this is necessary). One of their main functions, though, is to gather information for liability purposes and coverage evaluation. It is crucial to remember that insurance adjusters work for the insurance company, not for you. Anything you tell them can be used against your claims.
What Weaknesses Will Claims Adjusters Look For In My Auto Injury Claim?
Claims adjusters are experts in seeking vulnerabilities in claims. They will look for many different potential weaknesses in your claims, with the general bottom-line goal of reducing the value of the claim to the lowest possible point that they can.
One of the things they will look at is how much property damage was done, either to your car or during the accident generally. They will often look for evidence to try and argue that the accident was “minimal impact”. According to evaluators, “minimal impact” accidents have a “small” amount of damage, which therefore means that there wasn’t much of an impact, which therefore means that no one could have been severely injured, which therefore means they would not require much medical care. Insurance companies use this argument to reduce the value of medical claims, or how much they are required to pay.
They will also be looking to assess fault. In general, the best outcome for them is if it is determined that the person they are insuring is not at fault. They will therefore look for all possible evidence they can use to support that finding.
Does a Claims Adjuster Have Access to My Present And Past Medical Records?
No. Insurance companies and claims adjusters do not have access to your medical providers or your medical records unless you provide them with authorization. Be very careful not to sign anything that hands over that authorization. You should especially steer clear of signing any HIPAA statements or waivers, which are usually intended to grant them access to your records.
For more information on Treatment After A Car Accident in California, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (661) 888-5235 today.