If you are injured in a car accident in a no-fault state, there are special considerations to be made during the aftermath. Here are some of the dos and don’ts:
DO get prompt medical attention. If you end up suing for damages because of your injuries, you will need to be able to document them, and the best way to do that is through medical records. Also know that many injuries are not felt immediately after an accident and can take days to manifest themselves. X-rays can show fractures you did not notice, and a simple MRI can show a number of conditions ranging from torn tendons to damaged internal organs.
DON’T rely on suing the other driver who caused the accident. Insurance companies often lowball their offers, and the amount offered might not be enough to cover your medical expenses. But you should not reject a settlement offer out of hand. Consult a trusted injury attorney to represent your interests and advise you on which offers to accept or reject. No-fault states limit your ability to file a personal injury claim after the accident, so before you gear up for suing the other driver, know that your injuries must meet specific state-determined criteria.
DO call the police. Sometimes, the police may not come to the scene of an accident if no one appears to have been injured, and the damages seem to amount to less than $500. If they will not come, take plenty of pictures to document the vehicles and surroundings. Then proceed to the nearest police station and file a report in person.
DO exchange information with the other driver. Even if the accident appears minor, provide your own and obtain the other person’s contact and insurance information. In the event of an emergency, you will know how to get ahold of him or her.
DO have your car looked at by a mechanic. Your car may initially appear to have escaped the accident unscathed, but that does not mean there isn’t damage. A skilled mechanic can see damage you might not and can repair issues before they become bigger problems.