Call the police and only talk to them. No one else.
Never refuse an ambulance to take you to a hospital.
If your injuries are serious, the emergency medical technicians will provide a cervical collar, immobilize your neck to prevent spinal cord damage, strap you to a long spinal board, referred to as an LSB in emergency records and deliver you to a hospital.
Survivors will commonly be asked an impossible question: where you knocked out?” Often people are not sure and say “no.” If you are feeling fuzzy, disoriented, or only have a first memory of EMTs arriving, i.e. usually 10 minutes after a collision, report accurately, but don’t guess. Unless you have clear, continuous memory and no gap in your memory from before, through and after a crash, do not deny LOC. Your best answer is “I’m not sure.”
It is not uncommon for an injured person to call a family member or friend to come to the accident scene and then decide they would prefer to be transported by a friend as opposed to an ambulance which would require being strapped to an LSB. The better choice is to be taken by ambulance for multiple reasons. First, what commonly happens when a friend or family member comes to the scene is that the hospital visit is postponed, sometimes for days. When there are injuries, be sure to go directly to the Emergency Department at the closest hospital or be seen by Urgent Care.
It is important to be evaluated as soon as possible and to have all of your symptoms confirmed in your medical records, which are going to be read by disbelieving insurance adjusters, insurance defense attorneys and in some cases a jury.
Report all Symptoms
Emergency Department doctors have one job: diagnosing serious and dangerous medical conditions that are life-threatening and require immediate action.
The first task is to resuscitate and stabilize patients, confirm heart and lung function, identify potential spinal cord injury, punctured lungs, bleeding lacerations, bone fractures, separated joints and other obvious injuries and evaluate any loss of consciousness. Once a patient is medically stable, the ED physician transitions care to the ICU, inpatient bed, another doctor or hospital, or release to home.
Bottom line: fully report every pain but also any way you feel out of sorts: sensitivity to noise and bright lights, ringing in your ears, dry mouth, tunnel vision, feeling “fuzzy,” being sleepy, and any difficulty in fully understanding what people are saying, all of which are symptoms of a concussion.
An initial report of a closed head injury in the emergency room is an important foundation in the event your concussion does not eventually resolve. Overwhelmingly head injuries and concussions resolve in 90 days.
Politely Decline to Speak to an Insurance Adjuster
There is nothing to be gained. The adjuster’s goal is to make sure you are paid as little as possible, which is how they earn bonuses. When called all you need to say is: “I am not prepared to talk to you at this time.” Do not engage in a conversation. Adjusters are well trained with scripts written by psychologist to engage you in a conversation. There is no rush to make a “claim.” If the adjuster threatens to close your claim unless you talk, worry not. It is not the adjuster’s claim it is yours.
In California you have two years to resolve a claim or file a lawsuit.
Call Alexander Law Group, LLP and learn how insurance companies will game you, especially in serious injuries cases where there never is enough insurance coverage.
Contact Our San Jose, CA Auto Accident Attorneys for Immediate Help
Alexander Law Group, LLP attorneys are available to answer questions and share our knowledge of the law and the results of our research and experience. Our goal as personal injury lawyers is to make a difference for our clients. Every day we deal with a range of health and safety issues that most people do not encounter until after an injury occurs. As safety lawyers we are committed to providing our clients and the public with information for safer and healthier living. Call 888-777-1776 or contact us online to schedule a consultation to see how we can help you.