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How to defend your legal rights when you get in a car accident

The following will explore a few things that you can do to better defend your legal rights after you’ve been in an accident.

If you’ve been in a car accident, no one needs to tell you how terrifying it can be. If you then had to deal with paperwork or legal proceedings, you also know how brutally difficult insurance companies or other parties make it to stand up for yourself. The following will explore a few things that you can do to better defend your legal rights after you’ve been in an accident.

Speak to a lawyer ASAP
No matter how basic you feel like the accident was, know that there are people who can and will spin the events into a story that is completely contradictory to your experience. Beyond this, people tend to push for the pathway and outcome that is in their best interests. Insurance companies want to pay as little as possible. Other parties don’t want their insurance rates to go up.

Very few people are thinking about what’s in the best interest of the injured person (you, in this case), and this means you need someone to explain to you all the things they’re glossing over in hopes that you don’t notice. A car accident attorney can explain to you what’s going on, what you’re entitled to, what your options are and what the other parties might be leaving out. This is especially helpful early on as in many legal scenarios, pursuing one course of action legally forfeits your right to pursue another course of action. You might want to speak to a lawyer and get more information before you sign anything with the insurance company.

Stay off social media
You know social media is a mess right now. Your elderly relative knows it, the kid down the street that throws toys at bikers knows it, and even pets are probably getting annoyed with the new role that cell phones are playing within the family unit. When you’re dealing with a legal proceeding, social media can get even messier. The things you post and interact with are often easily accessed by insurance companies, law enforcement, and other people involved, and this means that anything you do on social media can be used against you.

Something as innocent as sharing a cool archeological find can be interpreted as you not being as injured as you claim to be. So until the entire legal situation is done with, avoid using social media unless expressly directed by your lawyer.

Photo by Luigi Manga on Unsplash

Prioritize your mental health
If you’ve been injured, it might seem like you need to devote all your time to your physical health and dealing with the financial repercussions of what you’ve experienced. It’s important to dedicate quality time to your mental health as well. It turns out that car accidents are the leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder in America. You might be experiencing a whole range of emotions that, at first, don’t feel grounded. Some people become ecstatic and feel the urge to overspend and live it up to the fullest; others have identity crises surrounding their inability to provide or care for family members in the way they’re used to caring for them.

Some people will have trouble getting into vehicles, while others will want to get right back on the road. Then there’s the stress of a legal proceeding and dealing with any damage to the vehicle, plus the burden of financial woes and the frustration of the pain of recovering. There’s a lot happening internally, and that’s okay; what’s not okay is going through it without support.

Get ready to seek out a second opinion
If you feel that the medical treatment you’ve been given isn’t satisfactory, seek out a second opinion. If you were disrespected, had your experience ignored or belittled, are unhappy with the side effects of a prescribed treatment plan, or simply feel that your diagnosis is off, seek out a second opinion. The latest studies show that about 88% of people who seek a second opinion will be given a new or refined diagnosis. That’s a huge percentage of people.

While you will need to follow your treatment plan carefully in the midst of a legal proceeding (not following it can be interpreted as you not being as injured as you claim), you can seek out an alternative treatment plan. Never ignore the feeling that something isn’t right in a medical scenario. Misdiagnoses do happen, and sometimes they can have serious negative impacts on a person’s life, especially because many injuries are best served by early treatment.

The above information should help you better advocate for yourself after a car accident. Legally, medically, and mentally there are things you can do to protect yourself and help make any paperwork or proceedings easier on yourself.

Main photo by Darwin Vegher on Unsplash