This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend a continuing education seminar on the topic of personal injury/motor vehicle accident cases.  When someone is involved in an auto accident the likelihood of sustaining a soft tissue injury is very high.  Soft tissue injuries can include muscle damage and joint damage.  We are frequently blessed with the opportunity to help people get out of pain after sustaining injuries due to a motor vehicle accident.

Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents occur every day, and as such, we want to make sure people are taking the appropriate actions in order to get out of pain quickly, cover the damage to the car, and move on with their lives.  Here are 5 tips to make the process easier:

1. Get assessed by a physician that is comfortable with musculoskeletal injuries.  It is important to get your injuries checked out as soon as you can.  Inflammation can occur 12-72 hours after the initial injury, so just because pain is not present immediately most experience pain within the next few days.  Get assessed.

2. Utilize technology.  Most all of us carry around a mini computer in our pockets at all-times called a smart phone.  Make sure to take pictures of your car, any other vehicles involved, the weather conditions, and any injuries that are noticeable (lacerations or bruising).  Remember, someone is looking for a reason to not cover the case.  Allow technology to confirm and tell the accident story.

3. Call your insurance agent immediately.  People are inherently nervous about being involved in an accident and their premiums sky rocketing.  The truth is it is an Ohio law that your premium can not go up if you are not at fault. Make sure your agent is in the loop and can help you navigate the process.

4. Do not sign anything without knowing exactly what the document truly means.  Unfortunately, we have had patients in the past sign forms they did not carefully read. In result, they ended up not receiving any compensation for their medical bills or vehicle damages.  Make sure you read everything and do not sign anything you do not understand.

5. If possible make sure there is an accident report filed.  Typically, police will not come to an accident scene in the absence of injuries that require medical attention.  They will recommend exchanging information and filing a report online.  In this scenario it is here say.  I would highly recommend you document the exact accident scenario and if possible have a witness.  Again, utilize your smart phone to document the events including the at faults admittance to fault.

We are constantly educating ourselves on how to best care for our patients, and as such we want to provide you with information to make a process like this as easy as possible.  If you have any questions on the material or if you know of anyone that has questions please let us know.