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Important Steps to Take After an Accident

Wilson & McQueen, PLLC July 3, 2024

Unfortunately, thousands of people in Lexington and other parts of Kentucky suffer injuries in accidents every year. According to statistics provided by the Kentucky State Police, more than 20,000 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents in the state in 2022 alone. That’s not to mention all those who got injured in a variety of other accidents such as workplace accidents, slip and fall accidents, and others.  

An accident can leave you hopeless, disoriented, and uncertain about what steps to take. At Wilson & McQueen, PLLC, we have seen people in this exact situation countless times. In fact, that’s how many of our clients feel when they first call us or come to our office. But we are proud to say that after our first consultation, people have hope in their eyes.

With over 90 years of combined legal experience, our personal injury attorneys in Lexington, Kentucky, have a strong record of favorable results statewide. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and discuss how we might be able to help you reach your goals with our personalized and compassionate service.  

7 Steps to Take After Any Accident

When you get injured, adrenaline and shock can cloud your judgment. Knowing the dos and don’ts after an injury and what steps you should take can mean the difference between a smooth recovery and prolonged complications. This guide helps you take control of the situation, focusing not just on physical well-being but also on legal and financial security.  

1. Focus on Safety First 

Your first priority should always be safety. If you're involved in an accident, ensure you're out of harm's way. Move to a safe area, if possible, away from traffic or other potential hazards (in the event of a motor vehicle accident).  

Then, assess yourself for injuries. Even if you feel fine, remember that some injuries might not be visible or apparent right away (e.g., traumatic brain injuries) due to shock or adrenaline. If there's any doubt about injury severity or if the accident scene is dangerous, call 911 immediately.  

2. Do Not Ignore Pain–Go to a Doctor 

Often, victims feel fine right after an accident, only to experience pain or discomfort hours or days later. This delay is due to adrenaline masking injury symptoms. Always visit a doctor after an accident, regardless of how you feel. Medical professionals can diagnose injuries that aren’t immediately visible, such as internal injuries or spinal cord injuries.  

Medical records also serve as vital documentation for your potential compensation claim. They support your health recovery and act as evidence if you need to file an insurance claim or seek legal action later. 

3. Report the Accident 

Make sure to report the accident to the relevant authorities. For car accidents, this means the police. For work-related injuries, inform your employer immediately. In the case of a slip and fall accident, notify the property owner or manager.  

  • Note: Under Kentucky law, motorists must file a written accident report with the Kentucky State Police within 10 days of the motor vehicle accident (KRS § 189.635(4)).  

An official accident report is essential. It provides an unbiased account of the incident, which could become part of your future insurance claim and legal proceedings when requesting compensation.  

4. Collect Data at the Scene of the Accident 

Collect as much information as possible at the scene if you're able. This includes photographing the area, noting weather conditions, and documenting any hazards present. Collect contact information and statements from witnesses. Eyewitness accounts can provide critical third-party perspectives on how the accident occurred. 

Exchange contact and insurance information with other parties involved in vehicle accidents. This ensures that all necessary details are available for your future claim. 

5. Notify the Insurance Company 

Inform your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Delays can complicate your claim process and, in the worst-case scenario, might result in denial of coverage. 

Provide your insurer with a detailed and accurate account of the accident. Stick to the facts but avoid speculation. Then, regularly follow up with your insurance company to ensure your claim is being processed. Keep records of all communications. 

6. Be Careful About What You Say to Others 

Be mindful of your words when discussing the accident in conversations with other parties involved in the accident or the insurance company’s representatives. Avoid admitting fault or making statements that could be misinterpreted as accepting blame. 

If unsure what to say, consult an attorney before making any statements. This can prevent unintentional admissions that could affect your claim. It’s perfectly normal to say, “I wish to speak with my attorney first,” without sounding like you’re trying to hide your guilt.  

7. Consider Hiring an Attorney 

An attorney can provide valuable guidance in the aftermath of your accident and address any legal complications that may arise on your path to financial compensation. Besides, hiring an attorney allows you to focus on recovery while they handle the legal aspects of your case. This support can seem like a blessing during an otherwise difficult time. 

You Are Not Alone–You Have Us

The minutes, hours, and days after the accident may just be as disorienting and chaotic as the accident itself. “What should I do now?”, “Why does it hurt so much?”, “How am I supposed to pay my bills now?” and “Will my life ever go back to the way it was before the accident?” You may have many questions but very little answers when trying to navigate the aftermath on your own.

But you don’t have to be alone during this stressful confusing time. At Wilson & McQueen, PLLC, our results-driven attorneys have a passion for justice and can work with you to answer any questions you have and provide you with the guidance you need. We will make you feel less anxious and more confident as you take your steps toward recovery.

Contact Wilson & McQueen, PLLC, today to schedule a free consultation.