Motor Vehicle Collision: The initial steps

Attorney Blog

undefinedFor most people, it is almost impossible to go through your entire life without being involved in a motor vehicle collision.

Often, these crashes cause injuries and require significant medical treatment. When someone is injured in a car crash for the first time, they often have many questions regarding what they should do and who they should talk to. It always makes sense to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible when you are involved in a car collision. However, keep these initial 3 steps in mind:

1. Immediately seek medical treatment

If you are injured in an auto collision, you should seek medical treatment, plain and simple. While it is natural to wonder who will be responsible for paying your medical bills, this should not be your concern with whether you get medical treatment. If you are hurt, you need treatment. If the pain is significant enough or if it involves your head, neck, lower back, or you suspect a broken bone or torn ligament, you should go to the hospital by ambulance. If you don’t start feeling pain until the next day and it is not too severe, you should contact your primary doctor. You should avoid waiting to get treatment because, the more significant the gap in treatment, the less likely an insurance company, and possibly a jury, will be inclined to pay your medical bills.

2. Contacting your insurance company

If you have car insurance, you should make a claim. If there is a dispute regarding liability initially, your car insurance will pay for the damage to your vehicle and seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurance. If the collision was a hit-and-run or if the at-fault driver was uninsured, contacting your insurance company is even more important. Many people ask whether they should contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The answer is you can, albeit with a significant caution. DO NOT give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company. It never benefits your case to do so, but it could benefit the insurance company if you say something inconsistent under oath down the line. Typically, your contact with the other driver’s insurance should be primarily focused on getting your vehicle repaired.

3. Getting your medical bills paid

If you have health insurance, use it to pay your medical bills. People ask why they should have to use their own insurance if someone else is at fault. This is for 2 reasons. First, the at-fault driver’s insurance company rarely pays the bills as they come along. It makes a settlement offer inclusive of everything (medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.) once you are done with treatment. Thus, having your bills paid early avoids putting you into collections. Secondly, health insurance usually gets a preferred provider discount. While you will need to reimburse your health insurance for the amounts they paid out of any settlement, you actually are entitled to recover 100% of your medical bills from the at-fault driver’s insurance. For example, say your medical bills total $10,000, but your insurance only paid $6,000. You get the benefit of the difference awarded and actually paid. Furthermore, if you have an attorney working on the case, your health insurance carrier usually must reduce the amount they are asking for by one-third (1/3). So that $6,000 becomes $4,000. If you do not have health insurance or your carrier will not pay, look to the medical payments coverage of your own policy.

Getting in a car crash is never a fun or easy ordeal. There are many initial things you can do to make sure you get the appropriate treatment you need and ensure you are avoiding any pitfalls that could harm your case. Obtaining a free consultation from an experienced personal injury attorney is always a wise decision to make sure you are moving in the right direction.


I wouldn’t have gotten the relief from my injury if Jay had not gotten involved.

I was referred to Woodruff, Johnson & Evans by a friend after a work related car accident. The workmen comp adjuster was giving me the run around. I was having terrible back pain but because it was work related my doctors could not provide me the treatment I need. Jay Johnson began investigating my case […]

Randel M

Outstanding job for my mother and me.

Very professional. Was referred to me by my mother. Did an outstanding job for my mother and me. Great service!

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Russ was the best!

Russ was the best! I got his number from my cousin. Best phone call I ever made! Always there for anything I needed and got all my bills paid and some compensation for me! Highly recommend.

Timothy F

Thank you for a good service!!

Steve Sandler presented himself professionally with good rapport and showed concern for my well being. I will definitely recommend him to others!! Thank you!!

Sherifat O

This man knows what he is doing.

I can’t say enough about Jon Walker. He took my case after being denied. Told me everything I had to do and kept me calm during the wait and got me approved! If you want a professional lawyer who knows how to get you approved call WOODRUFF JOHNSON & EVANS I cannot thank you enough […]

Steve G

Far beyond what I expected!

Russ Haugen helped me far beyond what I expected. He was polite and communicated with me every step of the way. Thank you for everything!

Mikahl S

I really felt like I had an ally!

Jon Walker represented me in a Work Comp case. I really felt like I had an ally and someone who was going to protect me and my rights after I was injured at work. Jon was extremely attentive and available to me when I had questions or needed advice throughout the entire process. Also, Jon […]

Juli T

Recommendation to Blessing

I had a lawyer working on my insurance claim that was extremely unprofessional and after 8 months of getting nowhere, I fired him. Dexter Evans was recommended to me by a family member. He was extremely professional and made the insurance claim very easy for me. He was very informative and always got back to […]

Brooke D

I am forever Grateful for this Firm!

I am forever Grateful for this Firm. Steven Sandler stayed on top of my auto accident. I was kept informed on every thing. They were there for me and I will be sure to recommend them. Thank you!!!

Lisa R

¡Estaba muy satisfecho con los resultados!

¡Estaba muy satisfecho con los resultados! Mi abogado, Jay Johnson, me explicó el proceso para que entendiera lo que estaba sucediendo con mi caso. Estaba muy satisfecho con los resultados y recomendaría a mi familia y amigos que necesitan ayuda legal que vayan a Woodruff Johnson & Evans.

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