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What information do I need immediately after an accident?
If you have been injured, the very first thing you need to do is call the police and seek medical attention. Once everyone is out of danger and the police have been called, then you can start collecting things like:
- The full names of all drivers involved
- All applicable driver’s license numbers and addresses
- Full names and addresses of any passengers, pedestrians, or witnesses
You should also make notes if anyone is intoxicated at the time of the wreck. You should seek medical assistance when you are injured. If EMS is offered, you should go to the hospital by EMS so that the hospital recognizes the level of your injury and codes the trauma code appropriately. If you refuse treatment and go to a hospital later, they may treat you as if you were not really hurt. Many people fail to understand that Kansas Personal Injury Protection Benefits make automatic medical insurance for a driver or passenger of a car involved in a motor vehicle accident with a minimum in Kansas of $4,500.00 of medical coverage per person. You should take photographs of all vehicles, the area on the roadway of the impact and any personal injuries. If the defendant admits to fault make a written note of the admission.
Do I need to call the police?
Absolutely. Always call the police by calling 911. Complete appropriate witness statements and diagrams while the information is fresh in your mind.
At what point do I need to contact a lawyer?
If you are injured you need an accident attorney that will assist you rapidly. If you call Brad Pistotnik you can reach him on his cell phone at 316-706-5020. He answers the phone as long as he is awake seven days a week from early in the morning to as late as midnight. All consultations are free and you are under no obligation to hire us just because you call. You will not be billed for this free call. We are available on the weekends for Saturday and Sunday appointments.
Do I need to contact my insurance company?
The insurance companies require you to notify them for coverage. The problem is that you must understand that insurance adjusters are highly trained to minimize obligations to pay. Sometimes, they work against you by trying to get an immediate statement and establish your own fault even when you are not at fault. If you have more insurance than the other driver you may have an underinsured motorist claim. The insurance company attempts to minimize their financial exposure to having to pay out the underinsured motorist benefits. Thus, you need to have the advice of a lawyer almost simultaneously with the phone call to your insurance company so you don’t get taken advantage of.
Do I need to go to the doctor?
The biggest mistake most people in auto accidents make is by failing to go to the hospital by ambulance because of the fear of incurring a bill. You have PIP medical insurance on every car that is covered by insurance. If injured, you may be in shock initially. When your body comes out of the adrenaline shock you may tense up and then have pain and spasms develop over the next several hours or by the next morning. It is very important to report each and every single part of your body that is hurting separately. If you have numbness, tingling, shooting pain, burning or have problems feeling your hands, fingers, feet or toes it is extremely important to report this as soon as it occurs. The delay in medical treatment may end up resulting in a more severe outcome later.
Is it important to take photos at the scene of the accident?
One picture is worth a thousand words. You should photograph all injuries, the vehicles involved, the area of the scene of the accident and all other relevant information. In the event that you have gouge marks in the roadway you should take photographs of the gouge marks to document the point of impact. If you find fluid or oil spots on the road surface these need to be documented by photographic evidence from a 360 degree view so photograph from all directions close and near.
Should I preserve other evidence?
Always preserve all evidence. If your clothes have blood or are torn, do not wash or alter them. Bag them in an appropriate plastic bag and keep them in the same condition. Maintain all photographs. Save all doctors records, instructions, notes, prescriptions and bills. Never throw anything away. Many people lose their most important evidence due to carelessness. If you have been injured in an accident it is important that all evidence be preserved.
What if I am in an accident and need an attorney on the weekend?
Don't worry, you can reach Brad Pistotnik or Tony Atterbury 24 hours a day. We work Saturday and Sunday. We will come to see you or speak with you the same day. It is very important that you have advice of a lawyer before giving statements to insurance carriers. If you do not have all the facts, giving a statement is devastating to your case and may wreck it completely. Call on the weekends for a free consultation.