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It's almost become cliché to complain about back or neck pain after a car accident. But there's a reason it's such a common complaint. Car accidents, even simple fender benders, can be jarring -- there's a lot of weight and force exerted on the human body during a car crash. And while seat belts are designed to keep you secure in the car, they can't keep your spine in perfect alignment during an accident.
So if you've been in a car accident and are feeling neck or back pain, here are three things to do to protect your legal rights:
1. Seek Medical Attention
If you are in physical pain, make sure you are seen and treated by a medical professional immediately. First, your neck and spine are sensitive parts of your nervous and skeletal system, and one wrong move can cause serious and long-term damage. You should never attempt to move someone with a neck or back injury, and if you're injured, wait for trained medical personnel to treat you.
Second, having an EMT, first responder, or doctor assess your injuries will begin a record in case you need it in court later. Establishing a clear record of what medical treatment was needed, when it began, how long it continued, and how much it cost will be essential to any future legal claims.
2. Record the Accident
If possible, document everything you can about the accident and where and how it occurred. This can include taking photos of the scene, jotting down notes, and even talking to witnesses about what they saw. In a serious accident you may want to contact the police so that they can create and file their own independent report of the accident.
Having an accurate record of what happened will be the key to determining who was at fault for the accident. And if insurance doesn't cover your injuries, figuring out who was to blame for the crash may be the only way you can be compensated in court.
3. Contact an Attorney
It may seem clear to you that someone else caused the accident and, therefore, your injuries. But proving it in court can be a lot more complicated. An experienced car accident attorney will help you make your case, and maybe even help you settle it before you ever need to go to court.
Many injury attorneys are happy to consult with you about your case for free, and may be willing to represent you on a contingency basis. Call one near you today.