When the accident happened, you felt more shaken than anything. That’s normal. You’re in shock – you certainly weren’t expecting this to happen! – and with the adrenaline flowing, you might have really thought you were fine. Maybe you even thought how lucky you were that the crash wasn’t worse.
But that was then. Now, there’s no way not to notice the pain in your back. It’s not getting better. It might even be getting worse. And you aren’t sure what to do next.
Our car accident lawyers have seen this all before, so we know what you’re going through. We also know how to help. Take these 3 important steps – then, let us handle everything else!
1. Call Your Insurance Company
The last thing you feel like doing right now is digging out your auto insurance policy to find the phone number, navigating automated phone menus that seem designed to make you wait, and then answering a claims adjuster’s seemingly endless questions. We get that. It’s a hassle even when you’re not in pain, and right now, it’s enough to make you feel completely overwhelmed.
But when you’re hurt in an accident, notifying your insurer is necessary. That’s because both New Jersey and Pennsylvania have no-fault laws, which means that your own auto insurance company is typically responsible for paying medical bills that result from any kind of motor vehicle accident, no matter who is at fault. (Even if you weren’t driving!)
The good news is that once you get a lawyer involved on your behalf, you won’t have to worry about talking to the insurance adjuster anymore – but more about that later. For now, if at all possible, report the accident to your insurance company immediately so that you can get a claim set up. You don’t have to go into detail about your injuries or the accident at this time – just get a claim opened so you can…
2. See a Doctor
You back pain could be just soreness. It could be sprains and strains that will go away with minimal treatment and time. But it could also be a sign of something serious, like a bulging or herniated disc – the kind of injury that might require surgery to treat. The only way to find out is to see a doctor. No amount of online research will tell you what’s causing the pain, just like no amount of wishful thinking will make it go away.
Whether it took a few minutes or several days for your back pain to start, it’s important to get medical attention as soon as possible. But what exactly does that entail?
If your pain is so severe that you require urgent medical care, go to the emergency room. Nothing is worth risking your health.
If you’re not ready to rush to the ER but still in pain, call your primary care doctor. Not every physician will treat car accident victims. Your doctor might not be equipped to deal with the complicated process of billing your insurance company for coverage through personal injury protection (PIP). In that case, ask your doctor to just document the accident in your chart, and start looking for a doctor who will treat you – or let us do the legwork for you. Once your case gets to us, we’ll make sure you’re seeing the right types of doctors to treat the injuries you suffered, so that you can make the best possible recovery.
3. Call an Attorney
If your back pain is serious enough to be affecting your life, it’s serious enough to see a doctor. And it’s also serious enough to make it worth calling a personal injury attorney.
Think about it – what would happen if your injuries kept you out of work for a few days? A few months? Could you lose your job? Would you still be able to pay your rent or mortgage? And what would you do if your accident resulted in thousands of dollars of unexpected medical bills?
For most of us, financial hardship is a real concern if an injury is severe enough to prevent us from working, or if the surprise medical expenses are more than we can afford. After a car accident, hiring a lawyer to pursue a claim on your behalf is a way – in many cases, the only way – you can protect yourself and your family from the threat of a personal financial crisis.
Maybe you’re not sure if you need a lawyer. After all, you’ve never done this before – but that’s the point. We have done this – in fact, we deal with problems like the ones you’re going through on a daily basis. Console and Associates P.C. has been practicing personal injury law since 1994, so once we’re familiar with the facts of your situation, we can tell you pretty confidently if you have a case worth pursuing with a lawyer (and if not, we’ll tell you that, too). A personal injury lawyer should never charge you for a consultation about your case, and most will never ask you for any money upfront.
To recap, you have three important calls to make after a car accident leaves you with back pain:
The sooner you make these calls, the sooner you’ll have experienced medical and legal professionals working to make you whole, physically and financially. When you’re ready for our help, call (856) 778-5500 for your free, confidential consultation.