After an Idaho vehicle accident, it’s difficult to know what best to do to protect your health and legal rights at the same time. If you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident, taking certain actions immediately afterward can have a significant impact on your well-being and your ability to recover compensation for your losses.

At Craig Swapp & Associates, we’re a team of experienced vehicle accident lawyers in Idaho who understand the challenges injured individuals face. We’re dedicated to helping them handle the claims process and fight for their right to fair compensation.

Common Injuries in Idaho Vehicle Accidents

Vehicle accidents can lead to a range of injuries, some of which may not be immediately apparent. 

Some of the most common types of injuries include:

  • Whiplash: This is one of the most frequent vehicle accident injuries. It occurs when the head and neck are violently jerked back and forth, straining the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck. 
  • Broken Bones: The force of a collision can cause bones to fracture or break completely. Common areas for broken bones in accidents include the arms, legs, ribs, and collarbone.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries: TBIs range from mild concussions to severe brain damage. They occur when the brain is jolted or strikes the inside of the skull. TBIs can cause cognitive problems, memory loss, mood swings, seizures, and other long-term complications.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: If the spinal cord is damaged, it can disrupt communication between the brain and the body. This damage can lead to varying degrees of paralysis, loss of sensation, and problems with bodily functions.
  • Internal Injuries: The impact of a crash can rupture or bruise internal organs like the spleen, liver, or kidneys. Internal bleeding can be life-threatening if not treated quickly.
  • Psychological Trauma: The shock of a vehicle accident can lead to significant emotional distress. Conditions like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are often experienced by accident survivors.

It’s crucial to remember that some injuries may not manifest symptoms immediately. It’s imperative to get a thorough medical evaluation after any vehicle accident.

3 Critical Steps to Should Take After the Accident

It’s essential to take proactive steps in the wake of an Idaho vehicle accident to ensure your well-being and protect your right to compensation. Below are three critical steps to guide you through this challenging time.

1. Seeking Immediate Medical Attention

Your health should always be the top priority. Idaho vehicle accidents can result in injuries that are not immediately apparent to those involved. Conditions such as internal bleeding, concussions, and other forms of traumatic brain injuries may have delayed symptoms that can lead to severe complications if not treated promptly. Furthermore, spinal injuries can initially appear minor but worsen without medical intervention.

The benefits of immediate medical evaluation include:

  • Early Diagnosis: Enables the timely identification and treatment of injuries, which can prevent complications and facilitate a smoother recovery.
  • Documentation of Injuries: Medical records created during these evaluations provide a detailed account of your injuries, which is crucial for the next stages of your legal claim.

From a legal standpoint, seeking immediate medical attention after an accident significantly strengthens a personal injury case in several ways:

  • Causation: In personal injury law, demonstrating that the injuries were a direct result of the accident is essential. Immediate medical documentation creates a timeline that helps link the accident to the injuries sustained. 
  • Mitigating Damages: Victims are expected to take reasonable steps to minimize the financial impact of their injuries. By seeking prompt medical attention, you fulfill this legal obligation, demonstrating that you’ve taken appropriate steps to lessen the severity of your injuries. Failure to do so can lead to a reduction in the amount of compensation you might receive, thinking that you exacerbated your injuries through negligence.
  • Evidence for Compensation: Comprehensive medical records serve as foundational evidence in personal injury claims. They provide a basis for claiming medical expenses, both immediate and ongoing. 

Seeking medical attention immediately after an Idaho vehicle accident is imperative for both your physical well-being and the strength of your legal case. It ensures that your injuries are properly documented and treated, which is essential for proving causation and securing just compensation. 

2. Gathering and Keeping Evidence

The gathering and retention of evidence play a critical role in building a robust legal claim. This phase directly influences both the ability to establish fault and the quantification of damages, which are essential for securing fair compensation.

This includes:

  • Photographs/Videos: Photos/videos should include vehicle positions, skid marks, road conditions, and any damages.
  • Contact Information: Collect names, addresses, and phone numbers of everyone involved, including witnesses.
  • Official Reports: Request a copy of the police report, which will detail the accident and might include the officer’s perspective on fault.
  • Medical Records: Secure all documentation related to your injuries and treatment.

Idaho follows a modified comparative negligence system, where your compensation can be reduced by your percentage of fault. If you are found to be 50% or more at fault, you may be barred from recovery. Thorough and immediate evidence collection helps to accurately establish fault percentages.

3. Contacting a Vehicle Accident Lawyer

Insurance companies are businesses that aim to protect their profits. They may try to minimize or deny your claim even if you have strong evidence of fault.  

Securing competent legal representation promptly after an accident can dramatically influence the outcome of your case. An experienced attorney will help meet Idaho’s legal requirements, including statute of limitations concerns (which in Idaho generally allows two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit), and procedural requirements for filing claims.

If you find yourself involved in a vehicle accident in Idaho, remember these three critical steps: seek immediate medical attention, gather and keep evidence, and consult with a vehicle accident lawyer. Taking these actions not only protects your health and legal rights but also sets a strong foundation for your recovery, both physically and financially.

Consultation with Our Idaho Vehicle Accident Lawyer 

For more information or to discuss your case, contact us at Craig Swapp & Associates. We are committed to helping Idaho residents recover from Idaho vehicle accidents and move forward with their lives.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp