1

Call the police (auto collision).

This is the best opportunity to record the facts of the collision, the identity of the other driver, the name of the other driver’s insurance company, and the contact information of witnesses.

2

Insist that a report be prepared (premises/fall cases).

If you are injured on someone’s property you need to report that to the manager and insist that an accident report be prepared. You should also insist on a copy of that report signed by the manager.

3

Identify witnesses.

In any situation get witness names and contact information. In auto collision cases witnesses often do not wish to wait around for the police to arrive. If a witness needs to leave, ask for a business card or their name and phone number or email address.

4

Report all injuries.

No matter how slight, it is imperative that you report any pain or discomfort to the police officer or property manager. The report should reflect your physical condition and symptoms.

5

Do not admit fault.

You need to cooperate and be truthful but do not admit fault. Fault is a conclusion and you may not be aware of facts which prove you were not at fault. Any admission of fault will likely be used against you.

6

Take plenty of pictures.

Photograph any visible injuries you suffered, damage to your vehicle, and the collision scene including skid marks, traffic control signs, etc. In premises/fall cases, take pictures of the area where you fell from multiple angles. Take close-up pictures of what specifically caused you to fall.

7

Obtain medical care immediately.

If you have any pain or discomfort at all you should make an appointment to see a doctor or go to an emergency room if the symptoms warrant. Many of us prefer to wait to see if the pain goes away before calling a doctor. Unfortunately, insurance companies will use that against you to argue that since you didn’t call a doctor right away you must not have been injured.

8

Do not talk to any insurance company other than your own insurance provider.

The insurance company for the negligent party will probably contact you as soon as it learns of the incident. They operate so quickly to try to talk to you before you speak with an attorney. Politely decline their request and absolutely refuse to give a recorded statement.

9

Do not sign any documents.

This is especially true for any documents that come from the insurance company for the other driver or the property owner.

10

Promptly contact an experienced injury attorney.

Waiting to contact an attorney can harm or preclude your claim since Indiana law imposes time limits for filing a lawsuit. It is important that an attorney promptly interview witnesses while their memories are fresh and to preserve important evidence before it is lost.

11

Do not discuss your case with anyone other than your spouse.

Statements to others can be admissible in court and are often taken out of context or twisted to be used against you.

12

Be very wary of Facebook and other social media.

Insurance companies’ newest tactic is to find a picture of you smiling, or a post about you enjoying yourself, and using that to show that you must not have been injured. Anything on these sites, even if marked “private” or only for “friends,” can be discovered by insurance companies and their lawyers and may be admissible in court.