A motor vehicle accident can place your life on hold for the foreseeable future. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may not return to your normal life for some time, if ever. Certainly, you will do whatever you can to speed up the process of getting your life back on track, but there may be medical, financial and legal issues to deal with along the way.

After an accident, there are certain things you may say or do that can greatly improve your chances of positive outcomes for your health, your finances, and any insurance or civil claim that may result. However, there are also words and actions that can hinder you from reaching your goals.

Watch what you say

You may not be thinking about filing a lawsuit, but you never know how your situation will play out. Having as much official information as possible about your accident will benefit you all around, even if your case resolves itself smoothly. Therefore, calling the police to the accident scene is among the first steps many Colorado residents make after a collision. You will want to give your side of the story to police, but in general, it is best to avoid conversations with anyone else at the scene.

It is especially important that you do not admit fault or express regret for your part in the accident. Even saying you are sorry as a common courtesy can be misconstrued by an insurance company eager to minimize its payout to you. Instead, as best you can, collect information about the other driver and any witnesses. Take pictures of the scene, the vehicles and your injuries. When you have a chance, jot down your recollection of what happened.

Taking care of yourself

While you may be concerned about gathering the information you need to file your claim or take other legal steps, your most important concerns are for your health and safety. The accident scene may be buzzing with activity, but if you have suffered injuries — even if you only suspect you are injured — you are wise to remain still and wait for emergency responders to examine you. It is also smart to visit your doctor or the emergency room for a more thorough evaluation.

Additionally, since dealing with insurance companies can be intimidating and confusing, you may wish to turn that responsibility over to a skilled and experienced attorney who recognizes the common tactics insurers use to avoid paying claims. The sooner you consult with an attorney about your case, the faster you may obtain the compensation you deserve.