Don't Let a Car Accident Ruin Your Life

Steps to take

Insurance companies make their money by receiving interest on their invested funds. That’s why delay is their favorite tactic. They hope you’ll agree to a smaller amount, or lose your hope of getting any amount at all. Insurance adjusters are trained to persuade you to agree to a small compensation. It’s their job to protect their employer’s funds, not to maximize your compensation. If you have your own attorney, you’ll be more on a par with the insurance company, which has a batallion of lawyers. Your own attorney can represent and protect your interests, and fight for a compensation appropriate to your injuries and property damage.

If you’re in an accident

Handling things well from the moment of the auto accident isn’t necessarily easy, as you might be shaken up and hurt. If you can, remember to do these things at the site of the accident:

1. Call 911

The 911 operator can call the police for you, as well as an ambulance and fire truck if necessary.

2. Get contact information

Get the names, phone numbers and addresses of everyone: other drivers, passengers, witnesses. Your insurance company will want this information.

3. Exchange insurance information

Give yours to the other people directly involved in the accident, and get theirs. If the driver of another vehicle isn’t the registered owner, get information on the registered owner.

4. Don’t admit any fault

Even if you feel you were at least partly to blame, don’t say so. Anything you say could be noted down and used against you later. And besides, feeling at fault doesn’t necessarily mean you ARE at fault legally.

5. When police arrive, get their names and badge numbers

Later you can also get a copy of the police report.

6. Make notes about what happened.

Note down the make and model of other vehicles involved, the weather, lighting, any statements made by other drivers or passengers. Pace out the distances between vehicles. If you have a disposable camera in your car (a good thing to have for just this sort of situation), take shots from both near and far of the relative positions of all the vehicles involved in the automobile accident, of any skid marks, vehicle damage, any relevant street signs, etc.

7. Remember that some injuries are not immediately obvious

If you’re badly injured, of course you may not be able to do all the above things, but may be taken in an ambulance. Perhaps you could call someone and ask them to help. If your injuries are minor, do try to get all the above things done. If you appear to be uninjured, remember that whiplash injuries and some back injuries have a delayed appearance. So as soon as you can, get a medical checkup and don’t ignore any symptoms, however minor they might seem.

8. Call your insurance company as soon as you can

There could be a deadline in the fine print, so don’t delay. But don’t necessarily answer all the questions they might ask. Remember that they’ll be trying to pay you as little as possible. They could even make a prompt offer, but remember that it’s a ploy to get you to accept an absurdly low amount. So keep your cards close to your chest until you speak to an attorney.

9. As soon as possible, call an attorney

If you eventually file a lawsuit, early action and information gathering will end up being greatly to your advantage.

At any law firm, lawyers can help you determine if you have grounds for any legal action, and if you do, they can help you pursue it.

Popular Posts