After being involved in an accident where you were injured, it is imperative that you take the proper steps in reporting your accident and claims. When you are at the scene of the accident, start by seeking and needed medical help. If you are able to, talk with the police officer who is investigating it. Do not talk with the other driver if you can help it. If there are any witnesses, attempt to get their contact information for future use.
Once you are home, call and speak with a personal injury attorney about your options. It is likely that you will be advised to make an appointment to see your family doctor as soon as possible. You will also need to report the accident to your insurance company. There is a big difference between notifying the insurance company of the accident and entering into a discussion with them. Though notifying the insurance companies may seem simple, it is best to speak with your attorney first to ensure you tell them only what is necessary and not anything that could harm your case.
If you are claiming damages, it is likely an insurance representative will attempt to contact you. Your personal injury attorney will likely advise you to not speak with the driver’s insurance company or the other driver. If the other driver’s insurance company or lawyer calls you, simply tell them politely that you have been advised not to speak with anyone regarding the accident. Also inform them that your attorney will contact them shortly to answer questions or provide additional information. If the driver who caused the accident calls, you will likely be advised to tell them the same thing.
The reason you do not want to speak with the opposing party is because you want do not want to settle for a smaller amount than what you are entitled to. The opposing insurance company’s key interest is in paying you as little as possible. They will likely reach out to you and offer you a small settlement to avoid a lawsuit. Often, injured individuals will accept a low settlement because they need the funds for medical treatment or to replace lost wages. Because the settlement process can be =complicated and lengthy, some see this as a better alternative. However, a quick settlement is rarely a fair settlement and should be discussed with an attorney before any decisions are made. Rather, your attorney can help you determine your actual losses, including medical bills, past and future lost income, permeant injuries and even pain and suffering. When you calculate these losses, it is likely to far exceed what the insurance company initially offers.
Keep in mind that any discussion you have with the insurance rep could potentially harm your claim. No matter how friendly the claims representative may seem, you must remember that their goal is to save their company money, not help you get what you deserve and need. Therefore, it is always best to speak with a personal injury attorney if you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault. The key is to act as quickly as possible. State law usually only offers a small window of time to make a claim. Therefore you should act quickly, call a personal injury attorney, determine your losses and make a claim. When you delay you could risk being denied your claim even though your injuries were not your fault but rather the fault of another driver. Act quickly and call a personal injury attorney today.