what should I do In an auto accident?
GOLDEN TIPS ON AUTO ACCIDENT
1. Stop your car, no matter how minor the accident.
2. Assist any injured persons. Call for an ambulance, if necessary.
3. Call and wait for the police.
4. Identify the other driver and get his/her address, telephone number and insurance information.
5. Get the names, addresses and telephone numbers from all witnesses.
6. Do not move the vehicles until the police view the scene unless it is safe to do so.
7. If possible, take pictures of the accident scene, even if the vehicles have been moved. Pay particular attention to skid marks and damage to all vehicles involved.
8. Never admit to the police or anyone else on the scene that the accident was your fault. Anything you say can and will be used against you to defeat your claim for compensation.
9. You may not be aware of the extent of your injuries immediately after the accident. It is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
10. Inform your doctor that you were in an auto accident. Tell him about all your complaints no matter how minor, including past injuries to the same body parts that are presently injured.
11. Notify your insurance company about the accident. Even though you are required to cooperate with your insurance company, do not give them a statement (written or taped) without first contacting your attorney.
12. Never submit to any request for a statement by the other driver’s insurance company. You are not legally obligated to give a statement. Such a statement could later be used against you. Simply refer them to your attorney.
13. Remember: Insurance companies are big business. their interests come first. The adjuster’s sole objective is to settle your claim for as little as possible.
14. As soon as possible after the auto accident, you should photograph any visible injuries (i.e. cuts, bruises, broken bones, etc.) Before repairing your car, photograph the damage from all angles. Provide your attorneys with the prints (and negatives) of all photographs about your claim.
15. Consult with your attorney to determine who is responsible for payment of your medical bills. Your medical bills could be processed through the other driver’s insurance company, your auto insurance policy or your group health insurance. Be aware that some insurance policies require reimbursement of any medical expenses upon settlement of your claim.
16. Keep accurate records of your lost time and wages from work as a result of your auto accident. This information will assist your attorney in determining the value of your claim.
17. Before you repair the damage to your car, contact your attorney. Generally, your insurance company will pay to have your car repaired or pay you the value of the vehicle if it is a total loss. If it is determined that you are not at fault for the accident, your insurance company will seek reimbursement for medical bills from the driver at fault. Your auto accident attorney will explain the best way to have your car replaced or your total loss adjusted.
Remember? When the medical responders arrive you want to make sure you give a complete and accurate report. Relaying the proper information will eliminate future problems for you or your attorney in getting compensation for your personal injuries, property damage, and any pain and suffering damages.
Once again when talking to police officers they often take quick notes. To make sure the accident report taken is complete and accurate you should take thirty seconds to recall how the accident occurred. You will want to remember the following information: the time of the accident, Remembering these basic elements of the car accident will be valuable to you, your attorney, and the insurance companies.