Involvement in an automobile accident can be quite frustrating and inconvenient. Unfortunately the insurance claim process is not always most effective for laypersons, as it is not as cut-and-dry as insurers may lead you to believe. An insurer does not always accept liability and offer to reimburse accident victims, even when it seems clear who is at-fault. To add to this frustration, your own insurance company will often deny and delay full reimbursement / compensation when you attempt to use all of the insurance add-ons that you pay for. It can take months or even years to finalize an auto insurance claim. MA'AT LAW will help you navigate through the too oft entangling web of red tape to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your accident-related personal injuries.
Things to Know and Remember when Involved in an Automobile Accident
- If able, take pictures of both vehicles.
- Always call the police to make an incident report, no matter how minor the accident seems. Remember that adrenaline can allow you not to realize injuries immediately after an accident; thus, do not explicitly state that you are uninjured, right away. When asked if injured, if pain is not immediately felt, you can simply state that "you do not know".
- Exchange information at the scene. Do not rely on the police officer(s) to obtain the driver contact, insurance information and vehicle description for you. Officers, being human, sometimes make mistakes on the report and/or are not always very timely with completing and submitting the incident reports. If you do not obtain the information yourself, you will have to wait for and depend on the officer's report.
- Write down a narrative of everything you recall occurring immediately after the accident, while it is fresh in your mind. Include what was seen (i.e. saw the vehicle prior to impact), heard (i.e. brakes squealing, horn honking), etc.
- When speaking to any insurance company (at-fault insurer or your own), remember that the conversations are recorded, and can be obtained during the process of litigation. Make statements accordingly. Speak only to facts that you know; do not speculate or surmise. It is not your responsibility to investigate the accident and determine the specifics of how it occurred. An attorney can help advise you regarding such conversations.
- Start a journal indicating how you feel during the days after the accident. Include activities you were involved in prior to the accident and how any injuries impact the act ivies. Also, include people that have first-hand knowledge of said activities and the difference in your involvement.
- Contrary to what television commercials may have you believe, a chiropractor is not always the complete solution for post-accident injuries. It is typically best that when pain is felt that you go to a medical doctor (or urgent care or emergency room) first and let the doctor guide your treatment. Do not let the fact that you are uninsured keep you from seeking treatment. If unable to find a doctor who will see uninsured patients, seek counsel from an attorney.
- Keep up with the court appearances given to the at-fault driver. Your appearance in court can help a ticket from being dismissed; a dismissal can affect your civil case.