Conduct a Wellness Check
The first thing to do immediately following an accident is to ensure that everyone involved is alive and has no serious injuries. The wellness check should start with the driver and continue until every person in the vehicle has a confirmed well status. Someone should call the ambulance if anyone appears to need immediate medical attention. All victims should visit the hospital or doctor at some point following in the accident, and such should occur within 24 hours of the accident.
The next step that an accident victim should take is gathering the evidence. Evidence is spoken, written or visual proof of the events that occurred in the accident. The victim can do this by speaking to other victims and asking them to give their witnesses and testimonies. The victim can also take pictures and videos of the damages that happened to the vehicle and the people who were involved in the accident. The victim will need this information for the next step of the process.
The next step in the process is calling the police. The police will come out and ask a series of questions so that they can make a report or a complaint. They will ask what led to the incident and how it occurred. They will ask if anyone is hurt, and they will notate the information in the report. They will also issue tickets to anyone who has violated the traffic laws and had any parts in causing the accident. The police report is important because the insurance company may ask for it. Other parties such as the victim’s employer or the attorney may request a copy of the police report, as well.
Call the Insurance Company
The victim should contact the insurance company as quickly as possible. He or she should have the policy numbers of all drivers who are involved and all the details of the accident. The insurance company will ask questions and begin their investigation. They may ask the victim to fax the police report and additional information such as pictures of the damage. Eventually, the victim will have to send repair estimates and such things so that the insurance company will know what it has to pay out for the benefits. In some instances, the insurance company chooses not to pay the claim. The victim can then consult with a personal injury attorney.
Call a Personal Injury Attorney
Finally, the victim should call a Kentucky and Tennessee personal injury attorney and discuss the incident. The Bowling Green personal injury attorney is a special attorney who tends to people who have been harmed in auto accidents and other accidents. The personal injury attorney spots neglect and then requests that a judge order the neglectful person to pay for the damages that the victim has to repair. Bowling Green Personal injury attorneys often offer free consultations and contingency representation. Contingency representation allows the victim to relax while the case proceeds. The attorney does not ask for payment until the case is over and the settlement is in.
Victims should follow these tips immediately following an accident. It provides a non-stressful recovery.
3 Common Mistakes People Make When They Talk to Their Insurance Companies
Mistake #1: Admitting You Did Something Wrong
Insurance adjusters will be trained to get you to say something that goes against your own interests, in order to minimize the size of a claim or dismiss it altogether. Never say that you may have been looking down at your phone. Don’t make similar statements at the accident site either. Even saying you are “fine” when the insurance adjuster asks is a statement against your interests, if you do actually have a medical problem and politely say you are fine you have just admitted that the problem can’t be serious.
The experts at Injury Claims Coach also advise against offering opinions on why the accident happened. Stick with facts regarding time and place, location of the vehicle, condition of the vehicle, and the involved parties’ contact information.
Mistake #2: Embellishing Your Story
It might be obvious that outright lying is a bad idea, but people often do lie to a claims adjuster. Getting caught in a lie is almost certain to kill your chances of getting a settlement. If the claim is material – you say you were in the turn lane but the police report says you were not – your claim is certainly going to be denied. Claims about injuries should also be avoided. Unless a doctor diagnosed you with whiplash, assume you don’t have it.
Mistake #3: Being Nice to the Adjuster
The insurance company’s adjuster works for them, not you. The insurance company’s interest is in paying little or nothing for your claim. The insurance adjuster may pursue that goal by doing several things that can undermine your interest in getting fair settlement:
1. Putting you at ease so you let important information slip
2. Getting you to make a recorded statement about the accident
3. Being friendly, to set the tone for getting you to admit to something
Finally, never agree to make a recorded statement in person or on the phone unless you have an attorney present to advise you. Insurance companies take every opportunity to use these statements against accident victims.
Insurance Claims Are Complicated
It’s important to understand the next steps on what to do after an accident. If the accident was serious, you need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible, as the insurance claims process can be a real legal minefield. Insurance companies tend to challenge expensive claims. Even before the court becomes a possibility it makes sense to have a Bowling Green attorney review your case. Call the Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart today at (888) 782-9090.