The Auto Accident
You have just been involved in an auto accident. It’s the other driver’s fault. You don’t want to blame anyone, but you are injured and your car is totaled. The other driver’s insurance company says either you were partially at fault, your car’s not worth much, or you couldn’t possibly be injured. Their computer says statistically this is all they can pay, they place a low value on your claim, and say take it or leave it. You are still hurting, you can’t work, your car has not been repaired, and the bills are mounting. Unfortunately, this scenario is a reality for countless people everyday. Each accident is different. Each person’s life is affected differently by an accident, and you should not have been handled like a statistic.
Here are a few things to remember if you find yourself involved in an accident.
Always call the police to the scene. There is no such thing as “clear liability” even if the other person’s vehicle rear-ended your vehicle. If an officer cannot be made available then be sure to obtain the other person’s name, phone number, driver’s license number, tag number, and insurance information.
- If you are not too disoriented, look around for any independent witness that may have seen the accident. Ask them to write down their names and phone numbers. The police do not always write up the accident correctly because witnesses leave the scene before the police arrive.
- Do not make any statements to anyone other than the officer concerning how the accident occurred.
- It is very common that you will not feel any injury immediately following an accident. Most people are in a state of shock or excitement, which often prevents them from feeling any immediate physical pain. Be cautious in making statements at the scene that you are not hurt, because it is often too soon to tell. It is common that you will not feel the full effects until several days following the accident.
- If you feel that you may have been injured seek immediate medical attention especially if you struck your head on any object during the accident. A head injury can cause serious problems within a brief period of time.
- Usually within a few days of the accident, an insurance adjuster for the at-fault driver will contact you. It is important to remember that the adjuster represents the other driver’s interests, not yours. His job in essence is to limit the liability of his company.
- Finally, remember you have the right to a fair and reasonable settlement, and the right to choose your own experts.