Car accidents happen all the time, unfortunately, affecting more than 6 million motorists every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The fact is there is a high probability you will, at some point in your life, be involved in a car accident, given the high rate of automobile accident statistics in the country. As such, it is crucial to be prepared and understand what you should and should not do when it comes to a car accident claim. The steps you take in the aftermath of an accident can set the tone for your claim and the last thing you want is to have to foot the bill for someone else’s mistake.
What You Should Do
- A lot of us tend to just quickly glance over our insurance policy. We purchase it because we know it is required by law, but you should also understand it. As soon as you receive it, read it and make sure you fully comprehend it. If you get involved in an accident and still have not thoroughly read your insurance policy, it is still not too late to read it and make sure you understand what it covers.
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to inform them of the accident.
- It is crucial to always respond to your insurance company’s requests for information. If you refuse or delay information, the company might refuse your claim.
- Try to gather as much information and details as possible regarding the accident. While at the scene, if you are able to, take pictures of property or vehicle damage as well as any injuries you sustain. Pictures provide powerful evidence. Be sure to also collect all information pertaining to the at fault party, including his or her insurance information.
- Keep records of all communication with any insurance company, regardless if it is your own or the at-fault party’s insurance company. Every time you communicate with an insurance company, remember to write down the date, time, and summarize what the conversation was about.
- Part of the damages you are seeking are economic damages, so it is important to save receipts and bills for all expenses relating to your accident claim, including bills for repair work needed for your vehicle, medical treatment for the injuries you sustained, and other losses associated with the accident. If you are not completely sure if it is necessary to save, keep it anyway to be on the safe side.
What You Should Not Do
- The at-fault party’s insurance company wants to minimize or eliminate your chances at receiving compensation and will try to use any information you give them to twist and use against you. As such, it is best to never volunteer information to them. Only stick to the facts when questioned and never speculate.
- Do not admit liability, even if you think you are at fault for the accident. There are lots of factors that determine fault in an accident, so instead of jumping to conclusions, do not make statements that might hurt your claim. You could lose your chance to obtain a full and fair settlement.
- Until you have had a chance to fully review your policy, do not give any information in writing to your insurance company or the at-fault party’s insurance company.
- Never assume your insurance agent’s estimate is the final word on what your claim is worth. Hire an attorney to get an accurate estimate regarding the value of your claim.
- Do not sign a release or waiver. If you are ever given documents to sign and are uncertain what it means or if it contains a waiver, seek the assistance of an attorney to prevent making a terrible mistake.
- Unless you are absolutely certain the amount given to you compensates you for your losses, do not accept any payment as a full and final payment.
Car Accident Attorney in Pocatello
At May Rammell & Thompson, our Pocatello and Burley car accident lawyers are here to support and represent you if you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Our legal team has over 70 years of collective experience and his backed by a history of success. Car accidents can cause potentially severe injuries, which can lead to high medical costs, lost wages, loss of work, and other bills. You should not have to suffer for someone else’s mistakes. Let us help you fight for the just compensation you deserve.
Contact our office today at (208) 623-8021 to set up a free initial consultation.