Wise people always advise you to be extra cautious when driving on risky roads, because even though you may consider yourself a safe driver, you can never guarantee who’s behind another wheel. There are times when you can get in an accident without anyone’s interference, but there are those situations where someone else is also involved and things are simply not your fault.
These situations, where there’s someone else involved as well, are the ones you should be extra cautious about how you behave in. Any mistake you make can cost you the compensation you are entitled to.
Being in an accident is traumatizing, and can be the cause of confusion, especially if you get a thicker end. It is exactly why you should be prepared for such an occurrence and now a few things about how you should react.
What is your best interest?
Aside from staying safe and healthy when you are involved in any type of car accident, you want to receive fair compensation. At the same time, you need to discuss the case with insurance companies and car accident attorneys at StoneInjuryLawyers in Natick MA. All of these things can be quite complicated and you might end up making mistakes without even realizing this is the case.
In order to take the right steps, here are some things you should always do and things that you should never do during injury claims involving car accidents.
Things You Should Do
- Contact your insurance company as soon as you can after the accident. If you are not seriously injured, you should do this before going to the doctor.
- Always write down everything you discuss with the representatives of the insurance company. Do make sure you get job titles, names, and phone numbers for all you speak with.
- Take all the pictures that you can at the site of the accident. Do the same to show the injuries you suffered.
- Do get the medical treatment if you are not feeling well, or think you may have suffered a serious injury. Also, keep the records of the treatment with you.
- Call the police and inform them about what has happened.
- Carefully review your insurance policy to see what is covered and what is not to see if you actually need to file a claim.
- Hire a personal injury attorney with experience in car accidents as soon as you can after being injured. This is very important since you will need legal guidance from those who know everything about injury law.
- Keep receipts for all lodging, purchases, and meals if they are connected with the injury claim or with recovering from injuries. Do so from the event until you have a final settlement.
Things You Should Not Do
- Do not give a written or recorded statement until you fully understand what is happening and you are represented by an attorney. The insurance company is not required by law to record phone conversations. Discuss your case with attorneys as soon as you can.
- Drive away. Depending on who’s fault the accident is, people tend to react impulsively and drive away. This is a serious offense you will regret afterward, so park your vehicle and stay where you are.
- Avoiding calling the police is a bad idea, regardless of how mild the accident was. If you plan to get a settlement, you need to call them, because the insurance company will ask for evidence, provided by them. Your attorney and the police both work for your best interest.
- Never blindly accept the appraisal or the estimate of losses coming from insurers. The insurance company will want you to accept the estimate of the insurer but the deal will surely be too low.
- Never sign waivers or releases without legal advice being offered to you first. You can easily end up agreeing to a deal that is much lower than what you should be entitled to since insurance adjusters will try to take advantage of the situation you are in.
- Do not accept checks with “final payment” written on them if you are not fully ready for it.
- Never ignore the time limits of the insurance policy. Policies always require some sort of proof of losses and that proof should be obtained within a specific time limit. If the time limit is not respected, you are not going to be able to receive any type of financial compensation. You simply cannot sue after the statute of limitations passes.
- There is a contract signed between you and the insurer. The coverage that was promised needs to be respected. Whenever things become inconsistent, it is your right to ask for what you are entitled to.
- Accidents can be the cause of guilt, and if you are the type who is used to feeling guilty, even when you’re not, you should be extra careful. Do not apologize, or admit it was your fault when you’re talking to the insurance company. This does not mean you should be silent, just express yourself by narrating the incident and how it happened.
- Agreeing on any kind of settlement before talking to your lawyer is not a good idea. If someone tries to drag you in a conversation like this, get out of it immediately.
- Lose your temper. Even if it’s hard to stay calm while you and/or your belongings have suffered damage, do your best not to lose your temper. It can only make things worse.
Finally, you should always be careful when there’s someone else involved, and when someone tries to make you an offer and avoid going through the whole legal procedure. As, this tends to happen very often. Always keep in mind that having an attorney by your side is the best possible decision you can make in this stressful occurrence. These professionals are specialized in handling situations like this, and will always do better for you than you will be handling things on your own. Leave to the pros, and rest assured your settlement will be the best possible.