Many people are unsure of what steps to take following an auto accident. Unfortunately, many victims of auto accidents are not well informed prior to their accident, and do not receive full compensation for their claim. Immediately after an auto accident, you should:
1 – Avoid giving a verbal or written admission of guilt to anyone
2 – Avoid taking the first settlement or offer given to you.
If you admit your guilt, not only can the value of your claim be reduced, you could be held partially or fully responsible for the accident. Not accepting the first offer from an insurance company is also important, most notably in situations where you are being pressured to settle quickly. Often, insurance companies attempt to have claimants settle quickly in hope that the claimant accepts a settlement which is less than what they truly deserve.
The insurance company’s job is to get you as little money as possible – my job is to get you the most. Call (813) 839-5708 as soon as possible after your accident to learn more about your options.
When two cars collide, no matter what the speed, it can be a very traumatic experience. People may be injured. You’re likely to be dazed. Your emotions will certainly be running high. Very few of us plan on what to do in such a stressful situation. If you take the time to think ahead, it can make a great deal of difference for what happens next. Here are some things to consider.
Check for injuries
No quick movements until you are sure that you are not seriously injured. If you are hurt, stay still and wait for help. If you can move, check to see if your passengers are safe. If you can get out of the car, see if the other driver needs help.
Call for help
If you are hurt or others are injured, call 911 for medical assistance. If everybody is just shaken up, ask for the police to come to the scene. They will take an objective accident report. Be sure to get the number of the accident report for future reference. Once you’ve seen to these details, there are other issues to consider.
Document the scene
Take as many photos as possible with your cell phone. If you don’t have one, buy a disposable camera and keep it in your glove box. Photograph the condition of the cars, the direction each vehicle was traveling, and any street signs or traffic lights visible. Shoot from every angle. Note the time of the accident, amount of traffic, and weather conditions. You never know what detail might be important later on in the process.
Be sure you get the full name and insurance information from the other driver. Ask to see their insurance card and registration. You will need this information to accurately file a claim.
Admit no liability
Whether you believe you were the cause of the accident or think it was entirely the other person’s fault, admit nothing at the scene, either verbally or in writing. Those are things to determine when everyone has calmed down and has their wits about them.
Call your insurer
Prepare a summary of events from your perspective. Report the accident to your insurance agency as soon as you are able. Give your agent the number of the police report. They may send an adjuster to survey the damage or refer you to one of their preferred body shops. There might be liability issues if you or other people sustained injuries. Once all details are gathered and assessed, your insurer will likely offer you a settlement.
Call us for a consultation
Unless you’re in the insurance business, it’s unlikely you’ll know whether or not the settlement they offer you is what you truly deserve. The job of the insurance company is to pay you as little as possible. At Vinson Law, our job is to get you the best settlement possible. Over the past year alone, we have recovered over (large dollar figure) for our clients.