What to Do After an Accident That Isn’t Your Fault
Getting injured in a car accident is a horrible thing, but it’s made even worse when the accident was caused by another’s carelessness. It doesn’t seem fair that you should have to pay all those medical and property damage bills because of someone else’s negligence. Fortunately, this is why you can usually file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company and avoid increased premiums with your own insurance. It isn’t always an easy process to file with another company, as they will try to undermine your innocence in an attempt to pay less than what you’re due. Here’s how to proceed after an accident.
Following the Crash
Call the police after the accident, even if damages seem minor. If you discover more severe damage later, you may not be able to file a claim without a police report (some states require this). Exchange names, contact information and insurance policies with the other driver. Collect evidence from the scene like photos and witness statements. Write down notes of what you remember leading up to the accident. If you’re injured, seek medical attention quickly so that a report can directly link the injury to the accident. All of these steps will make it easier to prove your innocence and file a claim.
Filing a Claim
Contact your insurance company to inform them of the situation. If the other driver was at fault, you can file your claim for compensation with their insurance. Some states have no-fault policies, meaning that no one can be held responsible for the accident. In these states, you must file with your personal insurance. The insurance company will send a claims adjuster to confirm the damage and get your side of the story. They will likely try to find phrases in your statement that could be used against you as proof that you were at least somewhat responsible for the accident, and therefore don’t deserve the compensation. Stick only to the facts you remember.
Contacting a Lawyer
You may run into obstacles filing with another insurance company. When that happens, contact a personal injury lawyer in Melbourne, FL, like Arcadier, Biggie & Wood, PLLC to seek their legal advice. To find the right one for you, ask around for referrals and research each one’s history of success. Once you’ve found a good match, discuss the case and learn what documents you need to keep careful record of. He or she can help determine how much your case is worth and the best route of pursual.