Questions To Ask After A Car Accident
After you got hurt in an accident, you may want to know:
Getting hurt in an auto accident can be scary and expensive. Soon after the accident, you will find yourself juggling ambulance and medical bills, current treatment costs, and you may be left without a way to get around because your car got towed away.
If you can't work due to your injuries, then lack of income will make it even harder to pay for the ambulance, incurred medical bills and the medical and chiropractic bills you will need to incur in order to try and get better.
While you hope that the other person's insurance company will do the right thing and pay you, but so far, they haven't paid you a dime.
Besides the above list of questions, here is some more information that I hope will help you:
Should I Talk To My Insurance Company After A Car Accident?
If the other person does not have insurance, and you have uninsured motorist on your auto insurance, you may be able to make a claim with your own insurance company. But this is only if the other person does not have insurance, and you have coverage that is called “uninsured motorist”.
Keep in mind that talking to your own insurance company after you got injured is not like talking to a friend. The adjuster may be friendly, and even act sympathetic, but at the end of the day, the adjuster works for who? The insurance company. They don't work for you.
Even if you've paid your hard earned money to your insurance company, so that if the time came, you'd be covered, you may be surprised to learn that even your own insurance company may try to get rid of you by paying very little or nothing at all.
If you hire me, Renée Yvonne Gardner, I will be your voice. After the value of your case is known, I will work toward trying to negotiate for you. By having me fight for you, you can put all your attention on yourself and your healing.
Should I Talk To The Other Person's Insurance Company After A Car Accident?
No. Insurance companies pay adjusters to investigate claims and gather facts. They try to get statements from all the people involved in an accident. They also get witness statements.
After gathering the facts, the adjuster decides who is to blame (“liability”). Statements are a very important part of the insurance company investigation.
Adjusters like to get recorded statements. Even if you have “nothing to hide”, do not talk to any insurance adjuster!
Insurance companies are motivated by money. They look for ways to deny your claim, and pay less than your claim is worth.
So, their questions can be confusing, especially when you're in pain due to the accident. And their questions can be slanted in their favor.
Giving a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster may end your case before it even begins.
What Are Some Common Causes of Car Accidents?
In order to show that someone else is responsible for your damages, you have to show that they were at fault for the accident.
One of the first things that's good to have is a police report. That's why it's important to call 911 from the accident scene. But, did you know that even without a police report, you can still have a good case?
A good attorney will investigate your accident. The police report is just one piece of the puzzle. At times, there are recordings, videos, and photos. Sometimes, witnesses have to be interviewed, even if the police already talked to them. Other times, there are witnesses who need to be talked to but their names aren't in the police report. At times, experts have to be hired to try and reconstruct what happened. An attorney puts together all the pieces of the puzzle.
- Distracted driving, like eating, putting on makeup, texting, talking on the cell phone, using a smartphone app while driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Failing to yield the right of way - often cars hitting bicyclists
- Illegal U-turn
- Looking to the left while turning right - often pedestrian accidents
- Mechanical defect/improper car maintenance - often big truck accidents and bus accidents
- Running a red light
- Sudden stopping
- Sudden lane change, without looking first - often motorcycle accidents
- Turning without using a turn signal
- Unsecured truck loads - often semi-truck accidents or pickup trucks
What Are Some Common Car Accident Injuries?
Whether you got hit by car, bus, on your bike, as a pedestrian, on your scooter, riding your motorcycle, or by a tractor-trailer, there is a direct link between the seriousness of your injury and the value of your case. This is because serious personal injuries can come with life-long consequences.
Someone who had a car accident and now has a sore neck, rested at home, lost one day from work and never went to the doctor may have a case that is of low value. In these cases, it is sometimes not worth your while to hire an attorney. Even the best attorney can't make a low value case worth more than it's actually worth.
But, someone else who got hit in their car and this caused a traumatic brain injury, they spent a week in the hospital, still can't go back to work, and their car now looks like a ball of tin foil has a very different case. This person has a serious personal injury case. In these cases, it is definitely worth hiring a good attorney. A good attorney will help build a serious personal injury case to make it as strong as it can be. They will fight for you to get what your case is actually worth.
Here are examples of serious personal injuries:
- Back injuries
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Infection after an accident
- Internal injuries (organ damage)
- Knee injuries
- Loss of a limb
- Neck injuries
- Senses: loss of smell or taste
- Silent injuries
- Wrongful Death
Should I Accept The Other Person's Insurance Settlement Offer?
Insurance adjusters have specialized training on how to handle claims. They also receive ongoing training to make sure they're on top of the new laws that deal with personal injury cases.
When you represent yourself in a serious personal injury case, you're at a big disadvantage.
Why? Because the insurance adjuster is ramping up their side to try and crush your case. Best case scenario for them? Pay you nothing. Second best case scenario for them? Pay you very little.
Insurance adjusters can sometimes sense the desperation of a person who represents themselves. They know that you are drowning in medical bills and maybe even being threatened by collections companies. They also know that you might lose your job if you don't get back to work soon, and that those disability payments don't even come close to your full paycheck.
This is why insurance adjusters will make a low offer to a seriously injured person, hoping that they will sign on the dotted line and go away.
Did you know that insurance adjusters regularly pay a person who represents themselves less than the claim is worth? This is why the insurance may even tell you that you don't need an attorney, you can “work it out”, just the two of you. But, once you sign on the dotted line, you can't go back in time.
If I Hire An Attorney, How Long Will It Take For My Personal Injury Case To Settle?
That's a question that can not be easily answered. Sometimes a case takes months, other times, it can go on for years.
Some parts of your case are beyond your control, such as how complicated your case is. Sometimes a case looks like it's not as complicated. Then, it ends up being complicated.
At other times, the other party fights with the injured person's attorney over the threshold issue - who is at fault for the accident? This can complicate a case and take time to try and resolve.
If you have a serious injury, but there are problems with liability (who is at fault), that's something that has to be addressed.
But, the good news is that there are some things that you can do to help make your case better. Here are tips for you to help make your accident case better.
I'm Hurt Now - When Should I Hire An Attorney For My Personal Injury Case?
Let a good attorney handle your case as early as possible, from the beginning of your case.
If you follow this sound advice, you will have the opportunity to focus on your recovery.
For 15 years, I have been fighting for people who get hurt in accidents, and the families of those who pass away due to accidents.