Recover When an Auto Accident Isn’t Your Fault
Even the safest drivers have accidents and often the auto accident isn’t your fault, but is the fault of someone else. After an accident, there are things that are part of the protocol to ensure a settlement to make you whole.
According to Enjuris:
Statistics show that even the most cautious and careful motorists are likely to be involved in some sort of accident – even something as innocuous as a fender-bender – during their lifetimes. Car insurance companies actually noted that every 17.9 years, a driver is expected to file an insurance claim for a collision. Being prepared is the best defense and can save time, money and pain.
Whether it’s a fender bender or a serious wreck, you need knowledge. Here is how to recover when an auto accident isn’t your fault.
Contact the Police
Even in an accident that doesn’t seem serious, it is important to notify the police and file a report. This is especially helpful if the accident was not your fault. If the other driver flees the scene, report it anyway and give any information that you can remember. This includes identifying information on the other car or driver.
For drivers who remain at the scene, exchange pertinent information. This includes things such as:
- Name, address, and phone number
- Driver’s license information
- License plate information
- Insurance company contact information, including the policy number
Check for Injuries
After an accident, you may have injuries. It is crucial to assess how you are doing. If your injuries aren’t serious, you should still consider seeking attention from a doctor or medical professional. Many times, slight injuries show up as being more serious than you first thought. Or, you may feel fine right after the accident, only to notice pain later on.
For moderate injuries, seek medical attention as soon as possible so that the injury isn’t exacerbated by a lack of treatment.
If your injuries are serious, call an ambulance or have some call for you.
A helpful tip is to see your primary care physician if there is even the slightest need. This is so that it cannot be claimed that you had a preexisting condition or that you are claiming injuries that did not occur due to the accident.
The Accident Scene
The Scene of the Accident holds crucial information. If there are witnesses to the accident, get their contact information. This will help your case against the other driver if there is someone else who can offer their statement.
If possible, take photos of the accident including anything that is relevant. This includes the weather, all vehicles, skid marks, license plates, damages, and injuries. The more data you have in your possession, the better your case.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Regardless of who is at fault, contact your insurance company and give them the details of the accident. The details of your policy will tell you what is and isn’t covered. Working with an insurance adjuster helps synchronize the other’s driver’s insurance with your own. This is so that you receive the best possible coverage.
Consult an Attorney
Whether the accident was your fault or someone else was at fault, there are times when you need to do more than go through the insurance claims process. A personal injury attorney or car accident attorney knows the steps it takes to help you recover after an accident.
This is often imperative for a few reasons:
- Insurance companies have their own interest in mind
- Many insurance companies will pay out the lowest possible number you will accept
- Even if the accident was not your fault, the insurance company for the other driver may try to pin the wreck on you to mitigate their losses
There are other reasons to hire a lawyer after a car accident – especially one that is not your fault.
For instance, there are times when determining negligence is difficult. This can be due to the circumstances of the accident, a lack of witnesses, or not having evidence to back up your claim.
Another example that showcases the need for an attorney is if you inadvertently admit to any fault. Adjusters are trained well at what they do. There may be an instance where someone you said is used against you to lower your claim or even dismiss it in full.
A car accident lawyer knows how to navigate the claims process. Instead of working for the other party or the insurance company, they work for you to ensure you are made whole. For some, there are lingering effects of the accident that may be long-term injuries or mental health issues.
The attorney is there to negotiate with the insurance company to get a settlement that is fair and just.
According to Driver Knowledge:
3 million people in the U.S. are injured every year in car accidents and around 2 million drivers in car accidents experience permanent injuries every year.
This is why it is imperative to have the information you need to get recourse. Including care of your vehicle damages, injuries, and any other losses that occur. Especially due to someone else being at fault in a wreck.
Consult With Professionals Who Care
Smiley Injury Law has experienced legal professionals that care and will make you a priority. With offices in Louisiana, California, and Texas, we focus on attention to detail. We work with compassion for our clients, and we don’t want you having to fight the insurance company by yourself.
We are available 24-hours a day at (504) 434-7700 to help with answering your questions and processing your claim. It’s easy to set up a free consultation and have your case evaluated.
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