Imagine driving to work along your normal route through Baton Rouge. You were expecting another normal day: go to work, be productive and return home. Your typical day took a dive when a distracted driver made a fateful turn — illegally. Because the other driver chose to text instead of pay attention to basic traffic laws, such as red lights and right-of-way, you now have to deal with serious back and neck injuries and the damage to your car. In addition, it looks like you will be missing work for the foreseeable future.
If you have been involved in a car accident that is not your fault, it is important to have a plan for dealing with the insurance company. Being prepared before you make first-contact with the insurer will help you avoid having a total meltdown when dealing with an agent that more than likely does not really want to help you. Read further for tips on what to do after a car wreck that is not your fault.
Get relevant information
After a car wreck, each individual involved is responsible for notifying their respective car insurance companies. However, you cannot always count on that happening. That is why you should collect certain information about the accident. Be sure to get the other driver’s name, address and insurance information. In addition, get statements from anyone who witnessed the accident as well as their contact information. Also, be sure to take pictures of the scene, including the other driver’s license plate.
If you are unable to do these things because of an injury, maybe someone on the scene can help you document the situation.
Be wary of insurance adjusters
When you speak with an insurance adjuster, be aware that the adjuster’s questions are designed to minimize or even deny coverage. Keep in mind that a simple act of politeness — saying “I’m fine” or “I’m okay” — could be used against you to suggest that your injury is not as serious as it is.
After the accident, once you get appropriate medical attention, your next course of action should be to contact a personal injury lawyer. An attorney can handle all communications with the insurance company and help you build a case for the maximum available compensation. After all, insurance companies routinely offer initial settlements that come nowhere close to covering the full extent of damages.
Read Part 2 for more tips on what you should do after a car accident with a negligent driver.