5 Important Tips If In a Car Accident – A Post Accident Checklist
It’s everywhere and NO one is immune to its wrath. This is one of the snowiest Winters on record for the Northeast and the West coast took it’s fair share of rain too.
What does bad weather mean? Other than scraping windshields and freezing tushies…accidents. Lots and lots of accidents. In the event you are one of the unfortunate, here are a couple of tips to help you out and decrease the stress of a VERY stressful situation. I should know I was in a HUGE accident my senior year of college. I was nearly killed. I naively assumed my insurance paid my medical bills. In the meantime my credit was severely FICO’d as the unpaid bills went into collections. If only I had known these tips BEFORE! Please, please learn from my mistakes, and tell a friend. Thanks!
p.s. Side Note: Approx. 3 years after my accident I hired an attorney. The only good thing is I did was not settle my case. I don’t know how I could have settled even if I wanted to? I couldn’t get a straight answer or get a return call from my adjuster. Heck, the company didn’t even know who was handling my case! Not long after I hired an attorney they magically found my adjuster, imagine that! I was awarded several thousand in addition to all my bills paid and cleared.
1. Call the police – They officially document the motor vehicle crash . The story of how an accident occurred, even 1 hour after a crash, can vary greatly. Police reports are a good thing!
2. Take pictures – A picture truly is worth a thousand words! Get a picture of your car and any other cars involved. Take pictures of people, witnesses, road conditions, etc… cell phone pictures are better than nothing! Stash a disposable camera in your glove compartment, just in case.
3. Get Names of Witnesses – Everything may seem clear at the scene of an accident, but stories change, reports can be wrong, and if you need to take your case to court, these witnesses are invaluable. A name and phone number is enough. Though the police do take the names of witnesses, don’t assume the police are going to find or record witnesses for you. Keep this record handy in case the insurance challenges your case or you hire an attorney.
4. Exchange Insurance Information – Most people will readily exchange auto insurance information at an accident scene. Little known fact, if this info is not obtained at the scene, the only way to get the information later on (if not volunteered), is to start a lawsuit. Seriously? I know! But it’s true.
5. Call Guy Mattson– Who is Guy? Well other than being my totally awesome husband and he is a passionate advocate for the injured. Let him be a calm, trusted voice for you when your adrenaline is pumping and your body is hurting. It doesn’t matter if you’re at fault for the accident or not, he is just happy to answer your questions if you have them. Guy Mattson 612-554-2792. I am only sharing this with you because I truly believe he can help you.
:::: Bonus Tips ::::
Bonus Tip 1: Having difficulty contacting your insurance adjuster? Not getting calls returned? Call your insurance’s mainline for claims usually located on their website and ask who is handling the claim for your case. Many times your adjuster changes without notice and then s/he will not return your calls because they now are not handling your case. Lovely! Sound frustrating? Well it is! This is what happened to me. Serious headaches and run-arounds can be avoided. Sometimes. They do this on purpose to be difficult, in my opinion.
Bonus Tip 2: You aren’t automatically suing when hiring an attorney, 90% or more are settled without filing a law suit. When all is said and done clients end up with their medical bills paid, typically extra money for their trouble. In addition, Guy, my hubby, informed me in the last 6 years he has never seen a client pay an attorney’s fee or a medical bill out of pocket. I WISH I would have known this before my accident. I was so scared hiring an advocate like Guy would have put me more in the hole. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Bonus Tip 3: I don’t know about you but I hate talking to insurance adjusters. So sweet…so kind…then bam they turn on you like a moody teenager. Did you know once you have hired an attorney you no longer need to take calls from the insurance company or medical providers (about bills)? Yep you heard that right! Your attorney will contact the insurance company and tell them all future contact regarding your case should run through their office. If you happen to get an unwelcome phone call you can just say – call my attorney please (click). Your attorney will handle the insurance company and you can concentrate on getting better. It is divine!
MEGA BONUS TIP: Never never NEVER give a recorded statement to a rep. or adjuster from an insurance company until you have consulted with a lawyer. Just say, “I am not prepared to provide a statement at this time” . This recorded statement can be used as evidence and if you’re not prepared you might overlook important details which may hurt your case. Call Guy Mattson, he can advise you through this stressful process. 612-554-2792
Guy Mattson is a personal injury attorney in the Twin Cities. To learn more about child safety, insurance policies, accident prevention, and individual injury rights visit Guy’s blog at www.myrightscount.com or contact Guy directly 612-554-2792