How You Should Handle a Car Accident
Have you recently been involved in a car accident? Well, you’re not alone. According to statistics, 20-50 million people are injured or disabled in accidents every year. And this is why it’s so important that you know what steps to take after the accident. You never can be too sure about what type of compensation you’ll need. Let’s take a moment to discuss how you should handle a car accident.
One of the most crucial tips for handling a car accident is making sure that you take the time to document the entire process. From the time that your car comes to rest to the moment that you receive your compensation, you need to be aware of everything that’s going on around you and take notes.
A qualified car accident attorney in Los Angeles would agree that documentation is your best form of protection. It ensures that the insurance company has all of the facts. And if the case does happen to go to court, then you’ll have proof of all your claims. The most important instance in which you should be taking the most notes is at the scene of the accident.
For instance, when the officers arrive on scene, make sure that you get their information. Write down their names and badge numbers. Once they’ve finished filling out the report, make sure that you ask the officer where you can get a copy of it. Insurers usually ask for a copy when you file a claim.
You should also take pictures of the accident. Document the accident by taking pictures of each vehicle and from various angles. Make sure that you take the time to capture all of the damage on the cars. Also, try to get a shot of the other drivers’ license plates if you haven’t already written it down. You can email these pictures to your insurer as this will help to further support your claim.
Get the names of everyone involved in the accident. Speak with the other drivers and ask for their names, phone numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. You may even get the contact information of their passengers. Also, take note of people who witnessed the accident. Ask for their personal information as well. Witnesses can be a great help to your West Coast trial lawyers in case you have to go to court.
You should also make sure that you document any and all hospital visits, doctor’s appointments, and medical treatments that are related to your accident. It’s not enough to say that you’re injured. A personal injury lawyer will recommend that you get evidence of being injured. And the best way to do this is to show actual medical records. So ask for copies.
Report Your Accident to the Insurance Company
It’s important that you report your accident on time. Insurance policies typically suggest that you report your accident “promptly.” While this may seem a little vague, it usually means that you should report the accident as soon as possible. In many cases, you may need to report it while you’re still at the accident scene. If you want to be sure about the time limit for reporting an accident then check your policy or call and ask your insurance provider directly.
Luckily, there are certain companies that make the process as easy as possible. For instance, some companies offer a mobile app. These apps can help you to further document the accident as well as help you file your claim–whether you file with them or with the other driver’s insurance company. You may also choose to file your claim over the phone with a representative.
After you have reported the accident to the insurance company, you’ll also be given time to file any resulting claims. Insurance companies will typically give you two to three years to file your resulting claim depending on what type of coverage you have. You should check with your provider or look over your policy in order to find out how long you’ll be given to file claims after your accident. Just keep in mind that once you’ve officially filed your claim, there’s a good chance that the provider will give you a shorter deadline in which you need to submit all of your related documents.
Be Careful About Who You Speak With
As you can see, it’s very important that you speak with your insurance company as soon as possible. This will help to expedite your claim and ensure that you get the compensation you need. However, remember that you’re not obligated to speak with the insurance company of the other drivers.
You see, it’s very likely that the insurance company of the other driver will contact you within 24 hours of your accident. But keep in mind that you aren’t under any obligation to speak with them. Instead, you should direct all of their questions and concerns to your lawyer.
Why is this? Well, the other insurance company isn’t going to work in your best interest. In fact, they’re actually working to pay as little compensation as possible, if any. Their main goal is to deny your claim or negotiate the lowest settlement possible.
If they do contact you, they’ll ask to record you. While they may seem very friendly at first and express their desire to speed up your claim, they’ll be working to get damaging testimony. They’ll ask tricky questions. Some will even become aggressive with their line of questioning. And it’s easy to get tripped up if they’re experienced at getting the information that they want. So it’s best to refuse to be recorded and refuse to speak with them personally.
Work With a Lawyer
If you want to ensure that everything goes well after the accident, then you must be aware of your rights. While you could do the research on your own, it’s often challenging to find out which rules apply to your specific case. Not only can the law be difficult to interpret but it varies from state to state. And that’s why it’s a good idea to get legal representation.
The benefit of working with a car accident attorney in Los Angeles is that he or she will be able to steer you in the right direction. They’re used to dealing with cases like yours and have the necessary experience. They know what tricks insurance companies try to play on innocent drivers and they’ll be prepared to deal with them or bypass them altogether.
A personal injury lawyer will let you know when you should negotiate or when you should take your case to court. They’ll also be aware of what amount is best to settle at. Perhaps the biggest benefit of working with professionals is that they can help take away some of the stress the comes with a car accident case. If you’re curious to know more about how you should handle a car accident case, then contact West Coast trial lawyers for additional information.
Everyone hates being involved in car accidents. However, there are ways in which you can reduce the stress the typically comes along with this process. Ultimately, the best step you can take is seeking the guidance of legal professionals.