Get educated. Be prepared. Take action.
In the first moments after you’ve been in a crash, your thoughts splinter in every direction. Am I injured? Are my kids ok? Are the people in the other car injured? Is my car totaled? Is it driveable?
Then another thought makes its way through the panic – will my insurance cover this?
No one likes to think about the possibility of being injured in an accident, but the steps you take next can have far-reaching implications. You also need to realize that your rights are different in Ohio and Kentucky.
You’ve been in an accident. Now what?
We hope you never end up in this situation. But, if it happens, here’s what you need to do for your own protection and to help things go smoothly later, after the dust settles:
- Stop immediately at the scene.
- Call the police or 911.
- Obtain license plate and vehicle identification numbers (VIN).
- Ask to see driver’s licenses and verify that the information is correct.
- Exchange names, addresses and phone numbers of other passengers and witnesses.
- Use your smart phone to record or take photographs of the accident scene and be sure to get several shots of the damage and the position of the cars. Be sure to get several angles from several distances.
- If you are the victim of a hit and run situation, it is critical to locate and identify witnesses who saw the accident. Be sure to get their names and phone numbers. Ask them to wait until the police arrive.
- Call your insurance company immediately.
- Admit your fault or liability in the accident.
- Argue with anyone at the scene.
- Accept any payment from anyone at the scene.
- Sign anything, especially anything releasing the other party from responsibility.
- Make any statement regarding your health and injury status other than to say you would like to be checked out either now on later.
When dealing with your insurace company:
- Carefully fill out every form and double check for accuracy.
- Stay on top of a claim once it’s filed. Stay in touch with the insurance company and call regularly to sort out any questions and to remain informed of the status of the claim in process. Be mindful of timelines stated in your contract.
- Put everything in writing and keep records of ALL correspondence. Note time, date and name of the person you spoke to on the phone as well as details of the conversation and any follow-up steps they – and you – are supposed to take. Print out emails and keep copies of bills and statements together. Keep all paperwork for one claim together, sorted sequentially by date.
- Do not give up or become flustered if the insurance company seems to want information that may not be relevant. Call us to help you determine if the requests are appropriate.
We are prepared to be your advocate bringing our trial experience to work for you. We have a good relationship with insurance companies and can help you resolve disputes. If, however, you are getting the run around, we know how to put a stop to it. Fighting for ordinary people and winning is what we do. Give us a call, and we'll take it from here.