What should I do if I’m injured in an auto accident?
If you or any other passenger is injured in an auto accident and you have access to a mobile phone, call 911 and request that a police officer respond to the scene.
When the responding officer asks if you are injured and you are not obviously injured or are uncertain of your symptoms, tell him or her that you won’t be certain until a physician examines you. “Soft tissue” injuries sometimes do not become evident until a day or two after a car accident. Other types of injuries may not manifest themselves until weeks after the accident.
See a doctor. Even if your injuries do not become apparent until weeks or months after a motor vehicle accident, a delayed diagnosis can significantly affect the outcome of your accident lawsuit.
Should I trust the claims adjuster?
It depends on whether the claims adjuster represents or was assigned by your own insurance company or by that of the other party’s or parties’ involved in the accident.
In theory, your own insurance company is supposed to put your interests ahead of its own. In practice, if such is not the case, at least you have the recourse of filing a “first-party liability insurance bad faith claim”.
You should certainly be suspicious of a third party-adjuster, or if the other party’s liability insurance company happens to be the same as yours. In such a case, the adjuster’s loyalty is with the party that injured you.
A third-party insurance adjuster may attempt to secure a statement from you that could reduce the amount of damages you will recover, or to have you sign releases or authorizations that allows him or her access to your confidential records. The adjuster may also try to discourage you from retaining an auto accident lawyer to represent you, in part by suggesting to you that the worth of your claim has already been determined.
If you are a victim of an automobile accident and you are asked by a third-party insurance adjuster to give a statement, our auto accident attorneys generally advise clients to politely tell the adjuster that your attorney has advised you not to provide a statement until after you have discussed the claim with counsel.
What if the other driver does not have insurance?
You may file a claim against the other driver instead of his or her insurance company or you may be able to recover compensation from your own insurance company. Your accident attorney may be able to suggest additional courses of action.
What if I was partially at fault for the accident?
Depending on the state in which the accident took place, you may be able to use the doctrine of comparative negligence to recover damages for the other driver’s part in contributing to the cause of the accident.
Will I need to go to court?
An experienced auto accident attorney with a successful track record is likelier to recover a higher amount of compensation for your damages at trial. The other party may be aware of this and may wish to settle the case out of court. But be wary of a less experienced attorney who, out of expediency, may wish to settle your case for less than you deserve.
For what damages may I receive compensation?
In an auto accident resulting in serious injuries, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Medical Expenses
- Future Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Household Services
- General Damages
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Loss of Consortium
- Loss of Consortium of Child
- Loss of Companionship
- Pain and Suffering
Our auto accident attorneys can answer additional questions you may have with regard to your auto accident claim or lawsuit as well as many other personal injury matters. Contact us today.