We’ve all seen the commercials … Insurance companies claiming that they treat you “like a good neighbor” or assuring you that “you’re in good hands.” With all these reassurances, it’s no wonder that when someone gets into an auto accident they expect that the insurance company (their own or the other driver’s) will do the right thing. Unfortunately, most of the time they simply DO NOT!
Since 1984 our firm has represented thousands of auto accident victims. During that time we have repeatedly witnessed insurance companies take advantage of common, and seemingly innocent, mistakes that our clients have made before hiring us. In hopes that you don’t make these same mistakes, here are 4 Important Tips to Remember if You’ve Been in an Automobile Accident:
- TAKE PICTURES – Chances are that your cell phone has a camera … USE IT! Take photographs of the damage to any/all of the vehicles involved (the more the better), snap some frames (or take a video) of the entire accident scene (especially important in an intersection/”T-bone” accident), use your camera to document the other driver’s information.
- GET WITNESS INFO – Get contact information of other drivers, pedestrians, good Samaritans, etc. that witnessed the collision or came to the scene to help. Don’t expect that this information will show up in a police report … often times it does not! Witnesses can be the difference between an insurance company accepting or denying liability.
- GO SEE A DOCTOR – If you experience any pain or unfamiliar symptoms go see a doctor immediately (preferably within 24 hours). Auto accident victims tend to expect that stiffness in their neck or back, pain in their head or shoulders and/or tingling in their legs or arms will “just go away.” Unfortunately, often these complaints persist and can be indicative of more serious injuries. The longer you wait to receive medical care, the more likely an insurance company will point to that delay as evidence that your injury wasn’t that bad.
- BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY – Insurance companies (yours and others) will try to contact you soon after an accident and while it may sound like they are being helpful, these conversations can be damaging to your claim/case. When injury victims say things like “my back is ‘a little’ sore,” or “I think I’ll be ‘OK’,” or “the impact felt ‘moderate’” insurance companies tend to use those words against them in the future.
If you are the victim in an automobile accident, following these simple tips might be the difference between being treated like you are “in good hands” or as though you’ve been slapped in the face.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident visit http://www.tomalaslaw.com or call 949-756-8711 for a FREE case evaluation.