What to do in a Car Accident?
If you’ve been injured in any motor-vehicle accident, because of someone else’s negligence, you might be wondering what the next steps would be. Well, the first and most important thing to do is to talk to a car accident attorney.
Things to do in a Car Accident:
- STOP. Never drive away from the scene of an accident
- CALL THE POLICE. You may need a police report to file a claim
- TAKE PICTURES. Of the property damage and physical injuries
- EXCHANGE INFORMATION. Other driver’s: personal and insurance info
- CONTACT A CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY. Immediately
After a car accident is strictly important to follow these steps, if you’d like to receive compensation. Usually, the compensation is for medical bills (ambulance at the scene, physical therapy, etc.), property damage and lost income (past and future).
Once you contact a car accident lawyer, you’ll be able to start your case. Keep in mind that the more information you gather, the bigger the compensation will be.
Here at Malloy Law Offices, we truly value our clients. We have been in your position before, and know what it’s like that’s why we want to keep you informed every step of the way and provide you with the necessary information to make the process easier.
Below you will find a list of items we need you to keep in mind moving forward, and should you have any questions just remember we are a phone call away.
Keep Us Informed
Your cooperation is important in making certain that your case proceeds smoothly. Keep us informed. Please call us with any new information regarding the accident, such as: the names of witnesses, insurance information, or any additional information you feel would be helpful. We will act on the information as soon as possible.
Insurance companies do not pay money willingly. The insurance company defending your claim can be expected to thoroughly investigate the facts of the accident, your medical treatment, and any past injuries and past claims. They will obtain copies of all past medical records, and they will easily obtain records of any and all prior claims against any other insurance company. Therefore, instead of learning about it later from the insurance company, it is extremely important that you advise us now of any such injuries and claims.
Your automobile insurance
As soon as possible please provide our office with a copy of your automobile insurance declaration sheet showing your coverage. This is very important. If you have any questions about this please call our office immediately.
Do not talk
Do not discuss your case with anyone. The reason for this is what you may consider to be an innocent remark on your part, could be distorted or changed by others, especially the other party’s insurance company. If anyone calls you regarding the accident, obtain their name and phone number and advise them that your attorney will contact them (especially if it is your insurance company or the defendant’s). You can, however, speak to your insurance company regarding property damage or rental cars if necessary. Call us as soon as possible to tell us who called you. We will call them back immediately.
Do not sign
Do not sign any papers that did not come from our team or were not seen by our team. Do not sign any statements, forms, reports or any other documents unless we tell you to do so. If you are ever in doubt, call us first. Remember, anything you sign can be used against you.
Photographs are important in helping prove liability and negligence. We need photos of the damage to the car you were in and of any visible injuries you received, such as cuts, bruises or lacerations. We facilitated the process by giving you access to a portal. You will receive an email if you have not already from our portal encouraging you to create a username and password. Please proceed to do so. Once you have created an account you can go ahead and upload any documents or images to the portal which will be sent directly to our team. PS- you can also chat with your case manager on the portal.
Attend all of your doctor’s appointments, and advise us if you are unable to keep your doctor appointments, or if you change doctors or if you see another medical provider in addition to your treating physician. We need all medical and billing information in order to obtain full compensation for your injuries. If you finish physical therapy and are continuing to have pain, please let us know right away. Our priority here is your health. Call us before, during, and after your medical treatment, it is important to us to be updated on your medical conditions every step of the way during your case.
Keep a record of all receipts for any purchases for prescription medication, doctor visits, hospital bills, orthopedic collars, casts or braces and upload any copies to your portal for our team’s reference. We will request medical records on your behalf, but sometimes medical providers can take a while to get back to us so if you already have a copy, you can speed up the process by sending them our way. If you receive any disability notes from your doctor, send them our way!
If you have group medical insurance through your work or your spouse’s employment, be sure to give your doctor this insurance information, so they may process it for you. If you receive any medicare or medicaid, let us know. If you receive any benefits such as SSI, SSDI, unemployment, retirement, or other types of disability benefits, we need to know of every single one along with any documents you have pertaining to this benefit.
We want to get your car repaired as soon as possible. If you need help negotiating property damage with your insurance company, please let us know. You are allowed to speak to your insurance company regarding property damage and car rentals.
Time off Work
Should you have to miss any work due to the accident you are entitled to be compensated for this loss. Keep in mind that in order for us to obtain maximum compensation for you we will need a few things to help prove loss of income. We will need the following items:
- A letter from your employer verifying the time you lost and the resulting financial value.
- If you used up sick time, vacation time or holiday time from your job due to the accident but received your regular pay in full or in part there is still a loss to you. Therefore you are entitled to be compensated for it. If this is your situation, advise us and we will do whatever is necessary to process this aspect of your case.
- Copies of check stubs and tax returns. If you are self-employed we will need other documents to verify the loss.
When you return to work call us to discuss your loss of earnings.
If you are claiming lost earnings or lost time away from your occupation due to your injury, you must advise us of the date of your return to work, and who we should contact for a written verification to be used as proof of your loss. You must inform us, even if you were reimbursed with salary, sick time, vacation time, etc.
Keep a Diary
Since a component part of your claim for damages is the disruption of your daily life, a record of these disruptions will help you remember specifics. These disruptions may include activity restrictions (from jogging to house chores), inconvenience, as well as great physical pain causing you to be bedridden. Writing short notes in a calendar on the days the disruptions occur can be very helpful with remembering events and details.
These notes will be extremely useful later in presenting your claim, and should be saved and forwarded to our office.
Once we have received all the papers necessary to process your case we will forward them to the insurance company and begin negotiations. Please be patient. Successful negotiations with insurance companies are extremely delicate and the process takes time. You may have heard before, great things take time to happen, and that is true! We will keep you informed of all settlement offers on your case and it will be your decision whether to accept or reject any of them. Of course, we will advise regarding the amount being offered.