Unfortunately, car wrecks happen all the time. Insurance companies are in business solely to earn a profit, from the money you pay to them in insurance premiums and from their investments. They will try to do everything in their power to pay as little on your claim as possible.
Here are a few important things to consider when you are involved in a wreck:
- Call the police to investigate. Obviously, if you are injured, get medical attention immediately. However, if you are able to remain at the scene, it is always better to wait for the police and make sure they create a report of the incident. The insurance company will do everything it can to try to blame you for the accident if that can help it avoid liability. A police report may not be conclusive, but it could be strong evidence in your favor. If you are physically able to do so without harming yourself, try to get statements from witnesses as well as names and contact information.
- Get photos of the scene including skid marks, damage to the vehicles, where the vehicles stopped after the crash, the intersection or scene, perhaps, even, the parties involved. Take a picture of their driver’s license and insurance card.
- Do not admit the wreck was your fault. Do not lie, either, because that will only make your case worse – and could subject you to criminal penalties. Negligence, or “tort,” law can be more complicated than it seems. Talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer about your rights.
- Don’t trust the adjuster. The adjuster works for the insurance company. While he or she may seem like a nice person who wants to help, his/her ultimate loyalty is to ensure the insurance company pays you as little money as possible.
- Assume all your communications with the insurance adjuster will be recorded, but never verbally consent to a recorded statement without a lawyer present. What you say can, and will, be used against you by the insurance company. In general, other than timely reporting the accident to the insurance company, it is always best to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer and have the lawyer negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
- If you receive follow-up medical treatment, follow the doctor’s advice. Get whatever medical treatment you need to get you back to as good of a medical recovery as possible.