Whenever you are in a motor vehicle, there is a risk of getting into an accident. Whether you are part of a minor fender bender or a big injury incident, knowing ahead of time what to do can prevent costly mistakes with your claim. Here we have discussed what to do after a collision so that when you notify your insurance and are seeking compensation, you receive the fair amount you deserve. Most people who are in auto accidents will sustain some degree of physical injury from impact, along with financial hardships from property damage and loss of wages. Below are some helpful insurance tips.
Uninsured? Read Oregon Uninsured Motorist Laws
Choosing the Right Insurance Policy
When purchasing your insurance, carefully look over your coverage before signing to assess if the policy limits, coverages, and deductibles are appropriate for your needs. After you get your policy, read over the declaration page, which will list the names of covered drivers and the vehicles insured. Make sure this information is correct, and if it isn’t, notify your insurer right away. Becoming familiar with your insurance company and policy is a great way to know what you are covered for if you have to file a claim. Read through your policy entirely and highlight the main points so you understand what is covered, and what is excluded.
Immediate Actions to Take After an Accident
If you are in an accident, stop and move only if it is safe for you to do so. Call 911 so that anyone who is injured can get medical attention immediately. An officer will likely arrive at the scene, in which you can tell them what happened through your perspective. Stick to facts only and do not place blame, as that is something your insurance company is going to handle for you later. A police report will entail facts pertaining to the incident and can be influential in proving fault.
Gathering Evidence and Witness Information at the Scene
Other elements of proof that will be useful include photographs of your visible injuries, property damage to both vehicles, glass or debris in the road, and the whole scene. Video footage helps as well. If there were bystanders or passengers who saw what happened, ask for their name and contact so your personal injury lawyer can reach out to them for a statement. Before leaving the scene, be sure to gather the following from the other driver:
First and last name
Driver’s license number
Insurance company name
Phone number for their insurance company
Vehicle license plate number
Vehicle description and color
Filing a Claim and the Importance of Legal Assistance
After you file a claim with your insurance company, they will reach out for more details regarding your injuries and any financial loss you accumulated. Your insurance may ask you to provide a written or recorded statement. But as our friends from Cohen & Cohen knows, it’s best to contact a lawyer before offering your statement.
Unfortunately, insurance companies use this as a way to get claimants to make statements that will reduce the value of or allow them to deny the claim. Despite insurance companies supposedly being there when people need them, many find that it is exactly the opposite. For this reason, it’s wise to consider meeting with a legal team so that you are protected during this time.
For more insurance tips, contact us!