According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), American motorists are involved in about six million accidents every year. Many of those involved in such accidents have to make insurance claims and seek compensation for vehicle damage, bodily injuries and other related losses. At Goldberg & Dohan, a respected national law firm, we have helped over 10,000 clients and their families “get paid and get back to living” following such accidents.
While represent and guide our clients as they maneuver through the legal minefield of personal injury auto accident law, and it is very important for accident victims to take certain steps so as to avoid pitfalls that could jeopardize their claim.
- You must call the police. An official account is crucial when dealing with insurance claims. Don’t “feel bad” for the at fault person and figure you will deal with it later.
- If there is even the slightest suspicion that you or your passengers are hurt, call 911 immediately as ask for rescue services. They will provide an official documentation of your condition at the accident site. If necessary, request that Rescue take you to the nearest emergency room. Do not think your condition will improve when you get home. In fact, in our experience, the pain only increases once you get home.
- Gather as much information as possible at the accident site. This includes taking pictures of the damage to the cars and the scene with your smart phone, obtain the phone numbers of witnesses and the insurance information of those involved in the accident.
- As soon as is possible, call your insurance company to report the claim.
- Keep a record of all communications you have with your insurance company, including dates and names of people you spoke with, and the claim number.
- Save all the receipts and bills of accident-related expenses.
- Hire an attorney, who can inform you of your rights and guide you through the processes.
- Never give statements, written or verbal to anyone without the advice of your attorney.
- Do not admit liability since fault is not easily determined in car accidents.
- Never assume that your insurance adjuster’s decision is final. Talk to your attorney to determine the real value of your claim.
- Do not sign any waiver or release without consulting an attorney.