Q: What information should I get from the other driver in a car accident?
A: Be sure to get the other driver’s name, address, telephone number, drivers license number and date of birth. You must also obtain name of the other driver’s insurance company and policy number. Do not rely on just getting the insurance information only.
Q: Should I report the car accident to my own insurance company?
A: Yes. In order to preserve your rights under your insurance policy, you must report the claim within a reasonable time. Unlike the other person’s insurance company, your insurance company works for you. Your insurance company is legally bound to process your claim in good faith. Sometimes, dealing with your insurance company is the best way to recover some of your losses especially when the other person’s insurance company is dragging their feet. However, if you fail to report your claim to your insurance company within a reasonable time, then your insurance company may deny coverage for your losses.
Q: Will my insurance rates increase if I report the accident to my insurance company?
A: Keep in mind that each insurance company operates differently. Generally speaking, however, if the car accident is determined not to be your fault and you have a good claims history with your insurance company, your rates should not increase just because you filed a claim. Many times, your insurance company will get reimbursed from the liable person’s insurance company. Your insurance company will then reimburse you for any deductibles you might have paid.
Q: Should I go to the doctor right away?
A: Yes! Do not delay seeking medical treatment. First and foremost, the ultimate goal is to recover from your injuries as quickly and as completely as possible. Go to the emergency room if you need immediate medical attention. The longer you wait to get medical treatment, the harder it becomes to prove you were injured as a result of the car accident. If you need further treatment, but you cannot afford to pay out of your pocket, your lawyer may be able to make arrangements with your doctor to get you the treatment you need.
Q: Should I use my own health insurance?
A: Whether or not you should use your health insurance depends on many variables. Of course, you should use your health insurance when you go to the emergency room. You should also use your health insurance if you have very serious injuries requiring surgery or some other complex and expensive medical procedures. This is usually the best way to get the treatment you need without undue delay. However, sometimes using your health insurance could unnecessarily complicate your case. Likewise, the decision to use your health insurance should be based upon an assessment of the specific circumstances in your case after a consultation with your lawyer.
Q: What do I do if I get a call from the other person’s insurance company?
A: Be polite and excuse yourself from the call. Then, CALL A LAWYER!!! You must understand that the other person’s insurance company works for the other person and not for you. They will probably be very comforting when they talk to you, but their loyalty is to their insured. Never give any sort of statement about the accident without first consulting a lawyer! Also know that the insurance adjuster is not a lawyer, and do not accept any legal advise from the adjuster.