What to Do After a Car Accident
If you are involved in an auto accident, you may be wondering what you should do.
Do you need to contact a lawyer?
Is the insurance company going to pay you for your car? Will you need to file a lawsuit?
Whether you’ve been in an accident that was your fault or not, you could have some questions about what to do next.
Here is information on what to do after an accident.
Get Medical Attention Quickly
If you are injured in an accident, seek medical attention. Auto accidents can cause severe injuries like broken bones, concussions, internal bleeding, and burns.
Even if you have minor cuts, bruises, or bumps, make an appointment at a doctor or clinic as soon as you can.
While at the health facility, make sure that a proper record is made of your condition and the injuries you sustained. This will be helpful when you file for compensation from your insurer.
Insurance companies use these details to help calculate your no-fault insurance claim.
Contact a qualified Michigan personal injury attorney for more information on what is covered and how much compensation you may be entitled to.
File a Report with the Police
Michigan law requires that you file a police report if your car is involved in a crash that results in death, injury, or property damage of $1,000 or more.
Furthermore, the police report is important for the following reasons:
- It will help your insurer calculate your no-fault insurance claim.
- It will aid law enforcement in identifying and locating drivers at fault.
- It will help your attorney determine who’s at fault if you have an accident with someone else.
- It’s also important to file a police report if your vehicle is damaged. If you don’t, the insurance company may deny your claim or not pay for any repair work needed to get it back on the road.
Filing a police report can be very helpful, but only if you do so as soon as possible.
Find an Experienced Attorney
Find an experienced car accident lawyer who understands the ins and outs of auto accident law in Michigan.
No matter the circumstances in your case, an attorney will know the laws regarding auto accidents and can advise you on your best course of action.
Once you have hired an attorney, make sure that you provide them with the police report, medical records, and photos of the damage to your vehicle. These items are critical when preparing for negotiations with the insurance company.
Your attorney should be able to help you:
- Decide if you need to take a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or collision deductible.
- Calculate the amount of no-fault benefits you are entitled to receive.
- File a claim on your behalf with your insurer.
- If you are involved in an accident with someone else, help negotiate compensation for the other driver’s damages.
Notify Your Insurance Company and Apply For Benefits
Inform your insurance company immediately of the auto accident so they can begin processing your claim. When filing a claim, make sure to include a copy of the police report.
Insurance providers will generally have a 30-day limit for filing claims, after which they will not cover any damages that occurred in an auto accident. If you do not file a claim within the first 30 days, your insurer will have no reason to pay out any benefits.
If you are in an accident that results in physical damage to your vehicle, contact your local auto body shop. Ask for an estimate of the cost of repairs – your insurer will require this information when determining the amount of compensation to pay.
Your no-fault policy entitles you to income loss compensation, medical bills, and replacement services such as house or garden chores.
Under Michigan law, insurance companies are required to pay certain medical bills and other expenses related to auto accidents without requiring you to prove who was at fault.
These benefits are called no-fault coverage because they are available regardless of whether you were at fault for the accident.
Keep Good Records for Legal and Medical Reasons
It is important to keep good records of your claim. You should keep copies of all documentation related to your claim, including:
- Medical records from doctors and clinics you visit.
- Photocopies of any prescriptions or receipts you receive from the doctor.
- Records of the auto repair shops that fix your vehicle.
- Copies of any bills you sent to the insurance company.
- Copies of any bills you paid on your own.
- If you have been injured in an auto accident, make sure to file a police report immediately. Keep a copy of it so you can submit it to your insurer when filing your claim.
If you don’t keep these records, you may not get paid for expenses you incurred as a result of the accident. They also serve as evidence if you are sued by someone else.
Do Not Talk To an Insurance Adjuster
Do not speak to an insurance adjuster if you or a family member is injured in an auto accident. Insurance companies may try to pressure you into accepting a settlement that is less than what you deserve.
Do not talk to an insurance adjuster before your attorney has reviewed all the evidence. Insurance companies will sometimes offer to help you with your claim.
If you sign a release form or give them information about your claim, they may use this information against you when negotiating your settlement with your insurer.
Keep a copy of all correspondence you receive from your insurer. Your insurer may offer to provide compensation without having to sue.
However, if you accept this offer and sign a release, the insurance company can still use it against you in a lawsuit. Make sure your lawyer is reviewing all correspondence from the insurance company.
If you have questions about your claim, contact a qualified Michigan car accident lawyer.
In the aftermath of a car accident, do not attempt to deal with the insurance company alone. Keep in mind that insurance claims are not about who is at fault for an accident. This is a fact-driven process, so do not hesitate to seek legal counsel to review your options.
Your insurance carrier will ultimately decide how much compensation to pay you – but your attorney can help you understand your rights and responsibilities under the law.
Get help from a Michigan car accident lawyer at HYT Law on (833) 6-Win-Big, who is experienced in dealing with insurance companies and can negotiate on your behalf to get the maximum possible payout.