What Should I do When I am Involved in an Automobile Accident?

WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN I AM INVOLVED IN AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT THAT WAS SOMEONE ELSE'S FAULT?

  1. Should I give a statement to the insurance company for the driver who caused the accident?
    No, not unless your attorney is present with you at the time you are being interviewed. While the insurance company has an interest in investigating the facts surrounding your accident, the other goal of interviewing you soon after an accident is to lock you down as to precisely what happened. If you are injured, are under the influence of medications or have not fully pieced together in your mind what happened, you should decline making any statement until you have consulted with a lawyer.
  2. What else should I do after I've been in an accident involving personal injuries?
    After you have received the medical treatment that you need for your injuries, it is very important to document the physical damage done to your vehicle by photographing it, if you, a family member or friend are able to do so. Photographs of the exterior and interior of your car should be taken to depict the type of damage that was caused by the collision. Also, if there were any witnesses to your accident and they advised you, friends or family members that they witnessed the accident, you should attempt to get their names and phone numbers so that you can give them to your attorney. The police generally do a good job identifying witnesses to an accident, but sometimes people will give their name and number and then leave the scene before the police have an opportunity to interview them. Therefore, it is important to try to nail down the identities of everyone who witnessed the accident and their phone numbers so that your attorney can contact and interview them about what they witnessed. If possible, you should have a family member or friend photograph the scene if there were skid marks or other physical signs on the roadway because this may help your attorney in "reconstructing" the events. Depending on when you hire your attorney, any skid marks or other physical evidence may be long gone. Therefore, it is important to consult a personal attorney as soon as possible after your accident or document as much information you can prior to contacting an attorney.
  3. What is "medical payments" coverage?
    Medical payments coverage is a no-fault provision that many automobile policies contain. If your vehicle has medical payments coverage, then you are entitled to reimbursement from your own insurance company for medical bills incurred up to the limits of your medical payments coverage. For example, if you have medical payments coverage of $5,000, the first $5,000 of your medical bills can be submitted to your carrier and you will receive reimbursement for it. At Pierce & Thornton, we will help you obtain your medical payments coverage as part of our representation of you and your personal injury case.