Automobile, Personal Injury Insurance Claims Dos and Don’ts
I was in a car wreck. What do I do now?
First, say a "thank you" prayer to God that you are still alive. I have seen some really tragic deaths from car wrecks over my career.
Second, if you are injured or are feeling pain, go to your family doctor, an immedidate care center or an emergency room. If you have health insurance, we can use that insurance coverage to pay your medical expenses. If on your car insurance you have no-fault or med-pay coverage, we can use that coverage instead. If you don't have any of those kinds of insurance coverage, call me and we will see if a chiropractor or a medical doctor might be willing to see you by asserting a lien against your personal injury claim. While this is not the best choice, the primary concern has to be getting you to feel better so you can return to work while documenting the pain and suffering you are experiencing in the doctor's medical records.
Third, take photographs of the damage to the vehicles, the damage to your car and any bruises or lacerations you experienced from the car wreck. Especially when it comes to motorcycle wrecks and car accidents, the old phrase about a picture being worth a thousand words is defintely true.
Fourth, I handle car wreck claims for a career. I am literally dealing with injury claims 24 hours a day seven days a week. As a result, call me because I will be up and happy to talk to you about your injuries and how the accident happened.
Fifth, do not settle any part of your personal injury claim. If an insurance company is offering you money immediately to settle your injury claim, they are not being your friend. They are trying to buy the risk that you might need more treatment, for example surgery, and they are do not want to be responsible for that treatment or the cost of that treatment. When I conclude a personal injury claim and I am having my client sign a personal injury release, I tell them all the following:
"If you go back to the doctor tomorrow and he tells you are blind because of the car wreck, there is no way to recover anything further. It does not matter how when it was discovered or how badly you were injured. You can not recover one cent more and your personal injury claim is concluded. The personal injury release was a contract and no matter how bad the terms of that contract may be, you will be held to it. "Caveat Emptor" means let the buyer beware and this harsh concept controls the law of personal injury releases."