When you drive the speed limit, use your signals when turning, keep all distractions to a minimum, and observe other safe driving habits, the last thing you expect is to get into a car accident. Unfortunately, not all drivers drive safely, and car accidents can happen that are not your fault. You may be rear-ended, t-boned, hit head-on, or swerved into, causing a serious crash that you had no control over. When this happens, you must be prepared. There are many steps to take that will ensure you are taken care of after being in a car accident that is not your fault. First and foremost, make sure that you are seen by medical professionals before taking any of the following steps.
After being treated for your injuries, if you are able to at the scene of the accident, collect the following important information:
- The at-fault driver’s name and identification information
- The at-fault driver’s insurance company name and policy information
- If there were witnesses to the auto accident, witness contact information
- Pictures and videos of the accident scene, including damage to all vehicles and your own injuries
- Police report number
- A written account of exactly what you remember within 24 hours of the accident occurring
All of this information will be critical in your upcoming insurance claim and/or lawsuit. Once you have this information and are ready to file a claim, contact the at-fault party’s insurance company to report the accident. Even though the driver who hit you is responsible for reporting the accident to their own insurance company, not all drivers do this. The other driver’s insurance company is required to pay for the damage to your car and for your medical bills related to the accident up to the limit of the other driver’s insurance policy. Make sure to tell the other driver’s insurance company that you were involved in a crash with one of their policyholders. Only give the facts of what happened, try not to state who was “at fault” but do relay how the collision happened. Giving the facts to the insurance agent will help show them that their policyholder was at fault for the car accident and is liable for the resulting damages. It is also a good idea to contact your own auto insurance company to let them know you were in an auto accident caused by another driver. If that driver does not have insurance, your uninsured or underinsured motorist policy may kick in to help compensate you for your damages.
Insurance Companies Try to Avoid Paying Car Accident Claims
Insurance companies typically do not want to pay claimants fairly. Even with every required piece of evidence, they will do their best to get you to admit that the accident was not “that bad” or that their policyholder was not at fault. These tactics can be very stressful and may make you feel as though you do not remember what happened during the crash. This is why having your own written account of what happened will be critical to reassure you about what you experienced. The other driver may claim not to be responsible for the accident, which can make your claim much less likely to be fully paid. Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side to help represent you throughout the insurance claims process can help alleviate the stress and worry of your claim being denied. In addition, the attorney will be prepared to immediately file a civil lawsuit for damages should the insurer fail to pay out a reasonable amount.
An experienced car accident attorney will be able to help you seek fair compensation for your injuries, damage to your vehicle, lost wages, and pain and suffering that resulted from the accident, in addition to any other compensable losses. They will be able to help you navigate the insurance system and the complicated laws related to car accidents. Hiring an attorney does not mean your case will automatically go to court or become a complicated, drawn-out legal battle. Attorneys will do their best to communicate with the other driver’s insurance company to resolve your claim and show the other driver caused the accident and resulting damage.
If the insurance company decides to fight your claim, your attorney will start the process of litigation and by filing a lawsuit against the driver that hit you and/or their insurance company. Experienced personal injury lawyers will know just how much compensation to seek that will cover your costs of recovery from the car accident. You may not end up in court as many cases are resolved with a settlement; however, if your case does go to trial, your attorney will be ready to fight for your rights as the victim.
Houston Car Accident Attorneys
Knowing what to do after a car accident that is not your fault can prevent you from being stuck with expensive medical bills, lost wages, and without a vehicle. Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys is ready to help you fight for your rightful financial compensation. Do not let the at-fault driver’s insurance company try to take advantage of you. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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