1. Call 911 Immediately After A Car Accident
so that the police will come to the scene to arrange for medical transport if needed for any injured occupants and to investigate and document the circumstances of the collision.
2. Seek Prompt Medical Attention After The Collision
if your injuries were not so severe as to require ambulance conveyance and initial emergency treatment so that you receive the care necessary to get you on track for the best medical outcome possible and as a secondary benefit to properly document your injuries and symptoms as insurance companies often question gaps in care and complaints of pain that are not medically documented.
3. Photograph All Damages
such as property damage to your vehicle and any visible signs of injury to
your person, such as bruises, abrasions, stitches, casts, slings or external surgical wounds or hardware as this evidence may be helpful to establish the existence or severity of your injuries if later disputed by an insurance company.
4. Contact Your Own Automobile Insurer
even if you were not at fault in the accident as you do have a duty of cooperation with your own insurer and if it is necessary to use first party coverage’s for out-of-pocket medical expenses or property damage while your claim is pending with the at fault company there is a provision in your policy that asks you to promptly notify your company.
5. Have All Medical Bills Submitted To Your Own Health Insurance Company First
as that is the best way to avoid adverse credit consequences as the at fault company does not pay as you incur expenses or losses. Instead it pays later in one final settlement after all of your care is concluded. Out-of-pockets after health insurance payments and discounts can be submitted for prompt payment to your own auto med-pay coverage and your car and health insurer will be reimbursed for those payments when your case against the at-fault company is settled under a doctrine known as subrogation.
6. Do Not Provide A Written Or Recorded Statement To The At-Fault Driver’s Insurer
as you are not required to do so and should just direct them to the official accident report at least until you have decided whether or not you will seek legal representation on your claim. Most plaintiff’s attorneys believe that the at-fault company is not acting in your best interest and the statements obtained are often either incomplete or unfairly adverse to you and can make your attorney’s job more difficult in obtaining a good outcome for you.
7. Follow Your Doctor’s Treatment Recommendations
so you not only obtain your best recovery from your injuries but can avoid any claim by an insurance company that you failed to mitigate your damages as you are legally obligated to do by not doing all you could do to heal from your injuries.
8. If You Are Able To Keep Working Notwithstanding Your Injuries Do So
not only to keep your important job in today’s tough market but again to avoid a failure to mitigate damages defense. If your doctor feels that taking time off or limiting your work will help you heal faster follow that advice.
9. If Your Doctor Has Recommended That You Take Time Off To Recover
talk with your employer’s hr staff to determine what benefits, such as sick pay, vacation pay, short or long term disability benefits are available to help you weather the financial storm until your personal injury claim is in a position where it can be settled to compensate you for those losses.
10. Contact An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
sooner rather than later to discuss whether your specific personal injury accident and claim circumstance is one where you may be best served by having legal representation. If you are interested in a free consultation with a Schott, Bublitz & Engel attorney click here.
By Patrick J. Schott
Disclaimer Policy: The information on this website is not legal advice, nor is it intended to be. You should always consult an attorney for advice for your individual situation. We invite you to contact us by letter, by phone or by email. Initial contact creates no attorney-client relationship. Please avoid sending confidential information to us until an attorney-client relationship has been established.
Schott, Bublitz & Engel s.c. has been meeting the legal needs of clients in Wisconsin for over 26 years. As the firm’s reputation has grown, so has the extent of our legal expertise.