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Given your inexperience in handling a situation like this, it is strongly advised you obtain an attorney who specializes in these matters prior to every interacting with the at fault insurance company or even your insurance company. After an accident you have an obligation under your insurance contract to report the accident to your insurance company, but you do not have any obligation to report the accident or to speak to the at fault insurance company. Even with your own insurance company it is advisable that you speak to an attorney prior to interacting with your company. Please review the tips below before you call. Remember the insurance companies are not there to help you get the best compensation for your injuries. Insurance companies are running a business. Their profitable bottom line results from taking in as much in premiums as possible, while paying out the least amount they can on claims.
With your own insurance company give them a very basic description of the accident and make sure you tell them about any pain or stiffness you have or any other injuries. If they ask for a recorded statement from you, tell them you will have to get back to them after retaining an attorney. After an accident you may be experiencing shock, you may even feel a bit confused, especially if you experienced a head or neck injury. Investigations done by police and those working for the insurance agencies may find you were not at fault even if you thought you were.
Never contact or “deal” directly with the person who “caused” the accident. Most likely they will be trying to get out of the situation as painlessly as possible. Neither they nor you will know the extent of your injuries until medical evaluation and treatment has been concluded. Most individuals will not have the funds to directly pay out your medical expenses, let alone cover the cost of loss of wages, rental care, etc. It is never a good idea to speak to the at fault person or to speak to the at the at fault insurance company. They will try to gain information from you that could harm your case.
Do not try to negotiate with the insurance company thinking you will get a better settlement. The person taking your call is most likely just taking down information for adjusters to review, and they are doing their best to protect the insurance company’s bottom line. Please consider speaking with a personal injury lawyer. Their experience will help you to realize the real value of your claim. An accident victim who is not trained as a personal injury lawyer negotiating the case would be like a person not trained as a doctor trying to do surgery. That person has no training in the field and is going against individuals, who work for the insurance company, that are very experienced in handling these claims.
Make sure you do not miss doctor’s appointments and follow doctors’ orders during your recovery. If the doctor puts you on minimal activity, make sure you follow their post-accident care instructions. If you miss time from work make sure you have a doctor’s note holding you out and make sure you provide that to the employer and tell them you are out due to the accident to preserve your lost wage claim later.
Do not sign any settlement agreements or cash any checks you may receive from the insurance company without first speaking with your attorney. You may have future expenses form medical care still needing to be processed, or future medical care needed. Once you sign a release you will be closing out your case and cannot reopen it no matter how badly your body is feeling after the accident.
File you claim promptly! There are statute of limitations applicable to every case. If you do not file a lawsuit within the time period of the statute of limitations, then the case is permanently barred from being filed. Do not drag your feet and miss the legal deadline for filing a claim. Once that deadline passes, you will be unable to recover any compensation. It is wise to speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident, so they can handle filing the lawsuit.
Remember the insurance company is not entitled to all your medical records. Do not sign a blanket authorization for them to receive copies of your medical files. Let your attorney handle providing them the records. They only need the files related to the accident in question. Your medical records are personal, keep them that way. Speaking with your personal injury attorney will help protect your privacy.
As an individual harmed by one of these incidents caused by the negligence of another, you need someone that is properly trained and experienced in dealing with these insurance companies to provide zealous and ethical representation of you. Victims of these incidents caused by the negligence of another are typically awarded reimbursement from this at fault party’s insurance company for medical expenses incurred, for their injuries, as well as for lost wages, impairments, pain and suffering, loss of life’s activities, and other relevant damages.
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At Tindall Law Firm, LLC, we fight to recover damages for car accident victims in Connecticut. With 23 years of experience, attorney Tavis Tindall has the knowledge and skill to hold the negligent driver accountable for your losses. For a free consultation with a Waterbury car accident injury lawyer, please call 203.755.0018 or contact us online.