Anyone in San Antonio who has been through the process of getting a driver’s license knows that the training includes information about what to do in the event of an accident. This is very useful data. Unfortunately, it tends to fall into that category of if you don’t use it, you lose it. And frankly, immediately after an accident, the shock can be such that it is difficult to think straight anyway.
No one wants accidents to happen but it is a reality that they do. Sometimes they result in damage and injuries serious enough to leave victims concerned about whether to pursue legal action. In such instances, it’s best to call a lawyer.
As attorneys with deep experience dealing with post-accident concerns, we offer the following material and invite readers to be prepared by printing this pamphlet. By keeping a copy of it and a pen in the glove compartment of your car, all you will have to remember is to pull it out and follow the checklist.
The most important thing to remember immediately after a crash is to not leave the scene. The next step, if you can and feel it is safe, is to check to see if medical help is needed. If it is, call 911. If police are required, let the operator know. Then comes the all-important exchange of information and identification of possible witnesses. Finally, take pictures.
That’s just the first set of dos and don’ts, however. The next one deals the insurance companies, especially in cases where injury is involved.
The rundown here starts with you being sure about what your insurance covers. Pay particular attention to the “Coverage” and “Exclusion” sections of the document. Inform your agent as soon after the crash as possible and be honest about what happened.
Keep detailed notes of your conversations and don’t allow the company to record your calls. Get names and titles of those you speak with. Record dates of calls and what was discussed. If you incur any costs as a direct result of the accident, keep the receipts for possible recovery as part of your settlement.
And as regards settlement, don’t just accept your insurer’s appraisal of damages. They are often low. And before you sign any waiver or release, or accept a settlement check, consult an attorney.
Source: FindLaw, “Car Insurance Claims: Dos and Don’ts,” accessed Dec. 18, 2015