When a person has been involved in a car accident that was caused by a reckless driver, it is likely the victim will have experienced a great deal of trauma and stress. Handling auto insurance companies in the aftermath of an accident cannot only be time-consuming, it can also cause anxiety and worry. More importantly, what may seem like a blessing by way of a quick settlement offer, may in fact be a low offer in an attempt to settle and close your claim, and importantly disregard your rights as a victim.
Auto Accidents – Protect Your Rights
If you have recently undergone an auto accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver, you should know that you have legal rights that can protect you. This article will highlight important information you should consider when protecting your legal rights. You should also consider consulting a personal injury attorney that has experience in auto accident claims. A skilled attorney with the right experience can speak to the involved insurance companies on your behalf relieving you from the unnecessary burden.
Gathering Important Information After an Auto Accident
After being involved in an auto accident, it can sometimes be difficult to obtain certain information. Depending on the events that caused the accident and the events that followed the accident, it may be difficult for many people to obtain crucial information. Some of the most vital information you can obtain at the scene involves the following:
- The other party’s name, contact information and address
- The other party’s insurer, policy number and contact information
- The contact information of witnesses to the incident
- Pictures and video of the scene
If you were unable to obtain this information and left the scene with only the license plate number of the other driver, consider contacting an attorney with experience in the field of auto accidents. While gathering information at the time of the accident can be beneficial to your case, you might still be able to have a successful claim against the driver.
Report the Auto Accident & Any Injuries
There are two primary agencies you will need to report the car accident to in order to ensure your rights. The primary agency is the local police department in which you can file a police report. Secondly, you will need to contact the other driver’s insurance carrier. While most drivers carry traditional car insurance, new forms of usage based insurance (pay per mile) which utilizes a device or smart phone app within a driver’s car. This type of insurance requires nearly all interactions with the insurance company to be handled through their website or within their app. In many situations, your insurance company will handle the communications with the other parties insurance, but remember they can’t operate in bad faith. Just because they’re working on your behalf doesn’t mean they have your best interest in mind. It is likely your insurance company will try to reduce the calculation of your fault, if any, but the opposing company is doing the same for their policy holder. Insurance companies could determine the party at fault based on the following factors:
- Driver statements
- Witness statements
- Police reports
- Medical reports
- Physical evidence
Obtain Legal Support to Champion on Your Behalf
Any auto accident can be stressful, especially when it comes to dealing with insurance companies. While there is vital information that can help support your case, the support of a professional attorney can be highly beneficial. An attorney who has experience in dealing with insurance companies can champion on your behalf and bring you closer to obtaining the financial compensation you deserve. Auto accident claims in the State of California are strictly time sensitive; seek the aid of a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible.