People who are involved in auto accidents are often overwhelmed and have a difficult time understanding what to do. If you are struck by another vehicle, it is important for you to do several things promptly. First, check everyone (including yourself) for injuries, and call 911. You should always seek medical attention after you have been involved in an auto accident even if you do not initially think that you have been injured. There are some serious types of injuries that may not show symptoms for hours or days after an auto accident. By seeking prompt medical attention, you might enjoy a better prognosis and be able to show a clear causal link between your injuries and the accident.
Then, if you can, try to take pictures of both vehicles. Take note of the other driver’s license plate and the make and model of his or her vehicle. Exchange contact details and insurance information, and remain at the scene until the police arrive. Some motorists who cause accidents will try to blame the innocent driver for the collision. If this happens to you, don’t accept blame. If the other driver acts aggressively or angrily, simply wait for law enforcement.
When you are the victim of an auto accident that was caused by someone else, it is common for the insurance company to contact you soon after the collision. Remember that insurance adjusters are employed by the insurance companies. Part of their job is to minimize the losses of their employers. Even if the insurance adjuster seems like a compassionate person, his or her loyalty lies with the insurance company. You should avoid giving any statements to the insurance adjuster or company about what happened in your accident. You should also not agree to give recorded statements or to sign documents such as medical authorizations. The insurance company’s purpose in asking for recorded statements is to use your words against you later in your claim.
Medical authorizations allow insurance companies to dig through your medical history. They often want to do this when their insureds have caused accidents because they want to find an earlier incident on which they can blame the victims’ injuries. Finally, some insurance companies will send settlement offers to injured victims soon after the accident. You should not agree to a settlement offer without having it reviewed by one of the experienced auto accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook. These types of early offers are often unreasonably low, and if you agree to them, you will not be able to try to recover more money to compensate you for your losses beyond the amount you agreed to in the settlement.
When you are asked to give statements or sign documents, it is fine for you to politely tell the insurance company representative or adjuster that you are unwilling to do so without talking to an auto accident attorney. You should then schedule an appointment with the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook to learn more about your potential rights to recovery. Your car accident attorney will be able to assist you with valuing your claim so that you understand the range of values within which a reasonable settlement might be expected to fall. Our auto accident attorneys may then send a demand letter to the insurance company and work to negotiate a reasonable settlement amount on your behalf.
At the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook, our experienced team of auto accident attorneys understands the devastation that people may face when they have been seriously injured in auto accidents. When we meet with you, we will listen closely and work to build the strongest possible case on your behalf. In many cases, our car accident attorneys are able to reach settlements on behalf of clients. If the insurance company fails to agree to a reasonable offer, however, we are unafraid to fight for you through a jury trial.