It is the belief of our Philadelphia auto accident lawyer that everyone should be prepared in the event they are involved in a vehicular accident. Knowing what to do when the accident occurs and right after the accident will help protect their rights as an accident victim. Everyone should be aware of the following 10 facts.
Even if your injuries seem minor, or you think that your head just hurts from stress, you should seek a medical evaluation at the time of the accident. Many insurance companies will dispute claims if you seek medical assistance after-the-fact. Insurance companies will also use delayed medical care as a reason to reduce compensation.
It is very important that you notify the police that an accident occurred. Most insurance companies will not accept a claim for compensation without legal proof that the accident occurred. Additionally, many states have made it illegal not to report an accident to the police. Your police report will contain a significant amount of information that will be beneficial to your case. These facts will include weather conditions, witnesses and police evaluation of the cause of the accident.
There are two very important things that you must not do when you have been involved in an accident. The first thing is that you should never admit guilt to the accident, even if you believe you are partially responsible. Allow the police and accident reconstruction specialists determine the cause of the accident. The second thing that you should never do is loose your temper at the other driver. Having it noted on the police report that you acted in a hostile manner can reflect poorly on your case. Many insurers will state that your aggressive actions show that you were partially responsible for the event and therefore not entitled to receive full compensation.
Any expenses that you have as a result of the accident should be documented and backed up with receipts. This will help your Philadelphia car accident attorney prove your losses and make a claim for these expenses. Include expenses such as car rental fees or public transportation fees, toll charges for visiting insurance company doctors, over-the-counter medications or supplies required for your condition, expenses associated with paying other people to complete work you cannot do because of the injury, such as yard maintenance or walking your dog.
The insurance company will always have their best interest in mind, not yours. Be very careful what you say to them when discussing your case and any potential offers. It will always be in your best interest to have a Philadelphia auto accident lawyer on your side when interacting with the insurance company. Insurance companies like to settle cases quickly because it allows them to avoid long term costs. However, you should be advised that the long term effects of an injury may not be known at the time of the accident. It is only over time that a person can truly discover if they have made a full recovery from the event or if they will have long term problems from the accident.
Insurance companies like to convince you to sign off on a claim as soon as possible. This saves them a lot of money and denies you a lot of benefits. Never sign anything without fully understanding the consequence or having your Philadelphia car accident attorney review it first. The same applies to oral statements. Never agree to anything in an oral statement that you are not sure about. Recorded statements can be used in the same manner as a signed agreement.
Unless you are very familiar with all of the terms of the insurance policy and state laws regarding compensation, you should avoid settling with the insurance company. Many insurers take advantage of people and omit many of the benefits that the injured party is entitled to when they settle with a client. This can be avoided when you are represented by an attorney.
There are many deadlines associated with a claim for compensation. Deadlines placed by the insurer and the Courts are in place and must be met to ensure compensation. Additionally, the Statute of Limitations is applied to injury cases. This means that you only have a short period of time to file a claim. In most states, there is a two-year limit on filing a claim for compensation. However, some states limit it to 18 months from the original date of the accident.
On average, a claim for compensation can take up to two years to complete. The process will vary from client to client based on the facts. Understanding how the process works will eliminate a lot of the frustration that you feel during the process. Knowing how the legal process works will also allow you to interact with your attorney effectively and keep legal costs low.
Make sure that you seek out a personal injury attorney that specializes in your area of law. An attorney dedicated to your type of accident will be more knowledgeable and experienced and will be able to represent your case more aggressively.
If you have been involved in a car accident, you are encouraged to speak to an attorney about your rights as an injury victim. The attorneys at Caiazzo Law provide a free consultation to review your case. During this consultation, your attorney will explain to you your rights and what type of compensation you can seek based on the law and the terms of the insurance policy. Protect your rights and call 215.465.5575 and schedule an appointment with a Philadelphia auto accident lawyer today.