Archive for June, 2008

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WHAT TO DO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT

June 22, 2008

WHAT TO DO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT

A car accident can be one of the most traumatic events you can go through during your life. Even if you do not feel hurt at the scene of the accident, the disruption an accident causes in your daily life can have many side effects. From being late to work, late to pick up children, having no transportation due to damage to your car, or worst of all, suffering serious injuries are just some of the possible side effects. In the rush of our daily lives, many people forget to do take some basic actions after an accident occurs that may protect them and their ability to provide for their families. Please don’t forget to do the following if you have been in an accident:

1. Call the police – they will document the accident with a crash report so that you have name of the person and the insurance information for the person that caused the accident. The police officer will also document how the accident occurred to prevent people from “changing their testimony” later on. Make sure give the police officer your account of how the accident happened, the number and names of people in your car, and especially if anybody is injured, even slightly.

2. Do not speak to the other person’s insurance company – while that insurance company may be responsible for the repairs to your car, they will also want to limit your ability to make a claim for injuries that occurred to you in the accident. It is best not to talk with the other person’s insurance company without an attorney present. Insurance companies take thousands of statements every day and will do their best to limit any claim you may have against them.

3. Report the claim to your insurance company. Make sure to include any injuries you may have. Many times people think that their injuries will go away after a few days, so they don’t bother to tell their doctors or the insurance company. When the injury doesn’t go away, they report it several days or weeks later only to be told by the insurance company that it won’t cover their claim because they didn’t report it initially.

4. Take photographs of your car – If there is a large amount of property damage, you will want to be able to show the damage later on if someone questions the size of the accident impact you may have felt.

5. See a doctor – Even if your injuries seem minor, it is best to document the injuries shortly after the accident occurs. Some injuries which seem minor become worse over time. Obtaining medical attention immediately after the accident gives the doctor the best opportunity to treat and cure the injuries.

6. Contact an attorney – Insurance companies are multi-billion dollar organizations that have become very sophisticated in minimizing injury claims after accidents. One large insurance company that bills itself as your “good neighbor” just reported over a 5 BILLION DOLLAR PROFIT for 2006. Yes, a 5 billion dollar profit! They have thousands of attorneys working for them. You should at least get the advice of one attorney that has only your best interests in mind. My office works on a contigent fee which means you don’t owe anything unless we recover something for you. It is best to become informed about your rights early in the claim. Please do not hesitate to call and get answers to your questions, rather than have the insurance company answer the questions for you.

The Law Offices of Joseph M. Maus, PA have specialized in representing accident victims for close to 15 years.  Contact our offices toll free at (866) 556-5529 for a free consultation or log on to www.jmmlawyers.com .

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