What we've learned while handling personal injury cases is that most people are unsure of what to do once they are contacted by an insurance company. Most times, after you are in an automobile accident and the other person is at fault, their insurance company will immediately reach out to you. Here are a few tips for you once you find out you are not at fault for auto accident:
1. DO NOT TALK TO THE OTHER DRIVER'S INSURANCE COMPANY. (You will have to give the insurance company a statement of what happened, however, you should limit the information you provide until you have spoken to your attorney. Most times, insurance companies are looking for ways to give you the least amount of money as possible.)
2. Immediately contact an attorney, after the accident! (It is easier for most personal injury attorney's to give you the best outcome, if they are involved in the case from the beginning. Additionally, a good personal injury attorney will give you a good roadmap for your claim from the beginning of your case, that will allow you to receive the most back in return.)
3. Don't take any checks and don't sign anything. (Do not accept any payouts or cash any checks issued from the insurance company without consulting your attorney. This is important, as insurance companies are motivated to settle your claim quickly and as cheaply as possible. By simply cashing a check, you can give up your right to receive any additional compensation for your injuries, even if your condition gets worse.)
4. Check your policy! (Sometimes the insured who is at fault does not have a policy limit that covers your expenses. Therefore, you need to check your "Under Insured policy or Uninsured Policy" with your own insurance company. In Virginia it is the law that your insurance policy include an under insured policy.)
5. Seek medical attention. (Most people do not realize that even if you have a minor injury immediately after an accident, you should still seek medical attention. You never know how that injury will affect you a week or a month from the accident. Keep all of your records, and if physical therapy is recommended, start physical therapy immediately.)
These are just few tips we have, based on some on the issues that have arisen in our recent cases. If you were in a car accident and you have any questions, please give us a call today.