1) Get all the information
After your accident, make sure to get all the information you can about the other driver and the accident itself. Be sure to get the other driver’s insurance information, address and telephone number. Also, take note of the details of the accident itself. How long was I stopped? How fast was I going? What is the name of the street I am on? How far was my car pushed as a result of the impact? The more information you gather at the scene of the accident the more confident when you will be when explaining the accident to you legal representative later.
2) Call the Police
If the accident is so severe that your vehicle has sustained visible damage or that you feel pain in any part of your body at the scene of the accident, call the police. Getting a written Police Report from a responding officer will help prove the other driver was at fault in the accident.
3) Speak up
If you are in pain at the scene of the accident, speak up. Tell the other driver. Tell the responding officer. If you do not need an ambulance from the scene of the accident, but plan to go to the hospital later in the day, say so. Evidence that you were injured as a result of the accident is crucial to successfully pursuing an insurance claim.
4) Listen to your body
Sometimes when you are injured in a car accident, you will not feel pain right away. If you begin to feel pain in the days or weeks following the accident, do not ignore it. Go to your primary care physician or to the hospital. If necessary, get a referral to a specialist or physical therapist to treat you further.
5) Get treatment
After you have been to the hospital or consulted with your primary care physician, you will likely be referred to a specialist or physical therapist for further treatment. Always follow your doctor’s orders. Treat consistently and for as long as it takes to get you feeling back to normal.
6) Call a lawyer
Retaining a lawyer, like Neil S. Cohen & Associates, to help assist you with your motor vehicle accident claim is the most important step you can take to make sure that you get a fair result in your claim. This should be the first thing you do after the accident occurs. Insurance companies make money by collecting premiums and paying as little as possible on legitimate claims. That means they will do and say whatever it takes to get you to accept an unfair resolution or even a denial of your valid claim. Accident victims that retain a lawyer collect 3 times as much from their claim on average. What will a lawyer, like Neil S. Cohen & Associates, do to help you in your claim:
· Ask as your representative – Your lawyer will take over all communication with the insurance companies on your behalf. That means no more stressful phone calls and paper work from insurance companies.
· Evaluate your claim – The lawyers at Neil S. Cohen & Associates have years of experience evaluating, settling and litigating cases. With this experience, we know what your case is worth, that way you will not have to worry that your expectations are too high or too low.
· Organize your records – A major factor in any motor vehicle injury case is collecting and reviewing medical records related to your injury. At Neil S. Cohen & Associates, we will do that for you. Once you have finished your medical treatment we will collect, organize and review all of your medical records and submit them to the insurance company so that your claim gets resolved fast.
· Negotiate your claim – Once the insurance company has all the information on your claim, your attorney will begin to negotiate the claim for you. Your attorney will deal with the insurance company directly, to take the burden off you.
· Settle your claim – In most cases, after negotiations, your attorney will receive a settlement offer from the insurance company that he thinks is reasonable. At that point, your attorney will contact you to discuss settling the matter. While your attorney can recommend settlement to you, whether to settle the case will always be your decision. Your attorney will never settle the claim without your blessing.
· Litigate your claim – Sometimes, despite you and your attorney’s best efforts, a case cannot be resolved through negotiation. If that is the case with your claim, your attorney will file a lawsuit and pursue your case in court. Unlike some attorneys, the lawyers at Neil S. Cohen & Associates are litigators. If necessary, we are ready and willing to bring your case to court to protect your rights.
If you have been injured in an automobile accident or other accident, contact Neil S. Cohen & Associates for a free consultation to discuss your claim.