What Steps Should I Take After A Car or Truck Accident?
- Do I need to call my insurance company?
- Should I call the other person's insurance company?
- What if the other person's insurance company contacts me?
- Who will pay for the damage to my vehicle or my accident-related medical bills?
- What if I am sued?
- Do I need a lawyer?
Do I need to call my insurance company?
Yes. If you were involved in a collision which caused injury to anyone or caused damage to anyone's vehicle or property, you should call your own insurance company and report the incident immediately. Your auto liability insurance policy requires that you do this. If you don't, you run the risk that your company may deny you insurance coverage.
Although you should tell your insurance company that the incident occurred, and give the insurance company representative factual information regarding the date and time of the incident, its location, and the names and addresses of all other persons involved, it is usually best to consult a lawyer before you tell the representative how and why the collision happened or discuss issues concerning fault. The general rule is that you should not give a recorded statement about the incident to anyone including your own insurance company representatives without first discussing this with your lawyer.
Should I call the other person's insurance company?
You may, but you don't have to. If you do, you can tell the company representative the name and address of its insured and the current location of your vehicle so the representative can send an adjuster or appraiser to look at your vehicle damage. Do not talk to anyone at the insurance company about how or why the incident happened. Never admit fault in the incident. Never give a recorded statement.
Remember, the other person's insurance company would like to prove you were at fault for the collision so the company will not have to pay for your vehicle damage or for your injuries. The company will try to use what you say about the accident and how it happened against you. This is one important reason you may want to consult an attorney about your claim, if you believe you were not at fault in causing the accident, and you suffered personal injuries as a result of the accident.
What if the other person's insurance company contacts me?
Do not talk to the representative except to give him information regarding damage to your vehicle and the location of your vehicle. Never give a recorded statement or discuss the facts of the accident, how and/or why it happened. Tell the insurance company representative to contact your insurance company or your lawyer, if you have one.
Who will pay for the damage to my vehicle or my accident-related medical bills?
If you were not at fault in causing the accident, the person who did cause the collision may be liable to pay for your vehicle damages, medical bills, and lost wages. If the negligent party had vehicle liability insurance at the time of the accident, his insurance company may pay your damages. If the negligent party was uninsured, your own uninsured motorist insurance coverage may pay for your damages.
What if I am sued?
If you are sued, that is, if you are served with a Complaint and Summons that relate to the collision, notify your insurance company immediately and ask where you should send copies of these legal papers. Ask for and write down the name and phone number of the person with whom you are speaking. Keep this information.
Send or deliver the Complaint and Summons to the address given you. Keep a photocopy of the legal papers for your own records. Call your insurance company in a few days to make sure the company received the papers. Ask for the name, address, and telephone number of the lawyer the company has hired to represent you. Call the lawyer. Once he confirms that the insurance company has engaged him to represent you, give him your name, address, and phone number and answer any questions he may have.
Do I need a lawyer?
If you were injured and believe you were not at fault in causing a motor vehicle accident (including car, truck, motorcycle or tractor trailer accident), you may need a lawyer to investigate the accident and help determine whether or not you have a case of negligence against one or more of the other drivers. If you do, you may want to engage the lawyer to pursue your legal claims against the negligent driver(s).
The law firm of Allen and Allen has been representing persons injured through no fault of their own since 1910. It is all we do. Contact us at 866-388-1307, if we can help you.