Car Wreck Injury? Settle Your Own Claim, Step 1

The Slocum Firm’s attorneys are happy to present a new 10-part series, How to Settle Your Own Car Wreck Claim.  In this series, you’ll see how to settle your own injury claim from the perspective of an attorney. You’ll get to learn the process and become a pro by the end of the series!

 

First and foremost, it’s imperative that if you’re hurt you don’t try to tough it out.  You should call for emergency services immediately. You’ll want to get examined by a medical professional as soon as possible. Why? Well, you want to make sure a medical professional sees you, records any injuries you may have and treat you. Being able to spot an injury quickly is crucial not only to your health but also your potential claim.

Get Some Pictures

Now, if you’re severely injured, nobody will expect you to get pictures of the vehicles involved or of your injuries.  However, photographs of your vehicle will be helpful for when you’re settling the property claim with your insurance company. The photos will also serve as great evidence for when you go to file your demand for your injury with the other driver’s insurance company. We’re not saying that you have to get a professional photographer to get decent evidence.  One or two quick pictures from your smartphone of your injuries and the accident scene will do.

When the Police Arrive

Next and if necessary, call 911 for help.  The health and well being of those involved in the accident is most important.  If the accident is not a true emergency, you should still call the local police department.  This is a crucial step.  The police will interview those that were directly involved in the accident as well as any witnesses.   The police will then generate a report of the accident that will be vital for a successful resolution of your claim.  Therefore, cooperate with them and provide them with the information they need. If you don’t think the police are going to write a report, ask that they do write a report.  If they ultimately will not generate a report, politely ask for their business card.

We understand that all of this may seem like a lot of info for the moments after the accident. While it may seem chaotic in the first few moments after the accident, these moments are what the insurance company will use as a basis to eventually accept or deny your claim.  Reports from first responders as well as any evidence you gather are a must to successfully resolve your claim.  By ensuring that you take these few crucial steps at the time of the accident, you will have an advantage later on when you settle your claim for your injury.

In our next installment, we’ll go over what happens after you leave the scene of the accident for medical treatment.

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