You have just had an accident and you are in pain and wondering how long it is going to take to recover, what kind of medical expenses and auto repair expenses you will have and how much time you will miss off of work.
You want to make sure to stay at the scene of the accident until the police arrive. Even if you think you may have caused the crash, you do not want to admit to guilt at the scene as there may be some circumstances that contributed to the collision of which you are unaware. Make sure to get the names of all witnesses and take pictures if you can.
Although having an accident is never enjoyable, there are some things you can do to make the process of dealing with insurance claims go smoothly.
Check for Injuries
You may be in a state of shock right after an accident and you may not realize the physical impact that it has had on you right away. Obviously, if an ambulance is called, the paramedics will check you for injuries and take you to the emergency room if necessary. However, your injuries may not be immediately apparent. Injuries such as a herniated disc can appear weeks after the accident. You should definitely have yourself checked out by a doctor, even if you feel fine.
California is a comparative fault state. This means that the insurance company of the person who is responsible for the accident must pay for injuries and auto damages that are related to the crash. If more than one driver was responsible for an accident, they will each be liable for the percentage of the damages and injuries that they caused. It is very important to get the other driver’s insurance information and to give them your information. If they do not have insurance get their personal information as well as the license plate number of their car. Make sure to request a copy of the accident report from the law enforcement officer at the scene.
Call Your Insurance Company
When you have obtained the other parties insurance information, call both your insurance company and their insurance company right away. If you call them as soon as you can, you will have a better memory of the accident, and you will be more equipped to answer their questions.
The sooner you call the sooner they will be able to start processing your claim. They have 15 days to acknowledge that you have made a claim and forty days after that to decide if they are going to honor that claim. If they decide to honor your claim, they will have 30 days to pay. Having an accident is expensive and you do not want to delay the process.
Talk to a Lawyer
Insurance companies have entire legal departments whose sole job it is to make sure that they pay their clients as little as possible. You have paid into the insurance company’s system and you deserve to be compensated when you have an accident. A good personal injury attorney, such as Bauman Law. can help you get the money you need to pay your bills. Having an accident is expensive and time-consuming, but a trained lawyer can put you back on the right path.
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