Thursday, March 25, 2010

Checklist For If You Are in an Automobile Accident

1. Call the police.

2. Obtain the following information: The names, addresses, telephone numbers and...

3. Driver's license numbers of all persons involved in the accident, and any witnesses.

4. Record the time, date, location, road conditions, make and year of vehicles involved, apparent damages and injuries, and your version of what happened.

5. Call your insurance agent or company to report the incident as soon as possible.

6. Ask your agent what documents, forms and data you will need.

7. Take notes each time you talk with your insurance company, agent, lawyers,

8. Police or others involved in the situation. Write down the dates, times, names and...

9. Subjects you talked about, as well as any decisions or promises made.

10. Ask your insurance company if you have coverage for a rental vehicle if your car is not drivable. Save all receipts and bills, including those from renting a car or...

11. Having your car towed and/or stowed.

12. Keep a disposable camera in your glove box in the event that you are in accident you can quickly take photos.

If you are injured do not refuse emergency medical care.

Within one to two days after emergency room treatment see your family doctor or doctor recommended to you by the emergency room.

Try to obtain copies of medical records from the medical facilities each time you are seen and retain all copies of bills.

You should never tell an adjuster that you are not injured Injuries often take several days to manifest themselves. Sometimes clients with acute disc problems that result in surgery do not have immediate symptoms Insurance adjusters want information that may also help them deny your claim. It is strongly advised to not give a recorded statement to an adjuster until you speak to an attorney.

Any delay in medical treatment will greatly affect how an insurance analyzes your case and may result in a denial of your claim or substantially lessen the offer to settle. Follow your doctor's instructions and if problems persist within a few weeks request that your family doctor recommend a specialist. For example if you injure your back and pain is still great after a few weeks, you may have a disc injury that should be examined and treated by an orthopedic specialist.

What To Do If You're in an Auto or Fall Down Accident

For Auto Accidents
Call the police to the scene. Exchange insurance information. It is important to note the traffic controls, lane configuration, speed limits , weather and road conditions, and the points of contact. If a driver admits responsibility get it noted in the police report as an admission of guilt. Notify your insurance company immediately.

For Fall Down Accidents
Notify the property owner or manager of the store immediately after the fall. Determine the cause of the fall. In order to recover there must be a defective or hazardous condition created by the owner or allowed to exist for a long enough time that the owner should have fixed it. Get the names of any workers or employees. Falls due to water, snow or ice may be compensated for if there is an underlying defect in floor or pavement . Check for torn or old carpets or mats.

Preserve the Evidence
For both types of accidents, get contact info from potential witnesses; draw diagram of the scene and/or defective condition; take photographs at scene.. Do not give recorded statements over the phone to the insurance company.

Time Limits Under the Law
Generally, in Illinois an adult has only two years to file a lawsuit for an injury. A minor child has two years from their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit but only two years to recover medical bills. Actions against municipalities may be only six months to one year. Always consult a lawyer to make sure the law has not changed.

Don't Delay Medical Care
Call 911 immediately and get emergency treatment. Follow up with your family doctor as soon as possible. Even minor injuries should be documented immediately with your family doctor. Your condition may be worse after a few days, but if not initially complained of, the insurance company will deny the claim.