What do I need to do as soon as I am injured in an automobile accident?tue
What do I need to do as soon as I am injured in an automobile accident?
Insurance companies will try to claim the accident is your fault or settle your case for as little as possible. Insurance companies know we won’t put up with these tactics or we’ll see them in trial. We will not be outworked and hold the resources and experiences to show the insurance company we will not accept a settlement for less than your case is worth.
Now, there are several things you want to do to make sure you case reaches its full value.
- Go to a doctor if you are injured. It is important to know how you are injured and a delay in seeking treatment is often used by insurance companies as proof you were not injured or that something may have happened after the accident that is the actual cause of the injury;
- Contact a lawyer. He or she can help you file a claim, stop recorded statements that the insurance company will try and use against you at a later date to lower your recovery, investigate fault and position your case correctly with your insurance company as well as the negligent driver’s insurance company;
- Treat until you are medically stationary or healthy. You do not want to treat just to drive up medical bills. Although you want to make sure you are healthy and can truly analyze the extent of the injury/injuries before settling/resolving your case;
- Avoid gaps in treatment. Gaps/delays in treatment hurt your case value. If you have a vacation, delay in specialist being available, etc. that is explainable but the value of the case can be related to how the treatment timeline appears in the record. Insurance companies argue to juries that if you were really injured, you would have continued to see medical professionals and follow their advice;
- Make sure you accurately note where the accident occurred, the date of the accident, the contact information of the negligent driver (and witnesses if possible). In Oregon, you have 2 years from the accident date to file a lawsuit; and
- If the negligent driver is not insured, you can file a claim with your own insurance company under an uninsured motorist coverage.