Protecting your rights when you are involved in a car crash is necessary because victims of these incidents may want to seek compensation for the damages. There are several things that you need to do if you are in this position. This is imperative so that you don’t do anything that will work against you.
There are two aspects of your case that you need to think about: dealing with the insurance company and, possibly, a civil case that you file against the party liable for the crash.
Contact police at the scene
You must contact the police department for them to file a report. You may need this information. It is also the law that you report a crash immediately if there is an injury or death.
Think about your statements
The officer who comes to the scene is going to ask you what happened. Make sure you choose your words carefully. You need to give a factual account of what occurred but you can’t say anything that is going to make the officer think you are taking the blame for the wreck. You should also watch what you say when dealing with the insurance company or anyone else who might be involved in any aspect of your case.
Notify your insurance company
You need to contact your agent immediately when you get home from the car wreck. If possible, do this before you seek medical care. Of course, if you need emergency treatment, this isn’t going to be possible. When you speak to anyone from the insurance company, including your agent, adjusters and others, keep a record of their name, title, phone number and what was discussed. Some individuals prefer to have an attorney speak to their insurance company to ensure they are getting the maximum benefits possible.
Pay close attention to documents
When you are dealing with an insurance company, pay close attention to anything they want you to sign. Releases and waivers might be presented as obligatory documents that you have to sign prior to getting the money you need. The trouble with signing these too soon is that you might not know the full scope of the damages yet.
Additionally, carefully review checks or payments you receive. If any of them say “final payment,” don’t cash them unless you are certain that it is the last payment you should receive for the incident.