REVIEWING YOUR INSURANCE POLICY
Many people who are injured in car wrecks never receive the full recovery that the law says they are entitled to. Why? Inadequate coverage. Many careless drivers have legal but low insurance coverage, or no insurance at all.
We recommend that you regularly review your auto and truck insurance. Your insurance agent will gladly discuss how you can protect yourself.
What to do if you are in a car wreck
Call the police, particularly if someone has been injured. A police report of the wreck will help your insurance claim and any liability claims. Ask the officer how to get a copy of the crash report and note the officer’s name and badge number. If you receive a traffic ticket, it does not necessarily mean you are guilty of a traffic offense or that you are responsible for the accident.
Exchanging information with the other driver
Exchange information with the driver of the other car. You should get the following information:
1. Other driver’s name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, name of insurance company and policy number.
2. Passenger’s name, address and phone number.
3. Witnesses’ name, address and phone number.
4. Owner’s (if not the driver) name, address, phone number, insurance company and policy number.
Make notes about the time of day, weather conditions, road conditions, street lights and length of skid marks. Also make a diagram of the crash scene noting the location of the vehicles, cross walks, stop signs and traffic signals.
Take photographs of the scene and the damage to all vehicles involved and any other property damaged. If possible, have someone take photographs of your injuries.
Do Not Admit Responsibility
When you exchange information with the other driver and give facts to the police, don’t admit responsibility for the wreck. Things that you say can be used against you if there is litigation. You may think that you were responsible, and later learn that the other driver caused it or that the other driver was equally at fault. Be aware that you may hurt your claim for damages from the other driver if you plead guilty. Consult your lawyer and insurance agent before pleading guilty to any traffic offense.
Towing Your Car
Before you allow a tow truck driver to pick up your car, be sure to ask the driver how much it will cost and tell the driver where to take your car. Get the name, address and telephone number of the driver and the towing company.
Seeing Your Doctor
If you are injured, both you and your passengers should consider seeing a doctor after an accident. The doctor may recognize injuries, sometimes serious, that are not apparent to you. The charges for a doctor visit and medical treatment may be covered by your insurance. Don't settle claims from the accident until your doctor has fully advised you about the extent of your injuries.
Notifying Your Insurance Agent
Call your insurance agent as soon as possible after an accident. Your insurance company may have grounds to deny coverage if you fail to give prompt notice of the accident. Follow up the phone call with a written notice and save a copy for your files. The written notice should contain information about the date, time and place of the collision, with names and addresses of the other drivers, injured persons, passengers and witnesses. If you were at fault, your liability insurance should pay for any injuries or property damages. If the other driver is at fault but does not have insurance, your insurance may pay for damages to your car (collision coverage), your medical expenses (medical payment coverage) and even for your pain and suffering (if you have uninsured motorist coverage).
Calling Your Lawyer
If you are considering a lawsuit, or expect one to be brought against you, or if you received a traffic ticket, your lawyer can advise you of your rights and responsibilities. The sooner you call your lawyer the better, since witnesses may forget the details of the collision. Your lawyer can counsel you on how to respond to questions from insurance adjusters and help you recover compensation for your personal injuries and damages to your car.
230 North Main Street
Elkhart, IN 46516
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At Chester Law Office, our philosophy is simple: we help accident victims receive fair and reasonable compensation from the responsible party. For more than 25 years, our practice has focused on helping people in Elkhart County obtain fair compensation from insurance companies.
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