WHAT ARE THE FIRST STEPS TO TAKE AFTER AN AUTO COLLISION?
After checking for injuries, obtain a police report! If you are involved in a motor vehicle collision, it is imperative to have the responding police officer document the necessary information regarding the collision. Often, parties to an accident change their statements or opinions after the collision. A law enforcement officer will take statements from all involved parties and obtain the identity of any witnesses. An officer will also obtain the necessary insurance information from any drivers which is required should you have a claim for physical injuries or property damage.
If you need to contact the other driver’s insurance, you do so at your own risk. An insurance company is in the business of reducing the amount of money they want to pay on accident claims.
There are some “do’s” and “dont’s” for clients. People make many mistakes when dealing with the insurance companies following a collision. So, before you reach out and communicate with either your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company, consider the following:
- DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN A RECORDED STATEMENT– this recording is often used to contradict your testimony at later legal proceedings.
- DO NOT LET YOUR VEHICLE BE FIXED BY THE OTHER INSURANCE COMPANY’S AUTOBODY SHOP–This is a way that insurance companies minimize the cost and quality of repairs to your vehicle. Take your vehicle to a reputable body shop of your choice who can deal directly with the insurance company.
- DO NOT SIGN MEDICAL AUTHORIZATIONS– Insurance companies often try to get victims to sign these documents as an attempt to “help assist in getting their medical records.” However, most of these medical authorizations are unlimited in time and scope and allow the insurance company to retrieve ALL of your personal medical information over the course of your life. Your entire medical history is an open book when you sign these authorizations. The insurance companies attempt to attribute your injuries in this collision to some event or complaint that you may have in the past.
WHY WOULD YOU NEED AN ATTORNEY? WHY NOT JUST GO THROUGH AN INSURANCE COMPANY?
An insurance company is going to protect their own interests. They are large corporations that have a strategy to minimize the payments of claims. Many of these claims can be reduced by doing such things as offering clients money initially, in a time in desperation, for a small percentage of the actual value of the claim. In that situation, the client needs an attorney to provide a reasonable estimation of the value of their claim in relation to what the insurance company dictates to the client.
An experienced auto accident attorney will also be able to facilitate and aid in the medical treatment of their clients to ensure that they get back to pre-accident status. Some clients DO NOT have medical insurance to cover treatment. Redkey Gordon can assist in guiding the client to a medical provider who will accept a medical lien. That is crucial to effectively settle the claim at resolution. Many medical providers will not allow treatment without issuance of a medical lien prior to settling a third-party motor vehicle accident case. Our office has developed lien relationships with a number of medical providers to ensure that the medical bills are paid through the settlement. This is a great benefit to the client as the client’s medical bills are often unpaid until the settlement of the claim, and the lien ensures that the unpaid bills will not be transferred into a collection company.
ARE CATASTROPHIC INJURIES THE ONLY CLAIMS WORTH CONSULTING AN ATTORNEY FOR?
Absolutely not. We often tell our clients that any motor vehicle accident that involves medical treatment is likely eligible for representation and assistance. In some cases, clients have benign or minor complaints, but as time goes on, these injuries turn into much larger complaints requiring much more medical treatment, and much larger settlements. Ultimately, the rehabilitation and recuperation pattern from these injuries is unsettled and unexpected.
HOW CAN YOU HELP YOUR AUTO ACCIDENT LAWSUIT?
The most effective way to assist the attorney is to contact our firm as soon as possible following the incident. The insurance company will take many steps to try to reduce the value of the client’s claims right after an accident takes place. Therefore, the client’s interests must be protected from the point of the incident forward, and the best way to do that is to establish a relationship with our office from the immediate start.
WHY SHOULD YOU CHOOSE REDKEY GORDON?
Our firm has exclusively settled and represented personal injury claimants over the last 15 years. We understand the medical treatment that is required to recuperate and rehabilitate our clients. We understand the medical lien issues which are complex and varied, and we understand the legal causation issues that sometimes surface in these personal injury claims. Our attorneys have personal and direct communication continually with the client which can facilitate a successful resolution to their claim.
Compassion for our clients is both required and a hallmark of our success. A successful resolution to an automobile claim requires constant personal and compassionate communication with the client as well as maximizing the client’s financial interests in this most unfortunate of events. Our office can serve the emotional and financial interests of such a claim to your complete satisfaction.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto collision please contact our firm as soon as possible for a free consultation 209-267-1685.