The moments after a car accident can be upsetting and disorienting. You may not know what to do or who to call. The following are some recommendations from the attorneys at Christensen Law.
Report the Crash
Michigan law requires motorists to report collisions when someone is injured, killed, or there is vehicle damage of $1,000 or more. A police report can also serve as valuable documentation of the accident if you need to file an injury claim with your insurance company later.
Seek Medical Treatment
If a paramedic recommends transporting you to the hospital after a wreck, don’t refuse. You should always see a doctor after a car accident.
Getting medical treatment promptly serves several key purposes. First, it ensures that you get the care you need so that your injuries do not become worse. An examination can also rule out any undetected injuries, such as concussions or internal organ damage. Finally, seeing a physician creates a link between the car accident and your injuries on your medical record. Your health records will form the foundation of your personal injury claim, so establishing that causal link is critical.
Document the Accident Scene
If possible, collect information from the other driver(s) involved in the wreck. Get their names, insurance information, phone numbers, and license plate numbers. Also, write down the names and contact information for any witnesses to the crash.
Take pictures (or video) of the vehicle damage, your injuries, and the area around the accident scene. Look for details that might explain how the accident happened, such as debris in the roadway or a malfunctioning traffic signal. Photos and video of any skid marks, the road conditions (e.g., wet, snowy, icy, etc.), or damaged surroundings, such as broken utility poles or guardrails will help document the scene. This evidence can help accident reconstruction experts piece together what happened after the accident has been cleared.
Check Your Insurance Notification Requirements
Insurance companies set deadlines for policyholders to notify them of auto accidents. The time limits differ from policy to policy, so it’s a good idea to have a Michigan car accident lawyer review yours as soon as possible. Some deadlines are as short as 30 days.
In general, you have one year to initiate a claim for no-fault benefits through your own auto insurer. This is called a first-party claim.
There is also a three-year time limit to seek compensation for pain and suffering from the at-fault driver’s insurance company through a third-party claim. A lawyer can review your case to determine if you have a valid case.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer, Not an Insurance Adjuster
Ideally, a car accident attorney can take care of notifying the insurance company for you. However, it is possible the insurance adjuster will get contact you before you’ve even had time to look for a lawyer. Don’t provide a statement or grant the insurance company access to your medical records. Instead, politely tell the adjuster that you will be working with a lawyer and the adjuster can go through your attorney instead.
Christensen Law Will Stand Up for You
If you’ve been seriously hurt in a Michigan car accident, the compensation you receive from your no-fault insurance may not be enough to cover the costs of your injuries and related losses. Let a lawyer from Christensen Law review your claim so that you are not under-compensated.
Your first consultation is free. Call or contact us today.