The days immediately following a serious car accident are very stressful for accident victims and their families. Many injured people have lost insurance benefits simply by missing an important filing deadline.
Many insurance companies employ delay tactics to prevent paying you the benefits to which you are entitled. By taking some immediate steps you may be able to avoid these delays.
Recent Car Accident: What Should You Do?
Call the Police and Get Immediate Medical Attention
You should contact the police and report the accident. You should also immediately obtain medical attention for all injuries. You should tell the doctors of all major AND minor pain you may have.
Obtain Information About All The Witnesses
It is very important to obtain information from any passengers or witnesses involved. This information will be very important if it becomes necessary to hire a lawyer. If you don’t get witness information at the scene or shortly thereafter, it may become much more difficult to prove that the other party was negligent.
Notify Your Auto Insurance Company Immediately
You should immediately notify your auto insurance company Michigan has a strict one year time limit to notify your own insurance company about your injuries and to file an “Application for Benefits” which applies to medical benefits, wage loss, mileage, attendant care services and replacement services. You are entitled to these benefits regardless of whether the collision was your fault or the fault of others. Additionally, there is a three year time limit to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver for your injuries if you were not at fault.
Check Your Own Insurance Policy
Some auto insurance policies have even stricter notice requirements (some as short as 30 days for hit and run accidents). It is therefore important to carefully review your auto insurance policy as soon as possible. If you do not follow these requirements, you can lose your insurance coverage. You should read your insurance contract closely and discuss any questions with an attorney.
Never Give Statement and Do Not Sign ANYTHING
Never give a statement to an insurance company representative or insurance investigator and never sign anything without it having been reviewed by your attorney. Insurance company representatives try to get a recorded statement early on in order to try to minimize your injuries. Nothing should be discussed directly after any accident in order to protect your rights. The insurance company representatives are not on your side. Their job is not to help you. Their job is to minimize the insurance company’s payments to you. You could give up all your rights if you sign a release. Do not sign anything until it is reviewed by your attorney.
This information is intended to be of a general nature only. There are many other important things to know about injuries resulting from automobile accidents. Additional information and important advice about successfully pursuing your case can be obtained by contacting us now.
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