Nobody expects to be injured in an auto collision. There are many articles on the web that advise motorists what to do if involved in a collision. However, we do not research what we should be doing at a collision scene before the collision occurs. After having worked with people injured in auto collisions for over twenty years, here are a few things we recommend:
- Make sure you have the other driver’s name, contact information, and insurance information. The insurance information includes the name of the company, and the policy number.
- If the police reported to the collision scene, you will probably be provided with a police report number, or the police officer’s business card. Some police agencies also use an exchange of information form to ensure that you have the other driver’s information.
- If you are injured, you are probably not going to be in any mood to deal with insurance companies, or healthcare providers seeking insurance billing information. If you have a friend or family member that can help you field the initial calls, and get the information you need from insurance carriers, do that.
- There is no rush for you to speak with the liability insurance adjuster. Many companies employ a tactic of attempting to resolve cases quickly, and for far less than what is fair. You don’t need to necessarily hire an attorney, but there is nothing wrong with taking a break from dealing with the adjuster. They can wait.
- Some people try to shake off their injury, and move forward without medical care. There is no rule against doing this, but if your symptoms persist, do not wait too long, and make an appointment with your physician.
- If you are up to it, keep notes of your conversations with adjusters, and organize your documents so that you have your claim information, and the responsible driver’s claim information. Again, if your injury prevents you from putting this together, don’t be bashful, and ask a friend or family member for help.
- If you are insured in Oregon, then you have personal injury protection benefits that will pay your medical expenses. Provide your claim number to your medical providers. If you are in Washington, personal injury protection is optional, so confirm that you have this coverage, and provide the claim number to your health care providers.
- If you would like to know where you stand with your claim, order our free book. You can call our office and we will rush out a hard copy, or download an electronic copy. This book is a compilation of the most frequently asked questions we receive, as well as answers to the questions we feel people should be asking in the first place.