Even though you are not feeling well, things are hectic after you have been injured in an Oregon auto collision. Here is a list of the people you may hear from in the days following the collision:
1. Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company will provide personal injury protection coverage, or PIP, to cover medical expenses, and wage loss. You will receive a claims form, and some releases. You should fill these out so you can get medical care, and if you qualify, wage loss benefits. You may also have to give a statement. Your insurance policy probably includes a provision that requires you to cooperate with your insurance company, so you may have to give a statement. However, realize that some how, some way, this statement could end up int he hands of a defense attorney.
You may also hear from an adjuster from your company for property damage claims. This depends on the type of coverage you have on your policy. This adjuster may send out a property damage appraiser to look at your car. You may even hear from the wrecking yard or body shop as well.
2. The Other Drivers' Insurance Company
You will hear from a bodily injury adjuster from the other driver's insurance company. The adjuster's job is to resolve your claim as quickly and cheaply as possible. Some adjusters will try to resolve the case even before you have completed medical care. You do not need to speak with this person, sign any releases for medical records, or provide a statement. We generally advise that you not give any information to this adjuster.
Now there is the property damage adjuster, also for the other driver's insurance company. If you want your car fixed, a rental, or settlement of your total loss claim, then you are probably going to have to deal with this adjuster. However, avoid talking about the facts of the collision, or your injuries.
3. The DMV
The Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV will not call you, but if the collision caused injury or property damage beyond $1,500.00, then you will have to file a DMV accident report. This is required to prove that you had insurance. You are supposed to file this report within 72 hours of the collision, but DMV realizes that you may not be up to it, so will allow you to do this "as soon as possible." You should not put this off too long, however, to avoid receiving a notice of suspension.
You do not have to provide the DMV report to anyone, it is confidential.
Many attorneys will order a copy of your police report, if there is one, and write a letter soliciting their services. Some of the letters we have seen state that the other driver "may" have been intoxicated. They may also have been from Mars. This is just an attempt to get a call from you. Be wary of this kind of advertising. Some of it may provide good information, but some not.
If you can keep track of phone calls with notes, and follow up any discussions in writing, that is a great help. Copying anything you send out is also a good idea.
If you have questions about your Oregon auto injury claim, give us a call at 503 325 8600. We help people with these issues every day.