1. Call the police – No matter how minor you feel the accident is, always call the police. There are instances when people agree whose fault the accident was, and exchange insurance information only to find out later that the insurance information was false and that the other driver is now claiming he or she was not responsible. The police don’t always write tickets so if that is your worry, i.e. that you don’t want the other driver to get a ticket, don’t let that be the reason why you don’t call the police.
The police will write a police report which will contain a wealth of information, including the names of the drivers involved, the names of any witnesses and the facts of occurrence.
The police will also likely ask whether there are any injuries. It is important to be truthful and tell the investigating officer of any and all possible injuries.
2. Don’t make any statements to the other driver. Usually, any thing you say can be used against you, and most often it is.
3. Take photographs of the positions of the vehicles. Photographic evidence is powerful and readily available. Most cell phones have cameras…use them, even if there is only property damage.
4. Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible.
5. Follow up with a medical professional if you are injured. Most of the time, the first responders are paramedics. If they are called, they will ask you what symptoms you have and treat you accordingly. Again, it is imperative that you are truthful with your symptoms so that you can obtain the proper care.
6. If an ambulance is not called, but you feel you are injured, you should follow up with either your family doctor or, depending on the severity of your complaints, perhaps the emergency room of your local hospital.
7. You may get calls from representatives of the other driver’s insurance company. Refuse to give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company. In all likelihood, they are fishing for information to use in denying your claim.
8. Make sure you keep all of your doctor’s appointments. Missed appointments look bad. Again, insurance companies and their lawyers will do everything to attack your credibility. Missed appointments give the appearance that the individual is not injured. Oftentimes, insurance companies attack the “gaps” in treatment to make their point.
9. If you are injured, and wish to pursue a claim, you should contact an attorney who specializes in handling such cases. Your initial consultation should always be free.
10. Make sure you provide any medical providers your medical insurance information. These days, medical providers are refusing to bill insurance companies if they suspect that there is going to be a lawsuit. This is done in an attempt get more of their bill paid than what medical insurance would customarily pay them.
You should also give them your auto insurance information. Most vehicles carry Medical Payment coverage or “Med Pay” coverage. This type of coverage will pay your medical bills in full up to the amount of insurance you purchased.
11. Most importantly, do all you can to get better. Participate in your recovery and do your best to return to your normal life.