Have You Ever Been In A Car Accident?
If you have, then you know how awful and disorienting it can be. You may not know what to do at first. You know it hurts. Even if you don’t feel the pain at the time, because of the adrenaline rush, it will probably hurt later. And medical bills can rack up quickly. The impact can destroy your car, or at least cost thousands of dollars to fix. In short, car accidents suck.
Many people feel that they can handle a car accident claim themselves. They hesitate to contact a lawyer – they may even feel it is immoral to bring a personal injury claim at all. However, there is a lot to it, and a lot of different agencies to work with: police, claim adjusters, health providers and health insurance, to name a few.
It may be unclear who will pay medical bills or property damage. It may be difficult to be treated fairly by the insurance adjuster. Additionally, most people do not know what an insurance adjuster looks for in a car accident case to minimize their risk, and thus try to pay out as little as possible or nothing to a claimant. A claimant who has been in an accident without a knowledgeable attorney representing them may not obtain the full recovery for their damages including medical bills, pain and suffering and lost income.
If You Have Never Been In A Car Accident
Consider Yourself Lucky.
Car accidents are growing more and more common, even though they can be one of the most unwelcome, unexpected and traumatic events that might occur in your driving life. With all of the tail-gating, road rage, speeding and distracted driving, cell phone use, etc. on the road, “defensive driving” sometimes seems to have become a thing of the past.
Sure, there are some developments that have made car accidents a touch less worrisome, such as seat belts, air bags, etc. And even though Google has high hopes for self-driving cars, it is a safe bet that millions of drivers will still be behind the wheel for the foreseeable future. Car accidents are not going away soon.
So What Can You Do About It?
First of all, even though you can’t control whether you get in a car accident, one thing you can control is making sure you have the right kind of insurance. The State of Illinois requires all drivers to have car accident insurance, but not everyone obeys the law. Below is a checklist that you can place in your glove compartment for easy reference if an accident occurs.
- Collect contact information of the police officers on the scene
- Description of accident
- Damages to vehicles, people or objects
- License plates
- Intersection (if applicable)
- Traffic signals
- Street signs
- Name, address, phone number (and/or photo of driver’s license)
- Insurance information (or photo of insurance card)
- Phone number
In fact, the worst drivers are the ones that may not carry any insurance at all – much less the minimum required car accident insurance. Or in the best case, they may have sub-par, sub-standard car insurance. Additionally, having adequate health insurance also plays an important role in your treatment after an accident and the value of your claim.