Frequently Asked Questions – Motor Vehicle Accident
The Blackman Legal Group has 26 years of experience helping injured people recover physically and financially from motor vehicle accidents. We know that when an accident happens, you may find yourself wondering what to do and who to trust. Our attorneys are ready to help. If you have questions, please contact us.
Questions you may have when involved in an accident include:
When should I seek medical care?
Although you may think you feel fine right after a serious accident, you should seek medical attention promptly. People will often find that rather than feeling better 12-24 hours after an accident, they feel much worse. Waiting to get treatment or trying to “tough it out” will only hurt your chances of making a full medical and legal recovery. When you see the doctor, you should be sure to explain exactly what your injuries or complaints are. Do not try to minimize your injuries or symptoms. You will be giving insufficient information to your medical providers, making it much more difficult for them to make an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Which doctor should I see?
If you are seriously injured you will be brought to the appropriate emergency medical provider for immediate treatment. If you have been hospitalized you will need to follow the advice of the doctors who are caring for you. When you are able to, you should contact us so we can assist you in arranging for and coordinating your ongoing medical care.
How long should I continue to seek medical care?
You should continue to seek medical care for as long as you are advised to by a competent medical professional. You should follow your medical providers’ instructions exactly. If you fail to follow your medical providers’ instructions or miss medical appointments, it will slow your recovery and hinder your ability to successfully recover in court.
Who will pay for the damage to my vehicle?
If your vehicle was damaged in an accident caused by another’s negligence, that person is liable for the damage. If that person has insurance, their insurance will be required to pay for the damage. If you are at fault, or partly at fault, your insurance will have to pay part of the bill for the damage. As a practical matter, if you have collision damage insurance you may elect to present your claim to your insurer, pay the deductible, and have your car repaired. Your insurance company would then proceed against the other person’s insurance company to recover the payments under that person’s property liability coverage. Your vehicle may be an important piece of evidence in your case. Before you have it repaired or replaced, you should contact us so that we can ensure that necessary evidence is not destroyed. Our attorneys will also help ensure that you are treated fairly when settling the property damage portion of your claim.
Who will pay my medical bills?
If you have medical insurance, the policy will likely cover your injuries. You may also be covered through the portions of your motor vehicle insurance. If you were not solely at fault in the accident, your injuries and the medical bills that follow will be part of the damages we seek compensation for from the parties responsible for your injuries. If portions of your medical bills have been paid by your insurance, the insurance company may seek to be reimbursed out of any damage award.
Does insurance cover any time I’ve lost from work?
Your insurance (disability insurance and/or PIP coverage under your motor vehicle policy) may cover your lost time from work. Your lost time from work will be part of your damages if another party caused your injuries. You will need to keep detailed records of the time and wages lost. Our attorneys will work to ensure that you are compensated for any lost time and wages.
I can’t do the things around the house that I used to do. What do I do now?
If you have PIP coverage on your motor vehicle insurance it may provide some coverage of these expenses. Regardless of whether you have such coverage or not you should keep a detailed record of the things you are unable to do and any expenses you have incurred as a result of having to hire others to do those tasks for you. Our firm will seek compensation for those expenses related to your disability.
If I’m in an accident who should I talk to?
You should contact the police immediately. They will make an accident report, (providing proof of the accident), immediately investigate the accident including taking witness statements, examining the other driver for drug or alcohol abuse, and may even obtain an admission of liability from the other driver. If it is safe to do so, you should contact an attorney; our firm can help ensure that the evidence is preserved in your case.
Should I talk to my insurance agent?
Most automobile insurance companies require policyholders to promptly report any accidents they are involved in as a condition of coverage. Your insurance company will ask you for basic information regarding the accident. If you are asked to make a recorded statement, we suggest that you contact our firm immediately so that we can advise you before you provide any information to your insurance company.
Should I talk to the other person’s insurance agent?
You should never give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company unless and until your attorney says you can. That company is not on your side no matter how nice the person you are talking to seems.