Getting Started On A Personal Injury Claim Frequently Asked Questions

Navigating a personal injury claim can be complicated and is always different depending on the situation. Here are some common questions that we get as people start their personal injury claims.

“If the insurance company asks, should I give any type of statement to the insurance company?”

Our policy is generally, no. In almost all cases, you should not give a statement to another party’s insurance company, or even their own insurance company. Shortly after an accident, an insurance adjuster will commonly contact the client asking them to provide personal information and a statement of what happened. When declining to give a comment, you should be courteous but firm. Emphasize that although the adjuster may try to convince you they are there to help, any statement could potentially be detrimental to their claim down the road. When a client gives a recorded statement, the insurance company will attempt to verify the claim against other evidence for (even minor) discrepancies.

“I was just in an accident. What should I do?”

Most importantly, assess the injuries and get medical treatment to those in need quickly. Carefully check yourself and others – not all injuries are immediately apparent. If you’re really injured, call 911. Contact the police unless there is no damage worth reporting. If injuries come up after the fact, contact the police afterward. Even though you may be reluctant to involve the police, it’s essential to do so to obtain a police report. The police report can be critical in prosecuting the case and securing compensation. It’s also important to talk to witnesses and get their contact information. Exchange contact information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. In addition to getting the contact information of witnesses, have them write down their account of what happened. The driver should also make notes and write down how they experienced the accident. After talking to witnesses, take pictures – lots of them. Make sure you have pictures of the scene of the crash, any vehicle damage, and all injuries. You should continue taking pictures throughout medical treatment and the healing process, as these pictures are essential in proving damages.

“The other driver doesn’t have auto insurance. Do I still have a claim for my injuries?”

The answer to these questions depends on whether you have uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist coverage. If you have UM/UIM insurance then your insurance company must pay for damages caused by the liable, uninsured/underinsured drivers. You may be also to seek recovery from other sources of insurance, for instance a homeowners policy or an umbrella policy.

“Can the other driver’s insurance carrier pay my medical providers now so I can get treatment?”

Unfortunately, most of the time, the other driver’s insurance carrier will not immediately pay for your treatment. Instead, you likely will have to use your health insurance. Assuming the injury stemmed from a car accident, your auto insurance policy may include something called Medical Payments coverage. If you have this coverage, your car insurance will pay for your medical bills up to the value of the policy. In getting treatment immediately, another option may be providing the medical facility with a letter, which promises that they will be paid at the end of the case. In turn, your health insurance will have to be repaid from the defendant’s insurance. This repayment process is known as subrogation, which means one party standing in the place of another.

“Can I bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of my family member for an accident?”

If the worse happens and a loved one is killed in an accident, the decedent’s estate administrator or personal representative may bring a claim for wrongful death. Wrongful death actions are clustered in the legal areas of vehicle accidents, criminal behavior, or death that occurred during a supervised period.

Personal injury claims may seem daunting. As personal injury lawyers serving the Vail and Roaring Fork Valleys, we know the fight that insurance companies can put up and we know how to beat them. If you are looking for a personal injury attorney, please contact Kalamaya | Goscha. (970) 305-3794 or email us at info@kalamaya.law.

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