Important Questions To Consider After An Auto Accident:

1. Q. Did a police officer arrive at the accident scene?

A. If you are not at fault, a police officer helps to investigate the accident, talk to witnesses, obtain written statements, obtain the contact information and insurance held by the drivers, offer an opinion as to the cause of the accident, sometimes issue a traffic ticket, and document injuries you might experience at that time. You should call the police while at the accident scene to document important facts to help prove your claims and that you were not at fault.

2. Q. Do you and the other driver have auto insurance?

A. If you did not cause the accident, the other driver’s insurance company typically pays for damage to your vehicle as well as for your medical expenses, amounts for pain you may suffer for your personal injuries, and lost wages. If the other driver does not have insurance or has minimal insurance, but you have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance and/or medical payments coverage, you can still recover your damages and possibly to the full extent of your insurance limits. Either you or your attorney will need to contact the at fault driver’s insurance company to begin a claim for damages. Your insurance company should also be contacted to advise of the accident and to obtain your insurance coverage in the event, for example, the at fault party’s insurance is not sufficient or was cancelled prior to the accident.

3. Q. Are you hurt?

A. If you were injured in an accident, you should see a medical provider as soon as possible for treatment to diagnose your injuries and hopefully help you get better. It may be more difficult to prove an accident caused your injuries and pain without records from a medical provider. If you go to the emergency room and afterwards continue to suffer from your injuries, you should see another medical provider for further treatment until you have completely recovered.

4. Q. Did you take pictures of the vehicles at the accident scene?

A. If the vehicles sustained damage as a result of the accident, it is often helpful to take pictures of the areas damaged on both vehicles to help preserve this evidence for negotiation of damages owed and to obtain a rental car during repairs. Remember, you can use your phone’s camera to take pictures.

5. Q. After the accident, did the other driver’s insurance company call you and ask for a recorded statement?

A. If so, I recommend you politely decline a recorded statement and call an attorney for assistance. Experienced insurance adjusters might use recorded statements of your answers to unfair or ambiguous questions to claim you were at fault for the accident and also attempt to lessen damages you sustained based on incomplete information and treatment at the time of your statement.

6. Q. Did you miss work because of your injuries?

A. If so, advise your employer of your accident and that you are treating with a medical provider for your injuries. To calculate your lost wages, keep track of dates of your medical appointments and time away from work caused by the accident. You should also obtain your recent check stubs, direct deposits, and W-2 tax statements from your employer showing your earnings and rate of pay (plus any overtime pay or other benefits you have received from your employer).

7. Q. Are you overwhelmed dealing with the insurance company while trying to get a fair resolution for your damages? Has the insurance company offered you an unfair amount to settle your claims?

A. If so, call me at (337) 706-8500 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your claims. You can also send an e-mail to mike@mikeardoin.com or contact me through my App that can be downloaded on iTunes and Google Play. Let me put my 25 + years of experience as an attorney to work for you!