There are a few hard and fast rules to follow if you have been in a vehicle collision, and one of the most important of these involves contacting an auto accident law firm. First, you need to take care of yourself and anyone else who is injured. Even though your medical needs maybe part of a later compensation settlement, your safety is first and foremost. Do not put yourself or others at risk of further injury by attempting to delay treatment in order to document the evidence. Get treatment immediately and ensure that you do not aggravate any existing damage.
If you do not have any serious injuries in need of emergency care, call your doctor, and then call your insurance company and your chosen auto accident law firm, and hold to the first rule of insurance etiquette: never talk to your insurance company without a lawyer present. It is the job of the insurance company to save themselves money, and it is easier for them to do so without the influence of a trained attorney. Although the proceedings may seem straightforward, it is vitally important to have someone with a sound knowledge of the complex rules and statutes that govern this area of the law, particularly in cases that involve out-of-state drivers or accidents.
Do not take any settlement offers from the insurance company. If you take any money or agreements from them, you are essentially saying that you agree to the amount that they are dictating. You will not be able to add damages or claims at a later time. An interesting tactic that firms use to save themselves money is to offer to total and buy out your car. Once this transaction has been made, the insurance company owns your vehicle, and they do not have to turn it over for investigation either by the police or by the law firm. Although you end up with a new car, this action protects the insurance company; it does not protect you. If there is any outside liability for your damages or injuries, or if the insurance will pay for something that you are not aware of, you have no recourse to demand compensation, as you have already accepted it in the form of this replacement car.
You should also be protective of your medical records. It sounds legitimate that if you have been injured in a car accident that the insurance company would need to obtain your medical records, but this could be a tactic they use to try to prove pre-existing conditions. In short, do not release any information, including paper work, your vehicle itself, accident reports, or medical records to anyone without the approval of your lawyer. Better yet, do not handle any of the exchange of information yourself. A secure document server can help protect your privacy and your case from underhanded attempts to discredit your injuries.
Always rely on your accident law firm attorney to speak on your behalf in order to reach the proper compensation agreement.