What Do I Do After An Automobile Accident?
There are several important steps you need to take after you have been in an automobile accident. The first thing is to get the medical attention you need. Next, you need to contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
There are many pitfalls in automobile accident cases that you need to avoid. It may seem obvious but you need to get as much information about the other driver as possible, including his license plate, his driver’s license information and insurance information. Other important information may be the identification of witnesses to the accident. You should call the police to report the accident so there is a record of the accident.
Get any necessary medical treatment. The doctor or the hospital will record your injuries and treatment in your medical records. Also, you should photograph any of your injuries, whether they are cuts, bruises, scratches or stitches because the photographs will show the injuries you sustained in the accident. Injuries heal over time and it is important to have a record of the injuries you received in the accident.
Please download our Guide to New Hampshire Automobile Accidents for a brief description of the process or our book, Consumer Guide to Personal Injury in New Hampshire for a more complete description.
Should I Give A Statement To The Other Driver’s Insurance Company?
No. When we have clients come to us after an automobile accident, we often find that the insurance company for the other driver called them and took a recorded statement over the phone or in person. It happens a lot, even before people have had a chance to hire their own attorney. The reason why the insurance companies do this is because they count on many accident victims not getting their own lawyer and then they can offer a quick and low settlement. Insurance companies count on the fact that you will not know the value of your case. The insurance company for the other driver is interested in asking you a lot of questions about the accident and finding out about your injuries and how you are feeling. That insurance company will try to use this information against you if you make a claim. Be alert that the other driver’s insurance company is not looking out for your best interest. While you do have an obligation to cooperate with your insurance company, you are under no obligation to talk to the other driver’s insurance company if they contact you. It is best to have your lawyer deal directly with the insurance company.
What Is My Case Worth?
Determining the value of a personal injury claim is based on the very unique circumstances of your case. There are several factors that are going to determine the value of your claim, which include the nature and location of the injuries, the pain and suffering associated with the injury, the permanency as well as any future medical needs.
I Was In a Car Accident But The Other Driver Who Was At Fault Did Not Have Auto Insurance. Am I Out of Luck?
Under New Hampshire law, if the at-fault party does not have insurance coverage you will be able to make a claim against your own automobile insurance coverage or an uninsured motorist claim. As a part of the premium for your automobile insurance, you have coverage that protects you in case of an accident with a driver that has no insurance.
I Don’t Have Health Insurance or the Money to Pay for Medical Treatment. Can I Pay My Medical Bills From a Settlement of My Automobile Accident?
Yes. We frequently negotiate on behalf of our clients with their healthcare provider to wait and get paid out of any personal injury settlement. You should be aware that if you do have health insurance, many of the policies require that the health insurance company be repaid for medical bills paid on your behalf as the result of an injury caused by a third party.
The Other Driver At Fault Had a Minimal Insurance Policy But I Suffered Serious Injuries. What Do I Do?
We are finding this to be a more frequent occurrence where the at-fault driver has a minimal insurance policy but our clients have serious injuries. This situation may lead to what is called “underinsured” claim. For example, the at-fault driver may have an insurance policy with only $25,000 in bodily injury insurance coverage. That means that there is only $15,000 available from the other driver’s insurance company. If your own insurance policy has a larger bodily injury insurance coverage, then you are able to make an “underinsured” claim. It is not uncommon for clients to cover at least $100,000 in underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage through their own automobile insurance company. That way, no matter what, you have at least the $100,000 in bodily injury available to you. For example, the other driver having $25,000 in bodily injury insurance coverage, you have a claim against that policy and then try to collect the remaining balance from your own automobile insurance coverage.
How to Hire an Automobile Accident Lawyer?
Choosing the right lawyer for your automobile accident is very important. It does make a difference to the amount of money you may recover in your case. Your lawyer can help you with two important parts of your case. The first is to make sure you get the medical treatment you need. The second important thing is your lawyer can get you the money you deserve for your injuries.
The insurance company for the other driver wants to pay you the least amount of money for your claim. That is why you need an experienced personal injury lawyer to deal with the insurance company. Everyone has seen the 1-800 TV ads for lawyers or the yellow page ads by lawyers claiming to be experienced automobile accident lawyers. Before you choose your lawyer, you should ask the lawyer you are considering if they have any trial experience – that is, whether that attorney has taken a case to trial. Trial experience is the most important factor to consider in hiring your attorney.
In order to get the most money for your injuries, the insurance company needs to know your attorney is skilled and experienced in bringing a case to trial. It is the threat of a trial that puts the pressure on the insurance company to offer you a fair settlement. Many times the insurance company will offer you more money to settle your case if they know your attorney is willing to go to Court to fight for your case. The insurance company knows which lawyers will try a case and which lawyers just want to settle a case.
Our guide, How to Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer, provides answers to some questions you may have about hiring the right attorney for your automobile accident case. Our Video Library may answer more of your questions.
How Do I Pay My Personal Injury Lawyer?
We offer a free consultation to find out if you have a car accident case. If you hire us to help you in your case, you do not pay us anything unless we recover money for you. This is called a contingency fee. Our fee would be a percentage of your recovery.
Why Should I Choose Douglas, Leonard & Garvey As My Automobile Accident Lawyers?
If you have a case, choosing the right lawyer can make a difference. It may mean the difference between success and failure. Because the insurance company has their own experienced adjusters and lawyers, you need your own experienced attorney on your team. Our job as your attorney is to get you the most compensation for your injuries. The job of the insurance companies is to pay the least amount of money for your claim.
This firm has the reputation and experience of being a trial law firm. What makes our law firm different is that insurance companies know we will take the case to trial if they do not offer you a fair settlement for your injuries. If you have an inexperienced lawyer that isn’t used to going to Court, you won’t have that leverage on your side. The leverage or the threat of taking a case to trial that makes the insurance company pay you the most money for your case. The insurance companies know what law firms want to settle cases and what law firms are willing to fight to take your case to trial.
Please call us for an immediate free and confidential consultation at 1-800-240-1988 or complete our contact form online.