Saturday, January 19, 2008

Car Accident - I Was Hit And Now What?

Car Accident - I Was Hit And Now What? Car accident? Let the frustration begin! I know this because I was in one last week, and I did not know what to do or how to react. I was a claim adjuster for several years before I went to law school, and even tough I handled hundreds of insurance claims alike, I never could comprehend how confusing a car accident really is. Last week, I was sitting at a light when suddenly there was a bum and then another bum . My seat broke and I was laying flat. I got up and I could not find my hazard lights, and I could not remember where I was going. Everything was simply a daze. I just look at my car and realized there was no way I could drive home. When the insurance adjuster called me and I told him what you just read, I could feel the frustration of the adjuster. The adjuster s questions in the recorded statement were very detailed. I must have sounded like the biggest idiot. Mr. Quiroga, what is the name and badge number of the police officer that responded to the car accident scene? uh? I was there and then and I was hit and I could not find my hazard lights and my seat was broken. That was my answer! Ok, you get my point. A car accident happens and we just do not know what to do. I did not know and I had been dealing with every possible car accident you could imagine. Here are the 10 most valuable tips I came up with: Get out of the vehicle only if you believe you are ok and/or if there is smoke. Make sure that others are ok. Ask the other driver. Be careful with what you say. Many adjusters will change your words to make it sound like you were apologizing for the accident because you were at fault. So a simple question like: is every one ok in your vehicle? will do the work. Call the police. You need to call the police to the accident scene. Do not trust others. In many accidents people will tell you that they call and never did. Exchange insurance information with the other driver. Do not move the vehicle even if you are blocking traffic. Let the police take a look at the scene and let them determine when to move the vehicle. If it is possible, CALL the other person s insurance carrier and determine if there is an active policy in force that would cover your car accident. If not, tell the police officer. Do not argue. Just listen and go sit down in your car if the other person is being anxious. Whenever you have the chance, report the accident to your insurance company. Most insurance agents will tell you that if the accident is minor to deal directly with the other party so your rates do not go up. In my opinion, this can backfire on you. If the other party starts claiming an injury (even if it is frivolous) and you failed to report the loss, Insurance companies can decline coverage because you breached your duty to report as outlined in most insurance polices. By reporting the car accident to your carrier, you are putting in notice of the loss. You can tell them that you will negotiate with the other party but if things get ugly, you will contact them. If the accident was of substance. Go see a doctor. When you are in a car accident, the adrenaline rush is great and it will hide any pain or injury. It is better to detect any injury or complication early on. Drive safe and hope that others will! All the best, Hector Quiroga © Copyright All Rights Reserved. Hector Quiroga has a high interest in helping consumers gain knowledge of the auto insurance claim process for both property damage and bodily injury claims. On he covers in great detail what a car accident investigation entails and share many helpful tips for dealing with insurance companies and adjusters.

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