Even the most experienced drivers can find car accidents to be stressful and hard to understand situations. From medical issues to insurance fees, there are countless questions that are put in your hands when you’re the victim of a car accident. Here at Oxner + Permar, PLLC our attorneys have been working for decades to make sure that accident victims like you keep their rights protected and get compensated fairly, even if it all can seem a bit overwhelming.
Here are a few helpful tips on what you can do if you’re a victim of a car accident.
1. Be informed: One of the most important things to do right after a car accident is to make sure you know as much as you can about the incident. Don’t just leave it up to your memory. At the scene of the accident have someone else, preferably a bystander, take pictures of what happened. This should include the scene and any cars involved. Also get the phone numbers of any witnesses, as they might be able to help support you. A few days after the car accident, you should get a copy of the police officer’s report, which should be made available online. It will have any statements you, the other person, or bystanders made. It will also have photos of where each vehicle was.
2. Document injuries: If you go to the hospital, don’t be afraid to ask your doctors questions and tell them everywhere that you hurt. You want them to understand the full situation. Unfortunately, the other driver’s insurance company won’t cover any medical costs until your case is settled, so you should make sure to use health insurance if you have it. Health insurance will let you get the medical attention you need while keeping any bill collectors off your back as much as possible.
3. Be ready for a phone call: Within the next day or two after a car accident, you might get a phone call from the other driver’s insurance adjuster. They will usually ask questions about how and why the accident happened and will want to know if you were injured or any damages to your vehicle. However, the insurance adjuster could be using questions designed to figure out whether you did anything to cause the accident. Any of what you say to the adjuster could be used against you in a case, so it could be a good decision to not tell the adjuster anything more than the basics. We recommend telling them that you were injured if this is a case, you need a rental vehicle, and/or you need repairs done on your car. Once you speak with an attorney, they can advise you on how to work with the adjuster best.
4. Call your insurance company: Check in with your insurance company to see if you have coverage on your policy towards “Medical Payments.” This could cover thousands of dollars towards your medical bills, to help you pay for the deductibles and co-pays that might come after an accident.
If you’re in the unfortunate situation where this does happen to you, reach out to Oxner + Permar, PLLC for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.
There are several subjects the claims adjuster is allowed to discuss with your doctor, but your medical care is not one of them. Unless you give the adjuster permission to speak with your doctor they may not call and ask questions concerning your care.
There are many complicated rules regarding communication with medical providers. Defendants are allowed to obtain medical records, medical bills, and address non-substantive matters, but they can not discuss important matters like treatment without authorization from you, the injured worker.
The statute is clear about the type of written communication that is allowed as well and provides specific questions that can be asked without your consent.
It can be confusing when an adjuster calls and asks if they can discuss a certain topic with your doctor. What you say in an unplanned moment may hurt your case. If you suspect improper communication has occurred you should contact an attorney to discuss the issue.