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Auto Accident Injury: What Can You Do?


 
One of the most important areas after any injury is documentation. Paperwork. Keep it all!

Make - and keep - a copy of everything you sign regarding the accident, your medical care, your vehicle and any communications with insurance agents or adjusters. As much as possible, do things in writing instead of on the phone, so you will have a copy. Then you can prove what you said and what they said if such proof becomes necessary.

  • Send a letter.
  • Send a fax.
  • When asked questions in a phone call, request that the insurance adjuster (or anyone else) send you a letter so you can be certain to answer the question fully. You don't need to mention that the letter also adds to your record of what is happening. Just tell the person you can't talk on the phone right now, please send a letter.
  • When that letter comes, answer it (remembering never to apologize), keep a copy, and file that letter with the copy of your answer.

Insurance companies like to settle a claim quickly. Their ads suggest that this is because they care about you, the injured person. Their financial statements tell a different story - they like to settle early because then they have to pay less. Read more at Rules of the GameGo to RULES OF THE GAME.

What can you do?

  • If applicable, gather (or photographGo to PHOTOGRAPHS AT THE SCENE) any physical evidenceGo to PHYSICAL EVIDENCE.
  • Document everything. Yes, everythingGo to DOCUMENT EVERYTHING!.
  • Start a Confidential Personal DiaryGo to PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM DIARY as soon as possible after your injury occurs. As the word "diary" suggests, write in it every day, following the guidelines given on this Web site. As the word "personal" suggests, do not tell other people the diary exists. In particular, do not tell the insurance adjusters the diary exists.
  • Be prepared by knowing and reading the Rules of the GameGo to RULES OF THE GAME.
  • Learn the sorts of questions you will be asked Go to AUTO ACCIDENT INJURY: QUESTIONS YOU WILL BE ASKED
  • Know when you need an attorneyGo to AUTO ACCIDENT INJURY: WHAT CAN YOU DO?.

Remember that you are the person who cares the most about your claim, about your life, about whether the settlement you accept is sufficient to cover the true costs from your injuries.
To see some of the questions that are routinely asked of drivers and passengers after an auto accident, go toGo to AUTO ACCIDENT INJURY: QUESTIONS YOU WILL BE ASKED and read through them. Remember, these questions may not be asked until months later.