- Call the police and make a report at the scene; do not admit fault just give them the facts;
- Get names and phone numbers of any witnesses to the occurrence if they support your version. If you are unable to obtain names and numbers due to injury, have someone else get names if possible.
- Get medical attention as soon as needed.
- You should offer your health insurance information to pay for your medical bills; the health insurance carrier will be able to recover their payments later from any recovery you make.
- If you don’t have health insurance then the vehicle in which you were riding may have what is called a medical payments coverage, whereby it will pay your medical bills resulting from the accident up to the coverage limits.
- You should report the accident to your insurance carrier as soon as possible.
- If there is clear liability and the other parties insurance company accepts responsibility they will pay for the repair to your vehicle or give you the fair market value if the vehicle is a total loss. If the other parties insurance company will not accept responsibility and you have coverage, then your insurance company will pay for the repairs to your vehicle, less your deductible. Your insurance company will pursue a claim for that money against the other driver or his insurance carrier.
- DO NOT GIVE A RECORDED STATEMENT TO ANYONE CALLING FROM THE OTHER PARTIES INSURANCE COMPANY YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO DO SO. YOU DO HAVE TO GIVE YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY A VERBAL REPORT AND COMPLETE A WRITTEN REPORT, IF REQUESTED, BUT DO NOT GIVE A RECORDED STATEMENT TO YOUR OWN INSURANCE COMPANY UNLESS IT IS CLEARLY THE FAULT OF THE OTHER DRIVER. YOU DO HAVE TO COOPERATE WITH YOUR OWN COMPANY REGARDING THE INVESTIGATION OF THE OCCURRENCE.
- Get photographs of your vehicle if there is significant damage. Take pictures of any visible injuries to your body.
- Call an attorney as soon as possible to go over the facts and get advice on what you need to do. You may hurt your chances of a full recovery by saying or doing the wrong thing! It costs nothing to call because the recovery for an injury case is based upon the amount recovered. If you recover nothing, you pay nothing.
- If the other drive received a traffic citation then you need to consult with your attorney Whether you should attend traffic court. The only finding at traffic court that is admissible in a civil case would be if the person plead guilty to the charges on the ticket. If you testified at traffic court anything you say could be used against you in the civil case and Attorneys usually advise their clients not to appear unless accompanied by the attorney.
- If the vehicle which caused the accident or the driver was not covered by insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your loss, then you may file a claim against your own insurance company under a provision called uninsured/underinsured coverage. Most policies provide for this type of coverage. You pay a separate premium for this type of coverage so don’t feel bad about making a claim.
Household appliances, such as defective space heaters, furnaces, smoke detectors and light fixtures cause countless injuries. Product liability cases also involve tires, cars, trucks and SUVs. Any product that is put into the marketplace may not have been improperly designed, tested or manufactured.
Something as innocent as child’s toy can pose a danger to the health and safety of a child. Loose or small pieces can pose choking hazards; lead paint coatings can cause serious and life long problems with a child’s brain; and pinch points or other defects in cribs, strollers, buggies and swings can cause lifelong injuries.
If a product is involved in an injury, whether it is a multi million dollar piece of industrial machinery or an inexpensive, but unsafe children’s toy, more often than not, the law may allow you to recover for your injury.
You are entitled to have your reasonable medical bills paid and also partial payment of your wages while you are recovering from your injuries. You may also recover for any disability caused by the accident on a temporary or permanent basis.
However, these claims often result in an inadequate recovery for the injury sustained. Every injured worker should consult with an attorney about his or her workman’s comp claim and any additional claims which arise out of defective or dangerous equipment being used at the time and injuries occurring on or off the premises of the employer where a third party may be responsible. Simple examples would be when a driver is making a delivery to a store and is injured due to inadequate maintenance at the store; a truck driver is involved in a collision while driving his route; or a factory worker is injured by a piece of machinery.
In all these examples there may be a recovery for workmen’s comp and an additional recovery against the store owner, other driver or machine manufacturer. Call us to review the facts and make sure you’re getting the compensation you are legally entitled to.