I’ve just been in an Accident – Now what?

1
Report the accident to local law enforcement and insist upon an accident crash report
2
Get the license number, personal and insurance details, and name of the other driver involved.
3
Seek immediate medical attention, being involved in an accident can result in severe shock, so any injuries may not be immediately apparent.
4
Ask for the details and names of any witnesses present at the accident scene.
5
Take pictures of your injuries and both vehicles ASAP.
6
Contact The Gore Law Firm as soon as possible for a FREE Case Evaluation 24/7 at (404) 436-1LAW.

What is my Case Worth?

The number one question we are asked is “What is my case worth?” However, putting a dollar amount on your injury case can be extremely difficult.

There are many factors that play a role in determining the value of your case, including the seriousness of the injuries, the length of time it takes to recover, whether or not you improve fully or remain with long term injuries, the severity of the collision, how badly the defendant acted and who they are (Ex. Drunk Driver), the available insurance coverages, the location and venue where the case would have to be tried, etc. Consequently, there is no set formula. We are The Gore Law Firm, seek to be open and clear with you every step of the way through your case.

Tips for Speaking to the Insurance Companies:

It is important to remember that everything you say or do after a collision can be used as evidence in your insurance claim. Not only is this important to remember when speaking directly with insurance companies, it is also important to remember when speaking to friends, family or posting on social media.

  • 1 YOU WILL LIKELY BE CONTACTED BY AN INSURANCE REPRESENTATIVE AFTER YOU OPEN A CLAIM:

    During this first conversation, you may feel frustrated, in pain, angry, so it’s important to remember a few things to avoid saying something that could negatively impact your case.

  • 2 DETERMINE WHO YOU ARE SPEAKING WITH:

    Insurance adjusters or other representatives may try to get you to “give a recorded statement” about how the accident happened or they may try to start up a conversation where they will try more subtly to get you to tell them about the accident. Remember you are in charge, and politely refuse any discussion of the facts of the accident except the most basic: where, when, the type of accident, and the vehicles involved if it was a traffic accident. You can say that your investigation of the accident is still ongoing and that you will discuss the facts further “at a later time.”

  • 3 REMAIN POLITE, BUT BRIEF:

    It’s a good idea to remain level headed with the insurance representative (adjuster). The adjuster may have the power to expedite your ability to get a rental car and if you are unnecessarily difficult they may make your life harder. You may have to tell the adjuster your name, address, and telephone number. Do not feel compelled to discuss or explain any more than that about your work, your schedule, or your injuries especially until they are fully evaluated, nor do you have to give detailed personal information.

  • 4 DO NOT DISCUSS DETAILS OF THE COLLISION WITH THE AT-FAULT DRIVER’S INSURANCE CO:

    You may be obligated to speak to your own insurance company about the collision, but when it comes to the at-fault driver’s insurance company, they will want to ask you questions that could implicate you as partly at fault even if there is no evidence of that. They may say, “Were you speeding?” “Were you paying attention?” Make sure to read carefully anything you’re asked to sign, especially any medical releases that allows an insurer to gather personal or medical information. There medical releases are usually overly broad.

  • 5 BE WARY OF TRAPS:

    Insurance adjusters or other representatives may try to get you to “give a recorded statement” about how the accident happened or they may try to start up a conversation where they will try more subtly to get you to tell them about the accident. Remember you are in charge, and politely refuse any discussion of the facts of the accident except the most basic: where, when, the type of accident, and the vehicles involved if it was a traffic accident. You can say that your investigation of the accident is still ongoing and that you will discuss the facts further “at a later time.”

  • 6 QUESTIONS ABOUT WITNESSES:

    If you are asked about witnesses and you know of some, respond that there “may be” witnesses and that you will let the insurance company know about after you speak with them. Do not commit to identifying witnesses or to providing witness statements. Also, if the adjuster does ask you about witnesses, you may want to ask the adjuster if he or she knows of any?

  • 7 OTHER PARTIES:

    You are entitled to ask whether the adjuster if they are aware of anyone else who might be responsible for the accident if the facts of the case suggest that.

  • 8 DO NOT DISCUSS DETAILS OF YOUR INJURIES:

    The insurance adjuster is going to want to know about your injuries. They are trying to get you on the record saying you are feeling fine or that you are not injured. You should not give a detailed description early on because you may leave something out, or worse, your injury turns out to be worse than you originally thought. At a later time, when you know the true extent of your injuries and treatment, your attorney will include a complete medical description of your injuries in your written demand for compensation. Until then, you should give only a general description of injuries (“I feel pain in my neck” or “My knee is bruised”), and tell the adjuster you are not sure how severe your injuries are. Tell the adjuster that you are seeking medical care. You are not required to give the information about the medical doctors you are visiting on this initial phone conversation.

  • 9 DO NOT TALK SETTLEMENT ON THE FIRST CALL:

    Sometimes insurance adjusters try to offer a settlement during the first one or two phone calls. Such quick settlements save the insurance company work, and more important, settling fast gets you to accept a very low amount without knowing the extent of your injuries and how much your claim is really worth. DO NOT accept any initial offers verbally or in writing.

  • 10 REMEMBER, YOU ARE IN CHARGE:

    Be clear that you will not be discussing much on the phone. Give limited information and set clear limits about what you are are not willing to speak about. Tell the adjuster that there is no need to discuss anything until you have finished investigating the collision and know fully what your injuries are. You have 2 years in Georgia to file and resolve your claim, so do not feel rushed. Another good idea is to ask that the adjuster communicate with you in writing until you present your written demand for compensation and actual settlement negotiations begin. When it comes to the repairs on your car, keep the conversation limited to just that.

  • 11 TAKE NOTES:

    Write down all the information you received over the phone, also write down whatever information you gave to the adjuster.

  • 12 DON’T SIGN ANYTHING:

    Remain suspicious of being asked to sign any forms. Do not believe that the forms are “routine” or “normal protocol”. The forms they are sending will likely give the insurance company total access to all your medical record, work records, or could release your ability to bring a claim. Remember you are not required to give the insurance company permission to get any records or information about you. Later in the claims process, your attorney will send the insurance company certain medical and income loss information, but at the appropriate time and on your own terms.