When Accident Strikes: 4 Financial Pointers for After the Wreck

Financial concerns are among the chief sources of anxiety after a car accident. For younger and more inexperienced drivers, the prospect of insurance increases, potentially budget-breaking repair costs and the possibility of tickets or other legal problems can seem insurmountable.

Despite these perils, there are ways to deal with car accidents that can help minimize the damage and can even potentially put a driver in a better position to handle future problems should they occur. Here are some things to consider.

Insurance Company

Your policy requires you to report an accident, but it likely doesn’t require that report to take place at the side of a dark road at 2AM. In order to preserve your rights under your insurance policy, you should carefully consider what you say to an adjuster. The insurance company will be looking for any opportunity to deny your claim. After all, insurance companies don’t make money writing checks.

If at all possible, you should have an attorney contact your insurance company. Passing the Bar requires considerable study of your state’s insurance code. Further, you can be sure your insurer has attorneys standing by to dispute your claim. Be prepared.

Police

Remain silent. Only answer questions you are legally required to answer. Do not discuss the details of the accident with the police under any circumstances. Leaving aside the potential for inadvertently admitting fault, you could very easily entangle yourself in various degrees of criminal liability by making ambiguous or inaccurate statements. Exercise your rights and keep your mouth shut. Contact an attorney at your earliest convenience and let them do the talking. 

Retain Counsel and Document Everything

The other driver or drivers should be identified as quickly as possible after the accident if you want to avoid paying for the whole party yourself. This is yet another area where hiring an accident attorney is a good plan.

You will need reliable records of license plates, insurance information (company provided cards being the best option) and driver’s licenses. It doesn’t hurt to get identifications from everyone else at the scene as well, including passengers and responding emergency workers. You never know who will make a good witness.

No Compromise

If another driver or drivers are found to be at fault, do not settle for any offer that does not make you 100% whole. This means you should be compensated financially to a point where everything is exactly as it was before the accident took place. You are under no obligation to make things easy for those who caused the accident, and neither is your insurance company. If necessary, retain legal counsel like Randall A. Wolff & Associates, Ltd or another attorney, and do not accept any settlement until you have been paid every dime you are owed.

One of the best reasons for getting help after a car accident is a third party can more soberly evaluate the situation and offer advice. You are likely to be affected by trauma and disorientation, and this is no time for you to be making weighty financial decisions.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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