Being the victim of a motor vehicle accident can be life-changing.
You have to deal with vehicle damage and your bodily injuries, but also the pain and suffering of the accident trauma. The stress can be overwhelming and can affect how you do things.
More importantly, you may not be at your best. Before you accept an offer of settlement from an insurance company, consider that it may be well below the worth of your claim. Here are some helpful points.
Wisconsin Jury Instructions sets standards for motor vehicle negligence. It requires that the parties involved in a collision prove negligence and specifically relate that negligence to their damages.
So if you are in a motor vehicle accident, call the police to ensure that there is a police report of the accident. Stay at the accident scene so you can speak to them and relate your version of the accident. This report will help you if the person who hit you denies an accident or that it was his/her fault. The other driver may deny that this accident caused your vehicle damage and bodily injuries.
Take photographs of the accident scene as best you can, of your vehicle and of all the vehicles involved in the collision. This may be vital to proving the case of negligence against the other driver and proving your innocence so that an insurance company may find it hard to reduce your settlement by arguing the accident was partly your fault.
Call an ambulance to the scene. You may have suffered bodily trauma and even if you think you will be fine, please ensure that the medical professionals “check you.” In this way, if you develop injuries, there will be a record of treatment and doctor’s advice from the day of the accident.
Obtain the other driver’s name, address and insurance details and as many names and addresses of witnesses at the scene. You may need witnesses to confirm your version of events. You will need insurance information to report the accident, to make a claim on the other driver’s insurance company for payment of your vehicle damage, compensation for any bodily injuries and for your medical expenses and wage loss.
You may also find out that you are unable to work due to these injuries and that — being unable to work — your livelihood is destroyed. So to protect yourself ensure you walk away with as much information as the other driver is willing to give to you regarding his/her motor vehicle insurance.
Next, look around you and jot down what you see, hear and observe. Also write about how you are feeling, your injuries and any pain that you are experiencing. Document any bruises and marks on your body and take photos of all your bodily injuries.
Report the accident to your own insurance company, continue to see your doctor for treatment of your injuries.