Being involved in a car accident is stressful. Not only do you have to suffer through the initial ordeal, but then you need to go through the seemingly endless amount of phone calls and paperwork to file your claim against the at-fault driver. It seems like the only thing that could make your experience worse is if the other driver doesn’t accept responsibility for the accident and their insurance company refuses to reimburse you for the damages to your car. If this ever happens to you, here are three steps to take.
When you are in an accident, it is important to get a police report of the accident for documentation. Documentation can influence the at-fault driver’s decision to accept responsibility or not. However, sometimes police reports can lack information that supports your claim and won’t specifically state who was at fault.
So, start by asking the other driver for proof of insurance. Legally, they are required to share this information with you. This information can help you and your attorney make a claim for damages.
Next, talk to witnesses. Ask every witness what he or she saw and get their names and contact information.
Lastly, take pictures if you can. The police will usually take pictures once they arrive. However, if the vehicles need to be moved quickly to allow traffic through, try and take pictures from different angles before any vehicle is moved. This will help determine the positions of the vehicles and can create evidence of who is at fault.
Another option you have if someone won’t take financial responsibility for an accident is to talk to your insurance company. Depending on your insurance policy, your insurance company may pay for all the damages to the car while arguing with the other driver’s insurance company for reimbursement. In legal terms, this is called subrogation. Your insurer will also advise you on what steps you should take to file a complaint with the other insurer. While they will pay for the damages, you may still be expected to pay the deductible.
If you had to pay for an ambulance, emergency room, x-ray costs, or any other medical-related costs, chances are you want to see that money again—especially if it wasn’t your fault. Make sure to keep records and receipts of all expenses. A good lawyer can help you recoup these costs in any insurance settlement.
If you haven’t seen a penny from the at-fault driver while you’ve had to deal with bills from the towing company, rental car company, mechanic and hospital, hire a lawyer and take your claims to court. Working with a lawyer can help prove that the other driver was at fault and confirm the amount of money they owe you. While going to court can be time-consuming and expensive, it can help you get your money back. If you are successful, you can even have your attorney fees reimbursed by the other driver or their insurance.
If you’ve been in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you deserve to be reimbursed for the damages. This should be an easy process, but you will often find that it is not. What seemed so clear during the time of the accident may be swayed by the other driver, making the process more difficult for you. At Hopkins Roden, we simplify the situation for you. Our lawyers can help you get you to recover your damages and receive fair treatment.
If you are looking for help with an auto accident issue, contact Hopkins Roden Crockett Hansen & Hoopes PLLC for some of the best lawyers in Idaho Falls.