How to Prepare for Filing a Third-Party Insurance Claim After a Car Accident in Connecticut
Nobody in Connecticut expects to get seriously injured in a car accident. However, motor vehicle collisions happen more often than most of us expect, and these crashes can result in severe and debilitating injuries. When another party’s negligence caused the accident in which you got hurt, you may be eligible to seek financial compensation by filing a lawsuit. Depending upon the specific facts of your case, you might be able to obtain a damages award by filing a third-party claim against the insurance company of the at-fault driver.
Hospital bills and other medical costs from car accidents can be extremely expensive, and you should not be responsible for covering these costs when an experienced Connecticut personal injury lawyer can help you to seek compensation.
What Should I Do to Get Ready for Filing a Third-Party Insurance Claim?
There are many ways to build a strong case that can allow you to obtain a settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurer. The key is providing as much evidence as possible in your case, and making sure that you have a car accident attorney in Connecticut on your side to assist you. Keep in mind that no insurance company wants to pay out when an accident happens. As such, you will need to show that the other driver was liable, and that at-fault driver’s insurance company should pay. The following are some tips for preparing for your third-party claim:
- Gather evidence at the scene of the accident: if you are able to take photos with your smartphone, or to jot down the names and contact information for witnesses at the scene of the accident, you should do so. Although you will have a police report it likely will not contain as much information as you will be able to gather on your own. Be sure to take photos from multiple angles of the scene of the crash, the damage to vehicle(s), and your injuries.
- Do not admit fault: even if you think you might have played a role in the accident, never admit fault. Insurance companies are not on your side, and they can use anything you might say against you at a later date.
- Seek immediate medical attention: you do not want the at-fault driver’s insurance company to allege that you delayed in seeking medical attention for your injuries and denying your claim. As a WebMD article explains, sometimes car accident injuries do not result in immediate symptoms, and trauma that causes internal bleeding, for example, can worsen significantly if you do not seek medical attention immediately. Then, the insurance company can use this as a defense in denying your claim or in court.
- Follow the instructions from your doctor: a report from U.S. News & World Report explains that many patient injuries that do not heal, or worsen, do so because the patient did not precisely follow the doctor’s instructions. Do not allow the at-fault driver’s insurance company to say that it is not liable simply because you did not take the steps prescribed by your physician.
- Retain copies of everything: whether it is police reports, insurance documents, or medical records, keep copies of everything on hand so that your car accident attorney can use it as evidence in your case. You should also write down the date, time, and name of anyone you speak with concerning the accident or your injury settlement.
- Do not post on social media: while you are preparing a third-party car accident claim, you should avoid posting on social media. Under the Stored Communications Act (SCA) (18 U.S.C. §§ 2701-2712), anything you post on Facebook or Twitter may be discoverable by the at-fault party and his or her insurance company (even if you have “privacy” settings). A simple image of you out for a walk can suggest that your injuries are not as severe as you allege, and you can jeopardize your case.
- The insurance company may call and ask you questions or even send an investigator to you to have you make a written statement. DON’T respond. Simply say, “Please see my lawyer,” if you have one. Although the person contacting you will appear to care about you and help you, their job is settle the case as cheaply as possible. If you are not experienced, like our lawyers are, deciding what you should share in this situation or what the terms they are using mean under the law, talk to a lawyer. Call us. We can help.
Most importantly, you should work with a Connecticut car accident lawyer and seek advice when preparing for your third-party insurance claim. Contact our office for assistance throughout each step of your case.