You were injured in a motor vehicle accident. The accident occurred a few days ago and that pain in your neck and back still won’t go away. What do you do next? The lawyers at Allen Wellman McNew Harvey, LLP work with injured parties to help them recover compensation after their injuries were caused by third parties such as in motor vehicle and slip and fall accidents and dog bite incidents. Most people we meet with have never submitted an insurance claim and don’t know where to begin or how to deal with insurance companies. The following are a few recommendations for what to do when submitting an insurance claim.
- Seek medical attention.
If your pain has not gone away and you are not already treating with a medical provider, go see your family physician or report to a walk-in clinic so you can receive medical advice on the treatment you should receive. Your family physician or clinic doctor may not be able to provide treatment themselves, but they will at least be able to refer you to a doctor that specializes in treating certain injuries or specific body parts.
- Take pictures of the damage and injuries.
If your car hasn’t already been repaired or if your injuries were caused by a permanent structure (such as tripping over an uneven sidewalk) taking pictures of the damage to your property, the item that caused you to slip/trip and fall, and your visible injuries is very important. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words and having photos to go with your story of how an accident occurred or how you were injured will carry a lot of weight in negotiating your claim.
- Report the accident to your own insurance carrier.
In Indiana, drivers have the option to purchase Medical Payment coverage as part of their automobile policy. MedPay coverage will typically pay up to a certain dollar amount of medical care for you and anyone in your vehicle at the time of the accident regardless of who caused it. If you purchased MedPay coverage, you will not have to pay your medical expenses entirely out of your own pocket. Depending on your coverage, your insurance company may also work with you regarding property damage and rental vehicle expenses.
- Gather and keep documents.
When negotiating with an insurance company, documentation is key. Whether you are working with an attorney or not, keep all bills you receive from your healthcare providers so that you can present them for reimbursement and to support your damages. If it is available, obtain the police report or other documentation concerning how the accident occurred. If you missed work, gather paystubs to show your normal hours worked and pay. You may also want to talk to your payroll department regarding used or lost benefits because of the accident. Presenting medical records and bills and documented proof of lost wages and other damages is the key to raising an insurance company’s offer. If you attempt to claim an expense without presenting an invoice or receipt, the insurance company is likely to reject that part of your claim.
- Talk to an attorney.
Our office offers a free consultation to those that have been injured in an accident. During the consult, we discuss the accident, your medical treatment, the insurance claim process and the process for filing a case in court if the claim doesn’t resolve. If it is determined that we are a good fit to work together, our office will work with you on a contingency fee basis which means you do not pay us any fees unless there is money is received on your claim. We will take care of contacting the insurance company for the party at fault for causing your injuries to open a claim and work toward obtaining fair compensation for your injuries.
Contact the lawyers at Allen Wellman McNew Harvey, LLP to schedule your free personal injury consultation today.