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Tips and Suggestions If You Are In a Car Accident

Posted on August 17th, 2010 by Staff

Property Damage

If possible, always use your own insurance to cover the damage to your car. Remember, if you were not at fault in causing the accident, opening a claim to repair the damages to your car will not result in higher premiums or other negative consequence to your insurability. The advantage for you is that your own insurance company owes you a duty of good faith and fair dealing because you are their customer.

The defendant’s insurance company owes you no such duty and is motivated solely by trying to save as much money as they can on your claim. Sometimes, you have no choice but to deal with the other insurer for your damages and rental car, but if at all possible, turn the claim into your own company. Many times your own company will also waive your deductible or return it promptly after it has been reimbursed by the other driver’s insurance company.

Treatment for Injuries

Get the care and treatment you need without delay. Do not suffer needlessly because you have no health insurance or you are afraid your health insurer will not cover chiropractic or other alternative treatments. Many people are not aware of a provision in their auto policy called “Med-Pay.” This provision, usually with limits between $1,000 and $5,000, pays for any reasonable and necessary medical expenses associated with your injuries regardless of who is at fault. This provision usually applies to everyone in your car as well.

Many policies contain a limitation that med pay only applies for expenses incurred within one year of the accident. In addition to med pay, many providers will accept what is called a “lien” on your personal injury recovery if your insurance will not cover their costs. Usually, you need a lawyer to co-sign the lien with you so that the provider is assured that he or she will be paid when the claim resolves.

Be Active in Your Recovery

Take an active role in recovering from your injuries. You are your own best advocate. Ask questions and tell your health care providers everything about your condition and how you are feeling. Tell them about pre-existing health problems that may have some bearing on the injuries you suffered in the accident. If you are feeling better, decrease the treatment or stop altogether.

On the other hand, if you are not getting better, tell your health care provider and be insistent about exploring further diagnostic workup (i.e., MRI, CT scan, nerve conduction study, etc.) or alternative treatments (i.e., epidural steroid injections, acupuncture, surgery, etc.).

Legal Help In And Around Sacramento & Elk Grove, California

For help with your car accident case in Sacramento & Elk Grove or surrounding areas, contact the O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm today. The sooner you call, the easier it is for us to work together to identify and preserve the evidence in your favor. We prepare every case thoroughly, which leads to both better and quicker settlements and better verdicts if a settlement isn't possible.