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When you’ve been in an accident, what do you do next?
This is a common question for people who’ve been involved in an accident. After all, you never imagined you would ever be involved in any kind of accident. But it’s important to proceed carefully.
If you hope to make a compensation claim for any damages, you could unintentionally reduce your amount of compensation by doing or saying the wrong thing.
When do I talk to my insurance company?
It’s always important to notify your insurance company when you’ve been involved in a crash. If you’re at fault for causing the accident, you need to let your insurance company know before the other drivers inform them. Your insurers will want to hear your version of the events. If other drivers speak to them first, they could give an altered version of what happened and your insurance group will want to hear from you.
However, if you aren’t at fault for causing the accident then you should consider talking to a lawyer before contacting your insurance company. While your insurance will pay for damages you’ve suffered, they will try to avoid paying out where they can. Getting legal advice will help you determine what position you’re in and if you can claim compensation for any additional damages.
Do I have to file a claim with my insurance company?
No, you don’t have to file a claim with your insurers. But you still need to tell them about the accident.
In Mississippi you can file a claim with:
- Your insurance company
- The company that insures the driver who is responsible for causing the accident
- A personal injury law firm
If you’d rather pay for the damages yourself that’s fine but you still need to inform your insurance company about the accident. You can talk to them on the phone or write a letter detailing what happened in the accident. (If you decide to do this, it’s worthwhile to get a lawyer to check over your statement, you don’t want to be accepting blame for anything that wasn’t your fault.)
If you fail to tell your insurance company about the accident, you could be breaching your contract with them. Some insurance groups state you must inform them of your involvement in any accidents or you could be at risk for your insurance company refusing future coverage.
Can I claim compensation after an accident?
If you’re not at fault for causing the accident, in Mississippi you have the right to get compensation from the at-fault driver.
Contact a personal injury attorney and tell them about your case so they can consult you on the best course of action for your case. In Mississippi, there is a rule known as the “statute of limitations”, which means there is a time limit on how long you have to make a compensation claim in court after the accident. In Mississippi, the time limit is three years. If you decide to make a claim after three years, the court will not hear your case.
What to do after you’ve had an accident
There are many options available to you after you’ve been involved in an accident. As each case is different, it’s worthwhile to get the advice of a lawyer to ensure you take the best route for you.
No matter if the accident is your fault or not, there are certain things you should always do after an accident:
1. Don’t leave the scene of the accident until you have exchanged details with drivers
If you’re responsible for causing a crash, leaving the scene can result in you being charged with ‘hit and run.’
2. Get contact details from all the other drivers involved
3. Get contact details from any witnesses who saw the accident
4. Get medical assistance
Some injuries won’t appear until days or weeks after the accident. Traumatic brain injuries can sometimes show symptoms months after a collision. Getting a medical check-up can ensure you’re fine and there are no hidden serious injuries.
Talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer
Coxwell & Associates, PLLC, are an experienced team of personal injury lawyers who have won compensation cases for people who have been involved in accidents. From traffic accidents to other personal injury cases, our attorneys are here to help.