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Personal Injury - FAQ

What should I do when I get into an accident?
If you are able, take photographs of the position of the cars and the property damage of the cars.  Get contact information of all witnesses and the investigating officer.  Exchange contact information and insurance information with the other driver.  Get immediate medical attention.  Take photographs of any bodily injuries.
When should I call the police after an accident?
Call the police if a crash results in death, bodily injury, $1,000 or more in total property damage, or if alcohol was involved in the accident.
What should I do after an accident?
Document all out of pocket medical expenses.  Keep all of your medical appointments and obtain a medical excuse for lost work time.  Keep a journal to preserve memories of your pain and difficulties due to your injuries
Do I need a lawyer? 
You can take care of a claim yourself, and most people do take care of property damage claims themselves.  However, with a personal injury claim, most people receive more money if they have an attorney, even after a typical one third contingency fee for their attorney is taken out.  In addition, personal injury claims can become complicated when different entities such as insurance plans, Medicare, Medicaid, and health care providers assert liens on any proceeds from accidents caused by a third party.  Attorneys can also help you receive more funds by locating any available insurance policies.
Should I talk to the insurance company?
No.  An insurance company’s goal is to minimize payments.  If you speak to them, they may try and find defenses to your claim. You are not legally required to give them a statement.
What should I do before I get in an accident?
Find out if you have medical payments coverage (also known as med pay), and get the most coverage you can.  Your insurance should not increase too much, and you will not have to prove fault in order to collect your medical payments coverage when you get into an accident and need to pay your medical bills.