What Details to Give About Your Car Accident?
When a car accident occurs, your adrenaline is rushing, and time seems to move in slow motion. Understandably, things are a blur, and you need to get a handle on what’s going on. Drivers can feel instantly at fault, even when they’re not. Sticking with basic information when talking with the other driver is important, so you don’t say anything that could complicate your claim.
Sometimes, insurance companies provide clients with a reference card with the information to collect right after an accident. Keeping that handy in your glove box is a good idea. The rule of thumb is to give only details that can be used to file a claim. Don’t discuss the accident with anyone but law enforcement personnel at the scene. If you need legal help after a crash, Mike Morse Law Firm is ready to assist with your accident claim.
Information You Can Share With Other Drivers
Exchanging information in accidents happens all the time. You may be worried about giving too much information, but if you stay with these pieces, you are providing what’s expected.
The contact information you should provide is straightforward. Give the other driver your name, address and phone number. It is not necessary to provide your email address. Be aware that insurance companies will use all means to contact you.
Offering your insurance company name and policy number will suffice for insurance details. Your insurance card typically has a customer service number for the company or your agent, which is acceptable to give if requested.
The other driver will likely ask for your driver’s license and license plate numbers. This is standard information in a police accident report, so don’t hesitate to provide it.
Basic car features are other pieces of information drivers collect for their records. The type, color and model of your vehicle are what they need. These are noted on a police report as well. While you can readily give out these details, it is not your duty to write all of this information out for another driver.
Each person in an accident is responsible for gathering information. If the other driver tries to engage in a conversation about the accident, you should decline to comment. Words matter after a crash. Other drivers can and do report what you say to their insurance company or legal counsel.
Details You Should Provide Law Enforcement
Law enforcement officials record the facts of what took place in a collision. They will ask you direct questions to establish what occurred in the moments a crash was unfolding. Police officers typically follow what’s on an accident report form, making notes and sketching out the scene. You should answer their questions honestly and give as much information as you recall. However, there is no need to fill in the details you don’t know.
A police officer is pulling together the specifics from all the parties involved, and it is not your responsibility to know the entirety of how things happened. Witnesses and the accident scene itself can provide those critical particulars. Avoid engaging in any speculation or making accusations about the other driver.
Details You Should Give Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company asks for the information pertinent to starting a claim for damages. Insurances representatives are experienced with gathering information, so follow their lead. These are questions frequently asked:
- When did the accident occur? (Date and time)
- What is the make, model and year of your vehicle?
- Was there damage to your vehicle? If so, what type of damage?
- Does your vehicle need repairs?
- Where do you want to have the repairs completed?
- Were there other vehicles involved?
- Was a police report filed?
You should provide all of this information to your insurer as requested.
Why Should You Avoid Talking With Other Insurance Companies?
The scenario is different for the other driver’s insurance company. Avoid answering and talking with their representatives or claims adjusters about the accident. They may launch into questions like these to make it sound like they want to help by understanding what happened:
- How did the accident occur?
- What were the conditions at the time of the accident?
- Were there witnesses?
- Did you get hurt?
- Did you receive medical treatment? For what?
- Do you want to explain anything about the accident?
The questions are often framed to get you to begin talking openly about the circumstances. Insurers hope you feel comfortable enough to divulge as much information as possible. Understand that the sole purpose of these probes is to trip you up in a way that your words can be used against you. Politely decline to answer and tell them you want to consult with an attorney. Part of a lawyer’s services is dealing with insurance companies on your behalf.
Why Should You Avoid Posting About an Accident on Social Media?
Social media has changed the game of sharing all sorts of information. It can be reflexive after an accident to get on a social media site and post photos and comments about being in a crash. Don’t be tempted to do this. Insurance companies look for details everywhere. Posts are public information sources and can be used against you if you discuss your injuries or chat about accident issues.
Why Should You Speak With a Car Accident Attorney As Soon As Possible?
Personal injury cases are complex and require the skills of an experienced attorney. Issues related to fault can make getting a damage recovery a difficult process. Accident claims are not something you want to manage alone. Having someone bear the weight of a case if you are dealing with injuries is an enormous relief for most victims. You have time to heal while knowing your case is in capable hands.
What Does a Personal Injury Attorney Do for You?
As car accident attorneys, these are some of the fundamental ways we help:
- Determine if your case has merit
- Negotiate with insurance companies
- Gather evidence
- Handle communications
- Work with medical professionals on your case
- Work to reach a settlement
- Conduct an investigation
- Litigate your case in court
- Counsel you on legal procedures and decisions
Hiring an attorney is an important choice. It can take time to resolve your case, and settling with an insurance company may seem easier. The problem is that many things can go wrong when you deal with an insurance company without legal counsel. Our mission is to get you the right compensation, so you can get back to the business of living your life.
Work With a Michigan Car Accident Attorney
Mike Morse Law is Michigan’s largest personal injury law firm. We know about car accidents and how to help our clients. Talking with an attorney soon after a collision is a step in the right direction. While providing some basic details after a crash is necessary, you don’t want to get caught up in discussions with insurance companies. The risk is significant if you say something unintended.
We care about you and what happens to you after an accident. With our free case evaluation, you can share the details of your accident in confidence. Let’s talk and see where your case stands and what we can do for you.