Been in a Car Accident? 4 Essential Tips to Help You Win Your Case!

Long gone are the days of settling disputes with a promise and a firm handshake. Learn how to properly protect yourself in the event of a car accident. 

If you’ve had the unfortunate experience of getting into a car accident, you definitely want to get the compensation you deserve. And —  you should get this compensation with as little disruption to your life as possible. 

This article covers how you can best position yourself to win your case and recover money for your suffering. 

Based on an episode of the Open Mike podcast, I’ve pulled together a list of FAQs to help you quickly submit your claims, position you to win your case and generally make sure you are well covered in the event of a car accident.  

Read on to learn:

  • When you need to start processing your claims after a car accident
  • The steps you need to take to be in the best possible position to get compensated
  • Why you need more than the minimum car insurance coverage
  • Why it makes sense to opt for under-insured motorist (UIM) and uninsured motorist (UM)

You’ve been in a car accident. What are the first steps to take if you want to file a claim?

Ideally, you want to talk to an attorney as soon as possible to ensure you have the best chance of getting the money you deserve. The best-case scenario is to start the day of the accident.

There are several components needed early in the claim, such as photos of the damaged vehicle, as well as documentation of physical injuries and bruises that resulted from the accident. This probably isn’t top of mind right after you’ve had an accident. But it’s very important to line this stuff up quickly — especially because gathering the necessary records like paycheck stubs can be challenging and time-consuming.  

How can I set myself up to win my car accident case?

The most important thing is to be honest so that your lawyer can give you the best advice possible. Don’t only tell part of the story or leave important details out. The better your communication, the smoother the process will go. 

There’s no doubt about it: Credibility is your most important asset for car accident claims. Insurance companies’ best defense is that you’re dishonest. If they can show that you’ve lied, that could help their defense.

 What is PLDP coverage? 

Personal Liability Property Damage coverage — it’s also known as PLPD insurance. It is the minimum amount of insurance needed if you drive a car in Michigan. While it will cover medical costs if you injure someone else, it will not cover the damage to your car if it gets wrecked. 

Do I need additional car insurance coverage?

We recommend getting more than the standard Personal Liability Property Damage coverage.  

You should select an insurance plan that covers at least $500,000 per person and $1 million per accident. It won’t cost you that much more to get the additional coverage. Coverage at this level will ensure you get compensated for any pain or suffering — even if you’re in a car wreck with an uninsured or under-insured driver (For example: if they have $50,000 in coverage, but your medical costs exceed that amount). 

Bottom line: Going for the cheapest possible policy is a mistake. Nobody expects to get into a car accident, but you want to have the best insurance possible if you do. 

How should Michigan’s new No-Fault law affect my car insurance decision? 

Michigan’s new No-Fault insurance reform law was touted as the solution to some of the highest insurance rates in the country. Put together quickly and passed without public hearings, the legislation is full of holes that leave gaps of uncertainty.

These policy changes make it even more important to make sure you’re not driving around with minimal coverage. Ideally, you should purchase unlimited medical coverage. At the very least, make sure you have insurance that covers half a million per person and $1 million per accident. 

We also recommend opting for under-insured motorist (UIM) and uninsured motorist (UM) coverage to protect yourself against drivers with low or no coverage. A lot of insurance agents don’t automatically discuss this with clients, so be sure to ask about it. These policies cost about $30 or $40 per year and offer robust coverage. 

Final thoughts 

Overall your likelihood of getting compensated and winning a case comes down to two main things: preparedness and credibility. Don’t skimp on your coverage. In the event of an accident, be honest, start early and don’t settle for less.

This article is based on an episode of Open Mike, my weekly podcast featuring key Detroit figures and other guests discussing the topics you care about – we’re going to tell you the truth about the law, your rights, and current events both here in Detroit and nationwide.

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