With close to 5.8 million licensed drivers in Washington State sharing the roads with many more visitors, your likelihood of eventually being involved in a crash – at no fault of your own – is significant.
Knowing what to do – and who to call – is essential.
“If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you can’t wait for treatment. We’ll help you find resources like Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage, part of the auto-insurance policy, health insurance or disability to pay for treatment. Sometimes we can even arrange for treatment on lien, where doctors agree to get paid when the claim settles,” explains Ziad Youssef, whose MyTrafficMan specializes in auto injury, DUI and other driving-related cases.
“Where applicable, we also protect your claim from car and health insurance reimbursement demands. If you use your PIP Coverage, we negotiate with the insurance company to accept a reduced reimbursement. We do the same with health insurance and Medicare where possible,” Youssef says, highlighting MyTrafficMan’s team of research, negotiation and litigation professionals who work together to build the strongest claim.
“Most importantly, we fight to ensure the at-fault party pays for damages, including medical bills, lost wages and emotional distress.”
- Consider Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage and Personal Injury protection – After a serious accident, the stress of paying medical bills can start almost immediately. Knowing you have coverage to handle those expenses will help dramatically – talk to your insurance agent about coverage.
- Have a cell phone with a camera – If you get into a crash, record evidence from the scene immediately.
- Photograph the driver, the damage and the license plate – Because an at-fault driver may disappear after an accident or provide false information, a photo of the driver and license plate can help with identification. Try to avoid confrontation by photographing the driver casually while taking pictures of the damage and exact positioning of the cars. If they become angry, call 911 immediately. Also snap photos of any cars parked or stopped in the area as they may belong to witnesses.
- If no one needs emergency medical attention – Move vehicles out of traffic, but don’t leave the scene until you have exchanged insurance information with the other driver.
- Exchange driver information – Record the other driver’s license number, insurance company name and policy number, and driver’s name, mailing address and phone number.
- Record witness information – Witnesses can be essential in proving who is at fault for an accident.
- Record your memories of the crash ASAP – The sooner you write down your memory of the accident, the more reliable your version becomes. The same is true for witness memories. Ask them to record what they remember as soon as possible too.
- See your doctor or medical professional – Injuries often don’t appear until several days after an accident, and an absence of pain doesn’t mean you’re uninjured.
- Contact your insurance company quickly – Report an accident within a reasonable time, or insurance companies have the right to claim you have materially breached your obligations under the contract and can deny coverage. If the accident is not your fault, they usually won’t hold it against you.
- Get an independent assessment of damage – Although most insurance agencies will have an adjuster calculate the damage to your car, a second opinion is good idea.