When a car accident happens in Wisconsin, the driver whose negligence caused the accident to occur is liable for the victims’ damages. This means that if victims suffered bodily injuries, the negligent driver’s insurance provider must compensate them for all the expenses that face related to these injuries, like their medical bills and lost wages.
Under most circumstances, you will have to interact with the other driver’s insurance provider if you choose to pursue compensation for your damages after being injured in a collision. In certain scenarios, however, you could have to use your own coverage to recover the compensation you need. If you were involved in a collision with a driver who did not have car insurance or whose insurance coverage was insufficient to cover your damages, you can use your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to pay for your accident-related expenses.
Report the Accident to your Insurance Provider
Regardless of who caused the accident and whether you plan to file a personal injury claim with another driver’s insurance provider, report the collision to your own provider as soon as you can after the accident. As an insured motorist, you have the duty to act in good faith toward your provider, which includes reporting any accidents that involve you.
Have All the Information you Need Ready Before you Speak with the Insurer
After your accident, you should seek medical attention for any injuries you sustained. Have information about your doctor’s appointment, such as your diagnosis, date you saw the doctor, your health insurance policy number, and your treatment plan ready for your conversation with the insurance provider. The insurance provider will likely contact your healthcare provider to verify that you received medical treatment.
You should also have all your information about the accident itself ready for this conversation, like your copy of the police report, the other driver’s name and if he or she was insured, his or her insurance policy number, and any statements from witnesses to the accident. If you have photographs of the accident, you may be asked to send these to your insurance provider.
Never Assign Blame or Admit Fault
During your conversations with your insurance provider, it is always important that you avoid admitting fault for the accident, even if you think you are only admitting partial fault. Do not mention that you were drinking coffee or reading a billboard when the collision occurred. The insurance provider may conduct an investigation of the claim to determine which party was at fault.
Similarly, do not assign blame for the accident to another driver, even if the other driver’s actions clearly caused the accident. Again, this is something your insurance provider will work out, not you.
Always Tell the Truth
When the insurance provider asks you a question about your accident, answer truthfully without admitting fault or blaming another party for the collision. Keep to the facts: if your car was hit by another car while traveling through an intersection, state that. Do not provide unnecessary details in your recount of the accident.
Under no circumstance should you ever lie to an insurance provider. Depending on the lie, this can be an act of insurance fraud. Even seemingly minor lies can be used to justify a higher insurance rate for you.
Part of being 100 percent truthful is being honest about not knowing certain answers. If your insurance provider asks you a question you cannot confidently answer because you do not remember certain details, do not try to “fill in” these details with what you think happened. Instead, tell the insurance provider that you do not know the answer to their question.
Let your Lawyer Help You
Before interacting with your insurance provider, talk to your lawyer about the types of questions you will face and how to answer them. Your lawyer can coach you through these interactions and eliminate any anxiety you have about them.
Work with an Experienced Appleton Car Accident Attorney
When you have to deal with an insurance provider after being involved in a car accident, it is always a good idea to do so with an experienced car accident lawyer on your side. Your lawyer is your advocate and can negotiate with the insurance provider on your behalf to ensure that your rights are protected and your interests are promoted. To start working with one of the Appleton personal injury lawyers on our team, contact Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC today to set up your initial consultation with us.