Always call the police. We have had clients lose cases because they felt nice and didn’t want the other drivers insurance to go up. Yes, it’s a hassle and it can take some extra time, but the report that the police file will be what the insurance company accepts and ultimately could play a big part in settling the case. If there’s no report then it’s basically one person’s word against another, and if you don’t agree then everyone loses.
Take Pictures. After you make sure everyone is okay and only if it’s safe to do so, snap some quick pictures with your cell phone. If there is any question to how the accident happened, a video of the surrounding area may come in helpful. This is particularly important for car accidents that happen in construction zones as they construction lanes can change frequently and have a big impact on the case.
Get medical attention. As discussed in our prior blog post, nearly all drivers and passengers in Utah have some form of PIP (personal injury protection) coverage that should cover at least $3,000.00 in medical expenses with very few exceptions. When you go to the hospital or a trusted medical provider be open and honest, explain in detail the circumstances for why you are there, and make sure you tell them it’s because of a car accident.
Consult with an attorney before doing anything that could affect your case. As a trusted law firm in Utah, you can always contact our office and talk to our friendly staff over the phone or set an appointment for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer. Unlike many other law firms, we like to be involved in the process as early as possible to help you with some of the more difficult and pressing issues. Avoid talking to the at-fault insurance company and giving a recorded statement as these are not required. It’s also not required to give your social security number out. If the police or anyone else wants to interview you regarding the accident, why not have an attorney present at no extra cost to you. Our job is to protect you and we’re pretty good at what we do.
Car accidents can be very stressful events. Contact our office at 801-393-5555 and we’ll help by taking some of that stress of your plate.
W. Scott Lythgoe is our accident and injury attorney at Coggins, Larreau & Lythgoe, PC in Ogden, Utah.