WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN A CAR ACCIDENT?

WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN A CAR ACCIDENT?

Here is a checklist of things to consider if you are involved in a collision.

Notify the police immediately.

Notify your own insurance company, in writing, as soon as possible.3

Use good sense when discussing the accident. Do not give interviews or statements explaining the accident without consulting a lawyer.

Immediately provide your own insurance company with any necessary information to verify wage losses and medical expenses. Payments are due thirty (30) days after written proof is submitted.

6. Buy a notebook or receipt book or use your computer to keep track of replacement services provided on a daily or weekly basis. Again, a written verification of these billings must be sent to the insurance company. Keep a copy for your records. The billings normally must be signed by the provider.

7. If your insurance company does not promptly agree to pay first-party benefits, send written notice to every other insurance company involved in the matter and contact a lawyer. Be mindful of “one year back,” especially where there are audits or delays in payment or priority. Save your “Explanation of Benefit” forms.

8. If you may be charged with responsibility for someone else’s injuries, especially if those injuries may exceed your policy limits, consult a lawyer to protect you from excess liability.

9. Do not attempt to negotiate a settlement on your own and don’t negotiate any check with a restrictive legend such as “full payment.” If you do, at least consult a personal injury lawyer to review the terms of the settlement on your behalf before signing any document. Consider an hourly retention: you have that choice.

Consult a lawyer to review the amount of first-party benefits you are receiving. A lawyer should provide this review for no charge or for a minimal fee if your situation is complex.

Preserve evidence. Keep the car or any failed party and take photographs of the site, the vehicle and any injuries. Preserve the names and addresses of witnesses.

In selecting a lawyer, be sure you hire a firm that has experience in the area of your needs. Since most firms work for the same contingent fee of one-third, you can hire the best firm for the same price.

This pamphlet is not a substitute for a lawyer. It is intended to help you understand what your rights are, and how to use a lawyer. Any discussion of the law which is this brief must, of necessity, oversimplify many issues. Furthermore, the legislature has developed the habit of revising the No-Fault Act almost yearly, and our printer cannot always keep up with the changes. In this age of competition amount attorneys and free consultation, there is no excuse for failing to consult a lawyer if you have any questions. Just be sure the consultation is, in fact, free.

Most attorneys specialize. Under rules established by the Michigan Supreme Court, personal injury cases are frequently handled on a one-third contingent free basis. When that arrangement is selected, the attorney fee you pay depends on the amount of compensation you recover. Be sure the lawyer you contact specializes in this area of law.

KRUPP LAW OFFICES PC
GRAND RAPIDS CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
161 Ottawa NW Suite 404
Grand Rapids MI 49503
616-459-6636 or mail@krupplaw.com

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