Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents
The FAQ below is not intended is not a substitute for legal advice from an attorney. Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C. serves New Haven, the Gold Coast and clients throughout Connecticut. Schedule a free consultation today for help with your specific issues.
I was just in an accident, what should I do?
In the case of any motor vehicle accident you need to stop and get the following information:
- The name, address, and phone number of the other driver(s) along with all insurance information and license plate from every car involved in the accident.
- Contact information from any witnesses at the scene.
- Photos, if possible. Get pictures of the accident scene. Take close-up pictures of the damage on the cars involved, as well as areas not damaged in case a claim is made later.
Do I have to call the police?
Under Connecticut state law, the police in the town in which the accident occurred have to be notified for any accident involving:
- Damage to property other than the cars involved
Because of the potential for injuries with delayed symptoms later, any accident over 10 mph should be reported. Dial 911 to reach the local dispatcher, even if no one needs hospital transport.
Do I need an attorney?
Connecticut has an at-fault insurance system, meaning that insurance companies have to determine who is to blame for the accident. They have ways of making you admit things. Before you talk to them, a consultation with an attorney can only help you.
Do I need to see a doctor?
It is vitally important that you seek medical attention after an auto collision, even if you don’t think you were injured. Some injuries to muscles and tendons, internal organs, or the brain do not show up for days or even weeks later. A visit to your doctor will help you to either be sure you are not hurt or to have any injuries you did sustain treated properly before they become worse.
Medical documentation also becomes extremely important in a personal injury claim. Going to the doctor promptly establishes a connection between the accident and the injury, and medical records of follow-up treatments support your claim for monetary damages.
What if the other driver did not have insurance?
Get whatever information you can from them. Before you speak to your insurance company, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney. You probably have uninsured motorist coverage, which is separate from your liability coverage. You probably also have underinsured motorist coverage, which pays the difference if the other driver’s policy does not cover all of your losses. However, your insurance provider may try to deny the claim or limit the payout. This is another reason to get a lawyer involved early.
What can I do if the other car fled the scene?
Get what information you can and report any hit-and-run accident to the local police. Your case will be a lot like an uninsured motorist claim, but the other driver fleeing makes it more difficult. It is very important that consult with an attorney in this case.
How long does it take to resolve a car accident claim?
If your accident is property damage only, your claim may be quick and straightforward. If you or a family member was injured, it can take months to resolve the claim, depending on the severity of injuries and whether you can return to work.
The most common mistake is to accept a quick settlement offer from the insurance adjuster. This is usually a “lowball” offer that does not reflect the true value of your case. You want to be sure that are fully recovered (or as healed as you are going to be) first. Your eventual settlement should reflect all medical bills, including future medical care you may need, as well as lost time from work, any lasting disability, and your pain and suffering.
More questions? Contact us today.
The facts of your case – and the knowledge and ability of your attorney – makes a big difference dealing with an insurance company after an accident. Call Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C. at 866-689-1248 to arrange a free consultation.