Several months into the pandemic, life is still not back to business as usual. Does this mean you cannot file a car accident claim to help you recover compensation for injuries and other damages you sustained in a collision?
Jay Trucks and Associates explains important facts about how car crash claims are being handled amid the ongoing concerns of COVID-19, including why now more than ever, you may need the benefit of legal help after an accident caused by a negligent party. Speak with a licensed attorney at our firm in a completely free consultation – with no obligation – to learn more.
Our knowledgeable car accident attorneys in Grand Rapids have many convenient ways to discuss your potential claim and answer your legal questions without you having to come to our office.
At the Accident Scene
If you have an accident during the pandemic, your first actions following any incident should be nearly the same:
- Contact 9-1-1: Call to get your local police and first responders on the scene as soon as possible
- Take pictures: Capture the crash scene, vehicle damages, road debris and your injuries – if safe
- Exchange license and contact information: Maintain social distancing using your cellphone to capture and text – or exchange using protective personal equipment (PPE) - mask and gloves
Once a police officer gets to the scene, he or she will also likely question all drivers involved in the crash. Continue wearing your PPE and answer the officer’s questions simply and include only the facts. Rambling often provides information that is not helpful to your case, such as if you apologize or say you feel guilty. An officer may take that to mean that you believe you helped to cause the crash. Let the investigation reveal who may be liable and just relay the facts without embellishment.
Should You Still Get Medical Care?
You should absolutely get medical care after any car accident for two reasons:
Protect your health: Not seeking medical care or ignoring minor symptoms after a car crash may risk your health. You could have suffered serious internal injuries that are dangerous or life-threatening. Options for immediate medical care may include the emergency room, your private doctor or an urgent care center. These facilities have gained experience providing safe medical care amid the pandemic.
Protect your legal claim: If you have a legal case, and you intend to pursue compensation from the at-fault party, a doctor’s visit can help strengthen your claim by creating a record that links your injuries to the incident.
After your initial medical examination, you should also follow your doctor’s orders and continue to follow-up as needed, even if you require physical therapy or other care to aid in your recovery. If you fail to follow-through on your treatment, that gives the insurance company room to argue that your injuries are not as bad as you claimed, which can seriously damage the value of your claim.
Will it Be Harder to Get the Insurance Company to Settle?
Insurance companies may initially try to settle quickly in hopes of catching desperate victims before they speak to an attorney, especially those who may have lost their jobs during the pandemic. Insurers often may make a lowball offer to get a victim to settle quickly while allowing them to pay out much less than if they waited until your care was completed.
An attorney knows this, and when they begin negotiating a settlement with the insurance company, they calculate for the total estimated costs of your medical care, as well as lost wages, pain and suffering and more.
Once an insurance company knows you have an attorney, they may try other tactics to help them delay or deny settling your case. A licensed attorney will be very familiar with these types of tactics and how to protect your claim from them.
Does the Statute of Limitations Still Apply?
Michigan’s statute of limitations – three years from the date of the accident – still applies, but deadlines in some cases may be earlier or later, depending on the unique circumstances of your situation. The qualified attorneys at our firm are prepared to review the details of your accident and help you determine what filing deadline may apply.
Contact Our Firm for Your Free Consultation
At Jay Trucks and Associates, we stand ready to provide the legal help you need, and we are prepared to fight for the full amount of compensation available. Our trusted legal team have been representing injured victims throughout the state of Michigan for decades, recovering millions on behalf of our clients.
Learn more about the legal process and get answers to your questions in a completely free initial consultation with one of the lawyers at our firm. If we represent you, there is nothing to pay us up front. We only collect our fees after we obtain compensation for you.
Call for your FREE consultation today. (800) 762-8623