What to Do After a Car Accident in Seattle
The first thing you need to do is preserve any evidence that might help your case. This includes photographing damaged vehicles and any signs of injury, such as bruising, cuts, abrasions.
Have your vehicle inspected for any hidden damage. Don’t take the insurance company adjuster’s evaluation as the full measure of your property damages, as they often don’t consider damage that may be hidden. If your vehicle was badly damaged, you may also be entitled to be compensated for the loss in the value of our vehicle, even if it is fully repaired. Of course, the insurer is also responsible for paying for your lost use of your vehicle up to the time that it pays for all of your vehicle damage.
You should also seek immediate treatment for any injuries. Delays in treatment, failure to obtain treatment, and failure to tell your healthcare providers about all of your injuries will affect the amount that any insurer will ultimately pay to compensate you for your injuries. You also need to follow through with the recommendations of your healthcare providers.
No matter what the other person’s insurance company adjuster tells you, the other insurer is not going to pay your medical bills as you are going through with your treatment. It will only pay for your bills when you reach a settlement with them for all of your damages. It will want to settle a soon as possible and have you sign a form that releases all of your claims – past and future – in exchange for paying for your medical bills. Don’t be fooled by the insurer’s attempts to settle your claim before you are fully recovered.
Be careful talking with the other person’s insurance company adjuster. What you say and how you say it will affect your ultimate recovery and could make it more difficult to obtain a fair settlement. There is a tendency for most people to down-play their injuries, to say that they are “Okay” or “fine.” If you are having any symptoms, you are not “Okay” or “fine.” Also, be aware that many injuries don’t become apparent right away. There can be delays in symptoms showing up. However, if you have told the insurer that you are “Okay” or “fine,” you will then have difficulty convincing the insurer that your symptoms are related to the collision and difficulty receiving fair compensation for your injuries.
You may not have to give a recorded interview to the other person’s insurer, and you may not need or want to give the other person’s insurer the right to obtain your medical records directly from your healthcare providers. If the insurer asks for these things, it may be time to consult with an attorney, and our initial consultation is free.