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PoliceReportInfo.com :: Overall FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions : Insurance, Accidents, Police Reports, More...

Automobile Accident FAQ
- Should I file a Police Report following an accident?
- What information do I need to collect after an accident?
- What is the difference between "At fault" and "No fault" accident states?
- How many auto accidents are there in the United States?
 
Automobile Insurance FAQ
- What type of Auto Insurance do I need?
- What happens if the other driver doesn't have auto insurance?
- How much insurance do I need to protect me in an auto accident?
- Why is an appraisal/estimate important, and what do I do with it once I have received it?
 
Auto Accident Injury FAQ
- Should I always visit the doctor after an accident?
- Why is the other driver claiming an injury weeks later when he wasn't injured at the scene?
- What common injuries should I be aware of following an auto accident?
 
Auto Accident Legal FAQ
- If I think I need an attorney, how soon should I get one after an accident?
- Should I talk to the other driver's insurance company about the accident?
- Is it OK to give a statement to an insurance company?
- What do I do if the other driver's insurance company denies liability?
  • Should I file a Police Report following an accident?
  • A police report attempts to accurately report the details of an accident and will assist your insurance company in properly handling your claim. Additionally, if the accident resulted in injuries, and you need to see a medical proffesional or an attorney, having a police accident report will help to substantiate your version of the events and insure you receive the compensation necessary following the accident to cover any costs associated with the collision.
  • What information do I need to collect after an accident?
  • Following an accident, you should remain calm and do your best to collect all the relevant information possible. Some of the most important details you should try to collect include the name and contact information of all individuals in any vehicle involved in the accident, the make, model, and VIN (vehicle identification number) of the other vehicles involved, specific information regarding the damage to the various vehicles involved (pictures or video from your phone camera may also be helpful in this regard), and any information related to the environment (weather, temperature, day or night) and location (light traffic, heavy traffic, construction, obstructions in the roadway) at the time of the accident.
  • What is the difference between "At fault" and "No fault" auto insurance accident states?
  • The difference between "At fault" insurance and "No fault" insurance can most simply be described as follows: In "No fault" insurance accidents, each party or individual makes a claim with his or her own insurance company to cover automobile damages and any injuries due to the accident. The original intent of "No fault" insurance was to enable drivers the ability to obtain compensation quickly following an accident, rather than having to wait a long time as they might with "At fault" insurance where money may not be paid out until following a costly and lengthy lawsuit or legal battle. That said, states vary extensively in how they implement "No fault" insurance and you should check with a local insurance professional or your state Department of Motor Vehicle to obtain specific information on the rules and regulations where you live.
  • How many auto accidents are there in the United States?
  • According to the US Census, between 1990 and 2009 yearly auto vehicle accidents have ranged between 10.2 and 13.4 million per year. During the same time period, fatalities from accidents has ranged from a low of 36,000 per year in 2009 to a high of nearly 48,000 in 1990. While automobiles and technology are providing ever more means of keeping us safe on the road, accidents are still a relatively common occurence and it is important to be aware of this when getting behind the wheel. It is always advisable to be prepared and utilizing a site like PoliceReportInfo.com to keep up with the most recent information on traffic accidents, auto insurance, and legal options is a great start to being a prepared driver.
  • What type of Auto Insurance do I need?
  • This is a question that can have many possible answers depending on your personal preferences and individual situation. All states in the US require drivers to maintain a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage but the total required varies by location. Additionally, the type and amount of auto insurance you purchase will likely depend on your personal situation, the size of your family, the frequency you transport passengers, and the length of your commute, among various other factors. The best advice we can provide here is that you absolutely NEED the state minimum amount to legally drive within your state and any amounts or coverage beyond the minimum should be chosen to suit your needs and in such an instance you would be well served to consult an auto insurance professional or review and research the wealth of information online regarding various options for automotive insurance.
  • What happens if the other driver doesn't have auto insurance?
  • If you are involved in an accident with a motorist who has no automobile insurance, a variety of things can happen. Depenfing on your auto insurance coverage, you may be covered under your collision policy, or possibly under an additional option for "Uninsured Motorist Coverage." In these cases, your auto insurance will cover the damage and costs associated with the accident, just as they would in an accident with an insured motorist. Unfortunately, you will most likely have to pay the deductible on your policy, and sue the uninsured motorist in small claims court in your locale to recoup the costs. At times, this is very difficult because many individuals who do not carry auto insurance have little in the way of savings or income to pay off a judgment won in court against them. Consult your auto insurance company and/or a local attorney or the clerk of court for further information.
  • How much insurance do I need to protect me in an auto accident?
  • The amount of insurance you carry should vary based on a number of factors including the amount of assets you own, the other types of coverage you have from your employment or other sources, and your personal tolerance to risk. All states require drivers to carry a minimum amount of coverage, however, this amount is often very low and if you are ever involved in a serious accident, your medical bills can quickly surpass the amount allocated for payment by your auto insurance policy. For further details regarding the amount of insurance you should carry, it is advisable to seek the advice of a competent insurance or financial professional.
  • Why is an appraisal/estimate important, and what do I do with it once I have received it?
  • Your appraisal or estimate for the repairs to damages to your vehicle is important for several reasons. These include the fact that the estimate is often used to back up, or substantiate the police accident report, and your account of the accident. Once you have your estimate in hand, you should provide a copy to your attorney (if you have retained one) and/or your auto insurance company if the body shop does not provide one directly to them.
  • Should I always visit the doctor after an accident?
  • After an accident, you should visit a doctor if you have any noticeable injuries, or feel unfamiliar pain in any area of your body. Auto accidents often lead to a variety of injuries from whiplash, to internal bleeding, to concussions and subdermal hematomas. If you believe you have been injured, always exercise caution and take the opportunity to visit a doctor for a thorough check-up and medical examination. Auto accidents can lead to delayed onset injuries which are often not noticeable for days, weeks, or even months following the original colision.
  • Why is the other driver claiming an injury weeks later when he wasn't injured at the scene?
  • As mentioned above, some injuries caused by automobile accidents can have a delayed onset. In situations such as these, the injury may not be noticeable for days, weeks, or even months after the original accident. So should you find yourself in a situation where the other driver indicates he now has an injury that he did not notice at the scene, it is possible he is being honest about the situation. Even so, you may well wish to discuss the claim with qualified professionals to protect yourself from occasional fraudulent claims.
  • What common injuries should I be aware of following an auto accident?
  • Injuries from an automobile accident fall broadly into one of two classes. These include, "External" injuries where the person comes in contact with something outside of the body including the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield, windows, or even an item left inside the car like a laptop or portable electronic device which strikes them following the impact due to being unsecured inside the vehicle. The other type of injury includes any injury that is caused only by "Internal" movements or collisions. These injuries are usually due to the rapid deceleration a vehicle experiences at impact. Similar to the unsecured laptop mentioned above, organs within your body can continue forward and collide inside with your ribcage, skull, or other "protective structures" causing a variety of internal injuries. More specifically, some common injuries following an auto accident are whiplash, concussions, bruised or fractured rib(s) or sternum, bruising or trauma to areas that impact the vehicle during the collision. If you believe you have suffered an injury following an accident, consult a medical professional immediately.
  • If I think I need an attorney, how soon should I get one after an accident?
  • If you have been involved in an accident where you believe you will need an attorney, it is advisable to contact an attorney as soon as possible following the accident. The reasons to do so are multiple. They include the fact that the incident will be fresher in your memory immediately following the accident than it will a month or two down the road. Additionally, the chance you will "make a mistake" so to speak, by doing something that will hurt your ability to collect what you are due, or expose yourself to additional liability should you have been at fault increase each time you speak with the other driver's insurance company or even give a statement to your own. Lastly, an attorney can review the police accident report and clear up any inconsistencies between your account and what is indicated on the report. As the longer the report is inaccurate, the greater the liklihood the accident details will be clouded or in question, which can hurt you should things proceed to a lawsuit for damages. For these reasons, if you believe you will need an attorney, or would prefer to have one act on your behalf, it is better in the vast majority of cases to contact one sooner rather than later.
  • Should I talk to the other driver's insurance company about the accident?
  • In a word, NO. There is little if any compelling reason to discuss the accident with the insurance company of the other driver. Unless you are compelled to do so by a court order, it is best to allow your attorney or insurance company speak on your behalf. The insurance company of the other driver is most interested in keeping costs down and finding inconsistencies in your accounting of events that they can use to discredit you should the matter go to trial. You are not obligated by law to speak with them unless a court orders you to do so, and we highly recommend doing so otherwise.
  • Is it OK to give a statement to an insurance company?
  • This question is a bit more difficult than the above as in most instances it will be your own insurance company asking for a statement regarding the accident. Again, even though this is your company, they still have a bottom line to maintain and they less they pay out per accident, the better the company does overall. Obviously this is an oversimplification, but even though you will likely need to provide your insurance company with the specifics and facts surrounding the incident, in most instances we would recommend against giving a sworn statement, or permitting your insurance company to record the conversation unless you are required to do so by law.
  • What do I do if the other driver's insurance company denies liability?
  • Relax and continue with the process... Because of the way insurance, liability, and the American Legal System work, it isn't at all uncommon for the other driver, his insurance company, or his hired attorney to attempt to deny liability. If they can find a way to assert the accident was your fault, or even that you shared a portion of the blame, they save money and hinder your chances of recouping the amount to which you should legally be entitled. Provided you have handled yourself maturely, communicated clearly with the police creating the accident report, and followed best practices regarding interactions with insurance companies and attorneys, you should not worry too greatly about an initial claim indicating that the other party denies liability as this is exceedingly common practice in most post accident dialogs.
 
 

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