Geisness Law Firm - Automobile Accident
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Resources :: In event of an Automobile Accident

Geisness Law Firm - Automobile Accident

The following general rules will help you in the event of an accident. Simply print this out and store with your registration and insurance information. FORM >


Stop at once and report the accident to the nearest Police Station. Do this even if the accident seems too trivial to bother with. This will protect you against a hit and run charge.

Make sure there are no injuries. If there are, transport any injured person to the hospital. If injuries appear serious, call an ambulance via 911. If you have any reason to suspect you were injured in the accident, see a physician promptly. You'll want a record that you sought treatment immediately.

Try to write a complete description of the accident as soon as possible and use this accident record to help you gather important information. If possible, take pictures, even if it means returning to the scene of the accident at a later time (bring a witness if you can).

Notify your insurance company. Some people don't notify their insurance company if the claim appears small and there are no apparent injuries. They do this when they are at fault so their insurance premium won't increase, but what happens if the person they hit claims a back injury six months later? Settling the claim yourself is dangerous. Be careful. At the very least, use a release similar to this on the back of your check: "Acceptance of this check will constitute full and complete settlement of (date)" Follow all prescribed procedures when reporting an accident to your insurance company. Note the dates and names of all insurance company representatives you talk with so you know who to contact if trouble develops.

Be aware of the "Appraisal Clause" in your insurance policy. If the insurance company and the body shop cannot agree on what the repairs should cost, this could provide a means for fair settlement.

Have even minor damages repaired. Letting your car go untreated can cost you in the long run. Dents and rust spots deduct from the resale or trade in value of your car. You're going to pay for it eventually, so you might as well drive a car that's in good condition now.


Allow your car to be towed to a repair shop you are not familiar with. Don't authorize any repairs by signing a towing release unless you have decided to have your car repaired by the shop your car is being towed to. Read and understand any papers you sign before you sign them.

Give a signed statement to the claims adjuster representing the other driver's insurance company. The same goes for a phone recording. they may be used against you in court.

Finalize settlement of your claim until you are sure you've recovered, all bills are in, and you've had time to decide what you want

Hire just any Lawyer. If you feel you need legal council, hire a Lawyer who specializes in negligence cases, and has court experience.

Accept a check for the repair of your car until you're sure it covers all the necessary repairs. You alone are responsible for having your car repaired. The role of the insurance company is to collect premiums and pay claims. Naturally, they try to hold down claims as much as possible. Your responsibility is to yourself. It's your car. Have your car repaired to your satisfaction at the repair shop of your choice.

Be fooled by "the lowest estimate". There is a large difference in body shops. A low bid could reflect an incomplete job. When items are overlooked in a repair, the consequences to the driver can be serious. An improperly repaired car can cause future damage and/or dangerous driving conditions. Exercise your right to determine which shop repairs your car. Make sure every detail has been looked at and repaired to your satisfaction before signing any insurance company releases.

Accident Report Form - Printable >>