By William Bill Hurst

Moments after an automobile accident can be emotional and sometimes very confusing.  However, despite thus, during this period of time it is very important that certain things be done  by someone who is not to seriously injured in the accident to do them. Http://>car insurance> car insurance claims

The safety and health of everybody involved in and auto accident is the most important concern in any crash circumstance; and certainly if anybody injured their medical needs need to be dealt with quickly and completely.  Once you get past the stage of checking and caring for the injured, there are practical steps that you need to take.  You must not let your emotions make you do or say things that may effect your personal injury claim.  You can use the following steps as a guide. Generally, what you need to do are divided into categories, (1) what you do at the scene of the accident and (2) what you do immediately after the accident.

Here are some easy steps:

  1. Call for Help. After an accident whether minor or not you should call the police or 911.  The police will be able to control the accident site and make an official report which will save you from getting into an argument later about what occurred and who caused the accident.





2. You should never leave the the scene unless told otherwise by the police.  However in some circumstances if it is a minor collision it is certainly advisable to move your vehicle to a safe position.  In any case always put on your hazard lights and get  yourself in a safe area.




3.  You will need to write down all your contact information with whom ever else was involved in the accident and if possible obtain the names of the witnesses.








4. Take pictures on your cell phone if you have the capability.  Pictures are often very important later if you end up making a claim.  As you know pictures are better than a thousand words! This will often determine who is at fault in an accident.






5.  Make sure you get treated for your injuries.  Of course if anyone else is hurt you must, if physical able, assist in getting treatment for those people also.  This is the most important thing you can do and the very first thing that should be done. Unfortunately injuries at the scene can get worse in time.  Particularly if you have a head injury.  When in doubt you need to seek medical attention even if it seems like a minor crash.



6.  Don’t talk about the accident once you have gathered the information. Don’t say anything about the accident, admit fault, or blame.  Always be polite and never use vulgar language.





7. If your vehicle is being “towed”  you should remove all valuables and personal items in your vehicle .  You should find out exactly where it will be taken so you can pick it up later.






8. After the accident you should call your car insurance company to report that you have been in an accident.  Answer all necessary questions but do not volunteer a lot of information. In particular if they are recording your statement please be concise and directly respond to the question without volunteering any extra information.












9.  Immediately after the accident you should visit your doctor and when you are examined you must tell the doctor about your accident and the specific details of what happened.  When you get home remember to make notes, diagrams and put them in a place where you can find them later.




10.  While you do not discuss fault with driver or passengers at the scene you should also not discuss fault with anyone other than (later),  your attorney, or to some extent your insurance company.  You are required to cooperate with your own insurance company or you can void/ lose your coverage.  It is important that you get legal advice prior to making any claim against any insurance company including your own.


11. You should get a vehicle repair estimate at a reputable body shop or dealer.  You should also know what your insurance covers for expenses related to an auto collision. In the event you do not know this it should be reviewed immediately.  Once again if you have an experienced personal injury lawyer he can help advise you regarding to your coverages and your rights!



12. Never accept a final insurance settlement without knowing what your future medical conditions are or what the medical subrogation liens may be on the sums advanced to you. (e.g. – medical payments, health insurance payments and reimbursements.)






13. Never ever give a statement to the claims adjuster for the other parties. These statements will reappear months or sometimes years later and impact your ability to testify.


14. Keep in mind it is always important to have your drivers license, insurance card, and registration in your car at all times.







What to do after an automobile accident that is not your fault

You likely will be contacted by the insurance carrier of the party who was at fault in the accident.You will be filing claims with that persons insurance company. Even if the other driver is solely at fault, you do have the obligation to file a claim with your own insurance company and make claims under the appropriate coverages.  The claim you have with your own company is known as a first party claim.  This means that you have a contract with your own insurance company, and the company agreed to fulfill certain conditions set forth in your policy once you make a claim for expenses arising as a result of a collision.  The claim you are making against the wrong doer is known as a “third party” claim, in this case you have a direct contract with the wrongdoer’s insurance company. The parties  obligation to you is through his/her policy, this insurance company has no contractual duty to you and may or may not honor and pay your claims.

Once you have made a claim with the other drivers’ insurance carrier, it will investigate the claim; and if it deems their insured is at fault will offer you a settlement if they determine their insured is responsible.  Generally an insurance company will not settle your claim unless you sign a “Release For Damages.”  A “release” means you agree to a certain amount of money and that is all you will ever receive from the other driver and or his/hers insurance company.  You will, therefore, be barred from making any further claims.

Often you may agree to the amount of the property damage, but not be ready to settle your injury claim due to ongoing treatment.  An insurance company likely will not refuse to pay your property damage simply because your bodily injury claim is outstanding; and if the release they present you is written properly it will not prevent you from making a personal injury claim later.

In some instances, the other driver may not have any insurance at all.  In the State of Indiana fault is not determined based upon who has or has no insurance.  This usually is a fairly common occurrence.  In such a case, in the event you have “full coverage” on your automobile, you will  have coverage known as “no fault” insurance. Offers of  money to compensate for your  loses from an uninsured person who caused an auto accident generally,  will simply be difficult and likely minimal, as the burden could not afford insurance he likely, will not have the funds to pay you.   Also if you have a significant claim, the person who caused the accident can file bankruptcy to prevent you from making any recovery.  Your policy (probably) has uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage will be unable to compensate you up to the limits of you purchased. In this event, you must contact you insurance company immediately and let them know that you will be making a claim.  Often proof is required that the other party does not have liability coverage.  Contacting an experienced attorney following a personal injury accident is important to ensure all of the conditions pf your insurance contest involving an uninsured party may be complied with.

In an uninsured motorist claim,  your insurance company “stands in the shoes” of the other driver’s insurance company and compensates you just as if he had these coverage and limits.  Indiana Law requires that every policy sold must include uninsured and under-insurance protection unless waived in writing.

Seeking the advice of an experienced attorney is very important whether you are the uninsured driver facing or losing your drivers license; or if you are the injured driver of the car involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist or an insured motorist.  Only an experienced personal injury lawyer can provide you with sound legal advice.  If you or any member of your family has been involved in a vehicular accident where you are injured whether the other party is insured or uninsured, you may contact William W. Hurst, an experienced personal injury lawyer who has limited his practice to personal injury  at 1-800-636-0808 for a free consultation.

Our office will represent you without fee until you recover money or I’ve won your case.  For a description of our legal services see


  1. I see patients make these mistakes all the time. I think some of it is that they will get better without treatment.

    Robert Ferguson, DC., FIAMA

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