What to do after an accident
What should you do if you are in a wreck? First, stop your car in a safe place and get passengers to a safe location off the roadway. Give assistance to injured persons and call 911. Unless emergency medical attention is needed, don’t leave the scene until a police officer authorizes it. Photograph the wreck scene and vehicles involved. Be prepared to exchange ID, contact info and insurance info with the other driver or provide it to the responding police officer. If witnesses are at the scene, get their ID and contact info. Do not be tempted to “forget about” the wreck even if the other driver wants to do that. Notify your auto insurance company of the wreck as soon as possible, even if you did not cause the wreck. This is a requirement of every auto policy. Cooperate with your insurance company and provide truthful info, otherwise your coverage may be denied.
If you cause damage to an unattended vehicle (in a parking lot for example) you must immediately leave a note in a conspicuous place on the damaged vehicle containing your name, address, DL number and your vehicle’s plate number and contact the police within 48 hours to inform them of the damage.
Finally, everyone should have more than the minimum limits of insurance coverage. The difference in cost between a minimum limits policy (30/60/25) and a policy giving you 250/500/50 is about $200 per policy period depending on your record. Check with your agent and buy increased coverage. Make sure you get as much UM/UIM coverage as you can reasonably afford.
If you cause a crash, what happens to your insurance rates? That depends on the severity of the crash in terms of property damage, bodily injury, or death. With some exceptions for minor collisions involving only property damage, most at fault crashes will result in a rate increase between 40%-70%. If you caused a death due to negligence (manslaughter or negligent homicide), your rates will increase 340%. If you were impaired by alcohol or drugs and convicted of DWI, your rates will increase 340%. These increases are assessed against the highest rated vehicle on your policy and will continue for 3 years.
If you are injured as a result of an accident and would like to know your legal options, please call my office 252-441-2071 or complete the contact form below
"Thank you and Denise for all your dedicated work in regards to my auto accident in 2017. You both helped resolve an unpleasant, complicated experience. I know it was time consuming and frustrating but we got through it and I am very glad you were able to help me."
Satisfied Client, January 2020
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