This article is designed to help you understand why you should always call the authorities to the scene of an accident in which you were injured and why the insurance company you may be facing will hate that you did so! You were probably taught in your first driver's education course to always call the police to the scene of any accident in which you are involved. This really seems quite simple. However, many folks involved in accidents don't do it.
Why not? Perhaps because the other driver promises to make sure that his insurance "takes care of everything" or that the he can't afford to pay a traffic ticket or that the damage to the cars seems minor enough to just "handle things unofficially." So why do the insurance companies hate it when you call the police to scene of an automobile accident? When you call the police to scene of your accident, then the police will require the drivers involved to exchange insurance and identification information. The police may also charge the at-fault driver with some sort of traffic infraction, obtain witness information and preserve statements about the event, including descriptions of what occurred and complaints of injury. All of this information will very likely assist you in the future with your claim and hurt the insurance company's ability to deny your claim.
By calling the police, you have made an official record of the event and can be relatively sure that the information you receive about the other driver is accurate and truthful. After all, not many folks will give fraudulent information about themselves or their insurance to an officer of the law. This official record will effectively prevent the other driver's insurance company from arguing that the incident did not occur or that their insured driver was not involved in the cause of your injuries. (Yes, insurance companies will deny responsibility at every opportunity, including whether their driver was even in the accident with you.) This official record will also demonstrate that you complained of pain at the scene, which will help deflect any argument by the insurance company that you weren't hurt or that you later fabricated your complaints to manufacture a personal injury claim (another favorite of the insurance companies). Finally, statements from witnesses or the other driver may contain valuable facts that may be later forgotten (many witnesses may not later recall things like the speed of the other car prior to the accident, the weather or the color of the traffic light at issue) or can be used to rebut a "changed story.
" I don't know how many times I have been told by my clients that the other person admitted fault at the scene, but later hear from the insurance company that no such statement was made and that the cause of the accident was contested. (You may not be aware of this, but I will bet that your own automobile insurance card, which you keep in your glove compartment, contains the following instruction: Do not admit fault for the accident. Remember, the insurance companies hate it when their drivers take responsibility for the accident because it damages their ability to deny or effectively defend your claim.
After all, these companies are in business to make lots of money, not to pay it to you!) If you follow this rule, then you are a step ahead in the game and you will have a much better chance of successfully prosecuting your Virgnia automobile accident personal injury claim.
James Parrish is a former insurance defense lawyer who now represents injured persons against the insurance industry. He uses the "Inside Information" he learned while defending insurance companies to the advantage of his clients and has recovered millions of dollars in judgments and settlements on their behalves. http://accidents.theparrishlawfirm.com/