My girlfriend had a car wreck in March. The guy who caused the wreck’s insurance company wants to record her over the phone telling them about what happened, should she do it? Ricky W., Dora
The short answer is NO. While you are obligated to cooperate with your own insurance company and give your own insurance company a statement, this does NOT require you to give a recorded statement to the other driver's insurance company. In fact, you should never give a recorded statement until you have consulted with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Insurance companies' claims adjusters are professional negotiators with extensive experience. They are well trained to ask questions in a manner designed to hurt your claim. Insurance adjusters are trained to save money for the insurance companies. If they can do that by making fault questionable or by establishing that your medical claims are unfounded or unrelated, they may avoid having to pay for the full extent of your injuries.
I am furious because I got hit by a high school kid in his parent’s car and I am being told that he and his parents don’t have any insurance? Leslie P., Jasper
Statistics show that nearly 1 out of every 4 drivers on Alabama roads is uninsured. If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you may mistakenly think that you have no hope when it comes to collecting damages for auto repair and medical care. Luckily, you can seek compensation from your own insurance company, as part of your underinsured and uninsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage in your auto policy. However, if you don't have UM insurance, your only recourse is to sue the driver. Most people who don't carry car insurance don't have much in the way of assets, though, so it's unlikely you'll make a recovery if you must resort to suing an uninsured driver. If the driver doesn't have insurance but you carry Uninsured Motorist's insurance, you can make a claim against your own UM policy. Uninsured drivers cause Fifteen (15) percent of auto accidents. For that reason alone, Alabama residents should always carry as much UM insurance as possible. It is usually very affordable.
I had a wreck yesterday and felt ok but I am now all stove up. Should I go to the doctor? Larry N., Townley (VIA Email)
Definitely. Many times injuries sustained during an automobile accident are not recognized or noticeable until days or weeks after the accident. This means that even though you may feel fine now, you could be suffering from serious injuries. You should always seek medical attention immediately after being involved in an auto accident. Make sure you tell the doctor that the accident caused your condition. When you see the doctor, make sure to mention any complaint you may have, no matter how minor. Don't try to be your own doctor and evaluate the importance of a symptom. If too much time elapses between the accident and medical treatment, your claim will probably be denied by the insurance company for the at fault party. It is always best, if you are hurting, to go to the ER right after the accident.
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