The choices you make after an accident can affect you far into the future. Directly after the wreck happens you might be confused on what to do next and this could be a new experience for you so are uneducated on what not to do afterward. Perry & Young pray that you are never in an accident, however, if you are it would behoove you to take a little time and read this article to know exactly what to do if you ever encounter this stressful situation.
There are a lot of “what if’s” that happen after an accident; people go into panic mode with worry.
What if the police report is not written accurately according to your point of view, what if the accident is not handled correctly, what if my insurance refuses to pay, and what about my medical bills?
Perry & Young are here to answer all your questions and concerns and by representing you we will make sure that you do not have to worry about the “what if’s”.
Here is the top list of things that you should never do after falling victim to someone else’s negligence.
- Not Calling the Police
If you are involved with another driver and are involved in an accident always call the police especially if there are any damages to your property. Injuries do not always show their face until later and a police report will assist you in obtaining medical care at a later date. It is always better to be safe than sorry. The police are there to assist you in collecting important evidence and determine the cause of the accident. This will be immensely helpful when it comes time to file your insurance claim.
- Not Taking Pictures
It is very advantageous that the majority of us have cell phones with us at all times because of the camera feature. It is a particularly good idea to take as many pictures as possible providing you are not seriously injured. Take pictures of the accident, injuries, location, negligent parties license plate, any cameras that are on a building near the crash site, and skid marks. The pictures may come in handy for gathering information for the insurance company and possibly an attorney.
- Not Getting Witness Statements and Information
Many people fall short on obtaining witness names, phone numbers, and possibly a written statement. A witness statement might be the determining factor when a negligent party attempts to deny being at fault to avoid insurance and legal ramifications. It is not uncommon that a witness doesn’t have the time at the scene to write out exactly what they saw so it is perfectly fine to just get their name and number and contact them at a later date. It is best to try and obtain a written statement in a reasonable amount of time because the incident is fresh in their mind.
- Admitting Fault
Regardless of how you feel about “what happened” never admit fault after a car accident, even if you feel like you might have been a contributing factor. For example, you were changing the radio station while going through a green light and were hit by someone who ran the red light. Although it was not a good idea to be distracted by the radio ultimately the accident was not your fault. There are a vast range of emotions that flow after an accident and some people’s first reaction is to apologize- Do not do it for admits fault.
- Not Filing an Insurance Claim
Many people are concerned that their insurance will go up after an accident and do not file the claim. If you end up being responsible for the accident and there are expensive damages or injuries involved; filing with your insurance company can keep you safe from bankruptcy at a later date.
- Not Seeing Your Doctor
If you do not seek medical attention within 14 days, you could lose your PIP benefits that you pay for as part of your insurance premium. It is incredibly common for someone to “feel fine” after an accident and as time goes on, they notice spasms or strains in the body as a direct result of being in an accident.
Perry & Young can help you get the most from your insurance claim and assist you in obtaining the compensation that is due to you. Call us for a free consultation 850-215-7777 and also visit us on our Facebook Page.
It is safe to say that many businesses will close their doors in response to the pandemic we are currently experiencing. For some this will be temporary, whereas others will not be able to stay afloat while we wait for our world to function as it once did. The questions many business owners have go something like this: Will my insurance company protect me? Can the coronavirus constitute as property damage? If not, how will economic loss be handled by insurance companies? Am I covered under my business interruption policy?
Insurance policies are the most sold and least read document in the world. Think about that for a second. If you are like the majority of the population, that might have hit you pretty hard, especially when you consider the Coronavirus and how it is impacting every single one of us. If you are a business owner, that sentence might have even scared you in a time like today. Below we will lay out the types of things you should be wary of, and what questions your insurer needs to be able to answer for you. First, we’ll start with a little refresher.
For insurance to come into effect, there has to be an “event” which is a “covered loss” – these items are defined policy by policy. There are endorsements and exclusions – usually the endorsements and exclusions either limit the recovery or completely exclude the recovery for exposure or disease type of cases. Once you have that laid out, your policy will have different areas of coverage, the most common being building property loss, ancillary property (offsite or storage area), contents of building, and business interruption.
A coverage area we’re going to address in relation to Covid-19 is business interruption, is held by many small business owners – restaurants, bars, medical and dental offices. Recently, there have been stories circulating of restaurants asking for donations in the form of gift cards or Venmo payments so they can disburse them to their employees. In fact, a restaurant group in our county has done just that. So where does business interruption come into play? Unfortunately, some might not see it at all. For others, it might have a small cap at $25,000, which might not be enough to cover payroll over two weeks time, let alone two or three months. There could even be a sneaky provision that contains a waiting period before that coverage is triggered or available. It is clear here that policies vary widely, and it is your job as the policy holder to understand yours.
Businesses have found another hidden clause in their policies. If the business is shut down via a government or state order, does it qualify under a disaster or damage policy? It might be the case that a disaster is happening outside of the business, but the issue will be whether or not there was a disaster inside, or simply a state order requiring a shutdown. If rather, you have a Covid-19 positive employee, then the closure could be covered in order to properly disinfect the business. Then the problem becomes timeliness and how long it really takes to clean a business, which brings us to our next question.
How long this is going to last? Right now, we have no idea what the period of coverage will need to extend to. If your claim is accepted and you receive $50,000, will that be enough? If your area is seemingly untouched, it might. What if instead, your policy only covers the time it takes to to repair the damaged property. Insurance companies are likely to argue this is a quick process, simply wipe down and disinfect the establishment in a day. However, we know the virus persists in the area and is easily spread in the air, which should therefore extend the period of coverage.
It all comes down to the way policies are written. Insurance companies sell on the big print, “Business Interruption” and pay-out on the small print “Endorsement for Disasters.” As you can see, policies and their exemptions can vary widely. The verbiage alone can and will make the difference in an accepted or denied insurance claim. In the future, will we see an entirely new insurance policy specifically for viruses like this one? These are just a few things to think about. If you have questions about yours, give us a call today at 850-215-7777. One of our skilled attorneys will be happy to answer any questions you may have.