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What to Do after a Car Accident in Michigan

What to Do after a Car Accident in Michigan

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Experiencing a car accident can bring confusion, physical pain, and emotional turmoil. But knowing what to do after a car accident in Michigan can help protect your interests and expedite recovery.

Our experienced car accident lawyers at Davis Injury Lawyers, PLLC have helped countless victims around the state. Call us today at (313) 462-7979 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.

What to Do at the Scene of the Accident

Some necessary steps after a car accident are time-sensitive and should be taken care of at the scene, if possible. Evidence can quickly be lost or destroyed in the aftermath and cleanup, so doing what you can to record what happened is crucial.

Contact the Authorities

Michigan law requires drivers to report accidents that cause injury or more than $1,000 in damages. Even if no one is hurt and you aren’t sure how much damage the accident caused, it’s always advisable to call the police.

The responding officer will file a report documenting the vehicles and damages, as well as the contact information of the drivers involved. Police reports can be instrumental in supporting your claim, and copies can easily be obtained online.

Document the Scene

Gather as much evidence as you’re able to at the scene. Take photos and video of the damages, locate potential witnesses and gather their contact information, and get the other driver’s name and insurance information. Don’t admit fault or make promises to the other driver, as this could come back to hurt you later.

Seek Medical Attention

If you or a passenger are injured, call 911 right away. Even if you feel fine at first, adrenaline can mask physical pain, and you may not realize you’re hurt until later. See a doctor as soon as possible to get a treatment plan and document your injuries.

What to Do after Leaving the Scene

Doing what you can at the scene provides a strong foundation for your path to recovery. But beyond the immediate aftermath of a car accident, you may wonder how to begin the claims process and get the compensation you need.

Report the Accident

You’re required to notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours. Failure to provide notice could give the insurance company cause to refuse coverage.

It is important to note that informing the insurance company doesn’t mean you have to file a claim. Your insurance may pressure you into signing a release form or accepting a settlement too soon — never sign any documents without discussing them with your car accident lawyer first.

File a No-Fault Benefits Claim

Michigan requires drivers to carry no-fault insurance. This means if you’re in an accident, you’ll file a claim with your insurance company, and it doesn’t matter who caused the accident. Mandatory no-fault insurance coverage will pay for your:

Basic no-fault insurance will not cover your vehicle repairs or a rental car; these are optional but recommended additional coverages.

Follow Notice Requirements

In addition to reporting the accident to your insurance company within 24 hours, there may be other time-sensitive requirements you’ll have to comply with after an accident.

For example, you must file an application for no-fault benefits with your insurance company within one year of the date of the accident. If you wait too long, you forfeit your right to recover compensation.

If you were the victim of a hit-and-run, your insurance may require you to file a police report within 24 hours and/or file a written statement to the insurer within 30 days. Missing these deadlines can give the insurance company cause to deny your claim. Read your policy carefully and ask your car accident attorney for help understanding the requirements.

Follow Medical Directions

Keeping up with medical treatment and appointments is an important part of supporting your accident claim. Not only will following your doctor’s advice help you recover efficiently, but it will also prevent insurance adjusters from asserting that your injuries aren’t as severe as you say.

Keep Records of Your Treatments and Expenses

Keep track of the records and receipts for your medical expenses, physical therapy, and prescription medications you receive. Be as thorough and organized will strengthen your claim considerably.

Seek Legal Help Right Away

Dealing with your insurance company might be the last thing you want to do after an accident, especially if you were hurt. A Detroit car accident lawyer can handle each step of your case, including the following:

  • Collecting and recording evidence
  • Proving the extent of your damages and injuries
  • Negotiating with the insurance company
  • Filing necessary documents and legal motions, if necessary

If you weren’t badly hurt or only suffered minor damages, you might consider handling your accident claim on your own. But working with an experienced car accident lawyer can help maximize the value of your claim and give you the best chance of a successful financial recovery.

Can You Sue the At-Fault Driver in Michigan?

Even though Michigan is a no-fault state, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover certain damages you wouldn’t otherwise through your no-fault benefits. Examples include compensation for pain and suffering as well as out-of-pocket expenses not covered by your no-fault insurance.

The options available for compensation after a car accident depend on the details of your specific case. Your attorney will inform you of your options and advise you on the best path forward.

Davis Injury Lawyers, PLLC, Can Help After a Car Accident

No one plans to be in one, but knowing what to do after a car accident can save you time and prevent additional pains later. You also don’t have to deal with the accident’s fallout on your own.

The car accident attorneys of Davis Injury Lawyers, PLLC, can help. Our legal team has years of experience and a record of success in recovering compensation for car accident victims.

Hiring Davis Injury Lawyers, PLLC as your Detroit personal injury lawyer is truly a strategic decision that will generate the results you are looking for. Call us today at (313) 462-7979 to schedule a free initial consultation, or contact us online.