AFTER AN ACCIDENT

Wichita, KS Attorneys

For more than 20 years, the Accident Recovery Team has been proudly representing injured clients and securing fair compensation on their behalf. As former insurance attorneys, the Team is well versed in the tricks of the insurance industry and every excuse they offer. Committed to strong, competent and compassionate representation, the Team puts clients back on level ground with big companies and legal departments working against their claim.

In the chapters that follow, The Accident Recovery Team details a range of topics surrounding auto accidents. Read further for information on medical care, insurance coverage limits, vehicle repairs, damage claims and other specifics along the road to recovery. Based in Wichita, the Team examines Kansas law and how it affects insurance claims.

TOP TEN TIPS AFTER AN ACCIDENT

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RIGHT AFTER AN ACCIDENT

The Accident Recovery Team frequently hears these words, “I’ve just been in an accident. What should I do?” The moments and hours after a crash are difficult to process. It can be hard to figure out the right steps to take after an accident.

First, always call the police. Even if the accident seems minor, you need the documentation and case number provided by local police. If the other driver involved in the accident doesn’t want you to call the police, you should definitely call the police. If they try to convince you that the accident isn’t a big deal and you’ll work it out later with insurance, don’t fall for it. Call the police and properly document the accident with authorities.

Often after an automobile accident, EMS arrives. A lot of people refuse the ambulance ride because of concerns about the cost. In Sedgwick County, KS the average cost for an ambulance ride is significant, usually around $700 to $1000. But remember, your auto insurance has benefits to pay for initial medical care. You have personal injury protection, or PIP coverage, in your auto insurance policy. So if you have auto insurance, don’t turn down the ambulance only to avoid the expense.

While you are still at the scene of the accident, take pictures if possible. These images may become key pieces of evidence as your case progresses. Throughout the recovery process, be careful to document medical appointments, vehicle repairs, expenses, and other related details.

MEDICAL CARE MATTERS

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The Accident Recover Team consults with many injured people following auto accidents. A majority of their questions center around medical care after an injury. Too often, clients wait too long to see a doctor. While it may seem reasonable to wait a few days and see how you feel, you can’t let too much time go by. Seek the medical attention you need immediately after an accident. Read further to learn more about coverage benefits from your auto and health insurance policies.

It takes 48-72 hours after an injury to fully feel the inflammation that occurs in muscles, tendons, ligaments and various areas of the spine. There are medical and legal reasons to follow through completely on any doctors’ recommendations for physical therapy and ongoing treatment. Without the ability to see the future, it is always best to take an active approach to healing.

After an accident, many injured people wonder what’s next. The overriding concern people express when visiting our office, after the ambulance ride, the emergency room visit and follow-up appointments, is how to pay all the medical bills. Some folks have a family doctor they want to see, other people really don’t have a trusted relationship with a doctor. You may need recommendations for follow-up care.

There are doctors who specialize in treating patients injured after an accident. The clinics may be a good option for you and they have streamlined the billing process with insurance companies. Don’t delay treatment after a car wreck or workplace injury. It may seem easier to try and wait it out or let life get in the way of follow-up appointments, but that is almost always detrimental to long term healing. If you've been injured in an accident, seek restorative care options right away.

Seek appropriate medical care at the time of an accident and in follow-up, document everything, and talk to an attorney. Do not discuss the accident with the other side’s insurance company without consulting your attorney first. You need strong, experienced legal representation working in your best interest to ensure you receive the benefits you’re entitled to after an accident. Schedule a free consultation with the Accident Recovery Team to discuss the specifics of your injury.

INSURANCE IMPACTS

The Accident Recovery Team sees many injured people who try to tough it out and wait weeks or months before going to the doctor after an accident. That delay gives the insurance adjuster an excuse for your injuries. The insurance company will argue that the injury occurred at work or home or somewhere else between the time of the accident and the time you saw a doctor.

If you have valid auto insurance, you have PIP coverage. It is required by the State of Kansas. The typical policy has a $4,500 limit for medical care. It also covers wage loss and generally pays essential service benefits--think of these as household expenses like lawn care or other chores you are unavailable to complete after an accident.

When you settle your claim with the at-fault insurance company, your auto insurance company is generally repaid for PIP benefits they initially covered. If you receive a letter from your auto insurance company stating that you’ve exhausted PIP benefit coverage, this triggers coverage from your health insurance company. Your health insurance company may also exert a lien on any future settlements. This is an area where legal representation helps ensure you receive maximum benefits from insurance.

As far as consumer experiences go, buying insurance is unique. Familiarity with the terminology, coverage types, limits and exclusions are all important. Many people realize their insurance coverage is inadequate only after an accident. When the time comes to compensate injured parties, the coverage runs out and personal assets are exposed.

The insurance policy that’s truly best for you is probably not the cheapest coverage you can find on the Internet. There is no substitute for an insurance agent offering trusted advice based on their personal understanding of your life and family. Insurance needs change as your life evolves andyou need an agent committed to keeping up. Establish a relationship with an individual broke and insurance company you can count on after an accident.

ACCIDENT SCENE AWARENESS

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What should you do at the scene of an accident? First, call 911. You always need documentation. Memories and stories change over time. The impartial, third-party account taken by an officer is critical. Information is still fresh in everyone’s mind and this is your best chance to accurately document what happened.

Police officers generally don’t take pictures at the scene of an accident unless a fatality is involved. If you are medically able, take pictures and videos of the scene. Down the road, these images provide undisputed evidence. Up close and far away views are both helpful. After an accident is cleared, there is no way to recreate it. If you are able, take a couple minutes and capture pictures and video from the scene.

BODY SHOP BUSINESS

After a car crash, you generally call your insurance company first. Theyare likely to recommend a DRP or Direct Repair Facility. This is a shop the insurance company has a contractual relationship with, one that will save the insurance company money. Most often, they are out-of-state corporate shops that do what they are told by big insurance. In this scenario, neither the repair shop or your insurance company truly have your best interest in mind. You are not obligated to use the DRP and may want to shop around instead.

Shops that are scared of making the insurance companies mad often don’t fix cars correctly. They overlook expensive repairs or skimp on parts because they don’t want to anger insurance. Smart cars, interconnected sensors and the enhanced safety features on vehicles today only exacerbate this problem. These systems can be affected by something as small as the thickness of paint, millimeters make a difference in these scenarios. These are not easy or inexpensive repairs and many shops lack the necessary tools to complete them correctly.

The Accident Recovery Team recommends checking with trusted, local auto body shops to repair your vehicle after a wreck. All accident claims encounter complicated snags along the way. If you have questions, the Accident Recovery Team can help. It won’t cost you anything. Call to ask questions and seek insight on your claim. Reach out on our website, over the phone or through any of our social media channels. Please call the office and submit any follow-up questions online.

THANK YOU

seanindividual

Thank you for referencing this booklet from the Accident Recovery Team regarding what to do after an accident. Working on behalf of injured clients over the past two decades, the attorneys on our team draw from vast experience. With all these lessons in mind, we sat down and detailed key pieces of information we felt would be the most helpful to a majority of people injured in an accident.

If you were harmed as the result of another’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation. The Accident Recovery Team works diligently to secure the highest settlement allowed by law. We understand the long term implications of injuries and have a network of medical professionals committed to patients’ complete recovery. We are very familiar with the intricacies of cases involving semi-trucks, heavy equipment, motorcycles and distracted drivers.

The information included here is designed to cover the steps that generally take place following a wreck on the road. Topics are covered broadly but briefly. For detailed information related to the specifics of your accident, please reach out and speak directly with an attorney on the Accident Recovery Team.

Sincerely,

Sean Brennan
Managing Partner
Accident Recovery Team