Our Injury and Accident Frequently Asked Questions
What if the other driver says I am partially at fault in the car crash? Who is responsible for my slip and fall accident outside a store? Is the parking garage where I was assaulted partially responsible for my injuries? We answer questions like these and many more in our accident and injury frequently asked questions. Browse for the answers you need.
- Page 1
Who Is Responsible For A Wreck Involving A Ride-Share Vehicle Like Uber And Lyft?
With ride-share services like Uber and Lyft becoming more popular, wrecks involving ride-share vehicles are also more common. While the insurance claims process is similar to a regular car wreck, there are a few differences in the way you should handle claims with Uber and Lyft. In this article, we explain how ride-share claims are different and provide a few tips for protecting yourself.
Who Is Liable For A Wreck Involving A Ride-Share Vehicle?
Like any accident, responsibility for damage and injuries resulting from a wreck belongs to the driver who caused the wreck. Normally, the at-fault driver’s personal auto insurance would be liable for the insurance claim. However, for wrecks involving ride-share vehicles, the driver’s personal insurance will probably not apply. That’s because personal auto insurance typically excludes drivers who are in the course and scope of a business mission or specifically, participating in a ride-share or “for-hire” service at the time of the wreck.
Thus, for wrecks involving a ride-share vehicle, insurance claims will usually be filed through the service itself, such as Uber or Lyft.
The Amount Of Coverage May Depend On The Driver’s Status At The Time Of The Wreck:
Ride-share services such as Uber and Lyft usually provide insurance coverage for wrecks involving their drivers. However, the amount of available insurance may depend on the “status” of the Uber driver at the time of the wreck.
For instance, at the time of this writing, if the Uber driver was “available or waiting for a ride request” at the time of the accident, Uber provided liability coverage of $50,000 per person, up to $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage (50/100/25). If the Uber driver was “en route to pick up riders” or in the middle of a trip, Uber provides up to $1 Million in liability coverage.
This means, it is important for you to take note of things at the scene of the accident, such as whether the driver had passengers in his vehicle, or if the driver said he was on his way to a pick up.
How The Insurance Claim Process Works:
With ride-share accidents, the insurance claims process is very similar to a regular car accident, with the exception that the initial claim is usually filed directly with the ride-share service. Some of the bigger services, like Lyft and Uber have online claims processing options. Once a claim is filed, the ride-share company sends it to their insurance company for further handling.
Other Tips (Take Photos and Video!):
For a wreck involving a ride-share vehicle, it is very important to collect information at the accident scene about the at-fault driver and their vehicle. If possible, take photos of important evidence including:
- The other driver’s license.
- The other vehicle’s registration.
- The other vehicle’s license plate.
- Stickers/decals identifying the other driver’s vehicle as a ride-share (ie. Uber sticker).
- Photos and/or videos of the accident scene.
Getting this evidence will help get your claim processed more quickly and will support your insurance claim moving forward.
Have You Been Injuried In An Accident With A Ride-Share Vehicle?
If you have been injured in an accident with a ride-share vehicle and have questions as to how the process works, contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
What Should You Do If You Get A Letter From Your Health Insurance Company After A Wreck?
Did you get a letter from your health insurance company after being in a car wreck? Is it asking you to “tell us about your medical treatment for your injury” or “did you have medical treatment for an injury or illness that someone else may be responsible for payment?”
It is important to respond properly to this letter. Ignoring it may result in your health insurance company denying payment for medical treatment.
Why Is My Health Insurance Company Sending Me A Letter?:
If you receive medical treatment after a car accident, the medical providers, like an ER, usually input special codes while billing your health insurance. These codes are picked up when your health insurance processes the bill, alerting them of a potential accident. When your health insurance company sees that you may have been in an accident, they automatically send you a letter requesting more information.
Your health insurance company wants to know more information about your wreck for a few reasons. First, if you settle your car wreck claim, they may have a right to be reimbursed from the at-fault insurance company for any wreck-related medical payments made on your behalf.
Second, your health insurance company wants to know if you have any other insurance available to pay your wreck-related medical bills, before they pay. For instance, “medical payment” (“med-pay”) coverage under your own auto policy is meant to pay wreck-related medical bills.
Does This Mean My Health Insurance Company Will Stop Paying?
No. Just because you were in a wreck doesn’t mean that your health insurance company will stop paying your medical bills. They are still contractually obligated to do so. However, if you other sources available to pay medical bills (like the “med-pay” coverage discussed above), you will need to prove to your health insurance that those sources have been exhausted before they continue paying.
If you ignore your health insurance company’s inquiry letter, they MAY STOP paying your medical bills. This is because your contract with them requires you to cooperate in their investigation of any claim, including those stemming from car wrecks.
How Should I Respond To The Letter?
You should be truthful in your response to your health insurance company in letting them know about the wreck. If you do not have “med-pay” coverage or if your “med-pay” has been exhausted, it is important to let them know that, so they do not stop paying your medical bills.
Be careful describing your injuries, as the at-fault auto insurance company may see your response later and hold them against you, especially if your reported injuries do not match your current complaints.
Have You Been Injured In An Accident And Recevied A Letter From Your Health Insurance Company?
If you have been injured in an accident and recevied a letter from your health insurance compnay about a wreck and have questions, contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
Shouldn’t The At- Fault Insurance Company Pay My Medical Bills?
One of the most common misconceptions of car accident victims is that the at-fault car insurance company should be paying medical bills as they are incurred. Unfortunately, while the at-fault insurance company is ultimately responsible for your damages, including medical bills, they do not have to “pay as you go.”
The At-Fault Insurance Company Doesn’t Have To Pay As You Go:
For car accident cases in Louisiana, there are usually two different claims involved: (1) the property damage claim, which includes damage to your vehicle; and (2) the injury claim, which involves damage to you, including your medical bills.
For the property damage claim, the at-fault insurance company is legally required to adjust your claim and pay for property damages within a certain amount of time after they are presented with adequate proof of loss.
For your injury claim, while the at-fault insurance company may ultimately be responsible for your medical bills, they are not legally required to pay them as they come in. Instead, they are usually interested in settling all of your injury claims, including medical expenses and general damages, all at once.
Don’t List The At-Fault Insurance Company As The Responsible Party At The ER:
It is not uncommon for our clients to report that they listed the other person’s auto insurance as the responsible party for payment at the Hospital Emergency Room. This is a mistake. First, the hospital (or any medical provider) has no right (or way) to bill the other person’s auto insurer directly for your bill. While the accident may not be your fault, you are responsible for any medical bills stemming from it.
Use Your Health Insurance:
It is a good idea to use your health insurance following a car accident, as doing so will reduce the amount of your medical obligations. If you don’t use your health insurance, medical providers may try to bill the entire medical bill directly to you and it will remain your responsibility, even if you are the victim of a wreck.
By using your health insurance, you enjoy the benefit of contracted discounts and should only be responsible for your deductibles or copays. However, it is important to know that the health insurer has the right to reimbursement in the event you settle your auto wreck case with the at-fault insurance company. Therefore, it is important to keep your health insurance company updated on the status of your auto claim. It is also important to understand the ins and outs of your health insurance company’s right to reimbursement.
The At-Fault Insurance Company Is Ultimately Responsible:
Once our client has recovered from their injuries, we gather all of their medical records and medical bills. Their medical bills become part of their personal injury claim and are factored in when negotiating a settlement with the at-fault insurance company.
Once a settlement is finalized, a portion of the settlement funds are used to pay any remaining medical bills and, if applicable, to reimburse our client’s health insurer. At Flattmann Law, we always provide our clients with a detailed breakdown of how settlement proceeds will be distributed, PRIOR to a settlement being finalized. That way, there are no surprises.
Have You Been Injured In An Accident And Have Questions About Big Medical Bills?
If you have been injured and have questions about big medical bills following an accident, contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
Why Is The Insurance Company Requesting The Past 5 Years Of My Medical Records?
Insurance companies sometimes ask you to sign a blanket medical authorization after a car wreck so that they can obtain your medical records. Should you sign those forms? Why are they looking to get medicals that far back, and even prior to the accident?
What Do My Past Medical Records Have To Do With My Accident?:
In big accident cases, the at-fault car insurance company (or your UM insurer) may ask you for medical records from before your accident. There is no legal limit on what they can request, but most companies may request five years of past records.
The goal of the insurance company in obtaining past records is so that they can compare those records to your current (post-accident) injuries and complaints. For instance, if you are claiming low back injuries from a car wreck, the insurance company wants to see if you had any prior low back injuries or complaints documented in past medical records. If you do, they will compare those past complaints to your current condition. Their goal is to downplay your current injuries or blame them altogether on an unrelated incident, prior to the accident in question.
Does The Insurance Company Have The Right To Get My Medical Records?:
In Louisiana, if a lawsuit has not yet been filed for an accident, the at-fault insurance company does not have the right to get your medical records without your permission, usually in the form of a medical records release. This is a double-edged sword, as failing to comply with the insurance company’s request may lead to their outright denial of your claim. The best thing to do is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can weight the pros and cons of your individual situation.
It is important to note that you may have a different set of responsibilities when dealing with your own insurance company under a UM (Uninsured/underinsured motorist) claim. That’s because the relationship you have with your own insurance company is contractual and you must adhere to the rules set out in your insurance policy, including working with them to explore claims.
Do The Rules Change If I File Suit?:
Once a lawsuit is filed on a car accident case, the rules on obtaining past medical records change. After a suit is filed, the at-fault insurance company has the right to conduct discovery, which includes exploring your medical history as it relates to your claims.
In a lawsuit, an insurance company will typically request your medical authorization so that they can obtain pertinent medical records. Sometimes, they will ask for medical records prior to the accident date, again trying to prove that your injuries were pre-existing and unrelated to the accident at issue.
The rule during discovery is generally that the insurance company has the right to collect information which may lead to admissible evidence at trial. This is very broad. However, it is not without its limitations. At Flattmann Law, we protect our clients from overly broad requests into their past medical treatment, especially when past treatment is completely unrelated to their current complaints. For instance, we might object to a request for 10 years of our client’s past psychological treatment notes if their current claims have nothing to do with psychological injuries.
Again, whether or not the insurance company has the right to request past medical records and the extent of their requests can be complicated and are individual to every case. It can be extremely beneficial to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss these issues before making any decisions regarding the release of medical information.
Do You Have Questions About An Insurance Company's Request For Medical Records After An Accident?
If you have been injured in a car wreck and have questions about an insurance company's request for medical records after an accident, contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
Why Does It Matter To My Insurance Claim How Many People Were Injured In A Wreck?
A multi-vehicle wreck or multi-car pile up can have serious consequences. Accident victims in wrecks involving multiple people with injuries sometimes find themselves battling each other for compensation from a limited fund.
The More Injured People In An Accident, The Less Insurance Available:
If you have been injured in a multi-vehicle accident, there is a real possibility that the amount of compensation you may be able to recover from the at-fault insurer will be limited. Why? Because auto insurance policies in Louisiana have bodily injury and property damage liability limits that cover the entire accident, and do not increase based on the number of injured people or vehicles involved.
Say you are a victim of a car wreck on US Highway 190 in Covington. It was a major accident involving multiple vehicles. The at-fault driver clipped a car, then rammed into the back of your truck, causing you to hit the vehicle in front of you. All three vehicles were totaled. To make things worse, each of the three vehicles had a passenger in them, and all 6 occupants (drivers and passengers) were injured.
The at-fault driver had State Farm. He had the minimum 15/30/25 coverage. That means, he had bodily injury liability coverage in the amount of $15,000 per person up to a limit of $30,000 for each accident (everyone who was injured), and property damage limits of $25,000.
In this scenario, State Farm will have only $30,000 TOTAL to cover the medical expenses and general damages of all six injury victims. Unfortunately, all six went to the hospital and the ER bills alone total $40,000. What makes matters worse is that all three vehicles were totaled and have a combined actual cash value of $80,000. State Farm only has $25,000 to cover this.
As you can see, getting in a muti-vehicle wreck can mean that the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage may be inadequate to cover the losses.
What Will The At-Fault Insurance Company Do If Their Limits Are Not Sufficient?:
As an initial step, the insurance company for a driver who causes a multi-vehicle and/or multi-injury wreck will try to figure out if it can settle the claims of all the drivers with the amount of coverage it has available. If they believe this is possible, they will request that all the parties send in their claim information, including medical bills and records, and then make settlement offers to each claimant.
If, on the other hand, the insurance company realizes that settling all the claims within its policy limits will be impossible, it will do one of two things. Sometimes the at-fault insurance company will try to determine the most serious claims and try to settle those from the policy limits. If they can, they have effectively eliminated the most serious exposure to their insured (the at-fault driver). However, it also means that several other claims, albeit smaller claims, may remain to pursue the at-fault driver personally. (As a side note, the at-fault driver’s insurance company would still have to provide them with a defense if they were sued).
If the at-fault insurance company decides that it is impossible to settle with any of the injured claimants within its limits, it may not make personal injury offers to anyone. In such a case, the injured parties would have to sue the at-fault driver and his insurance company.
Finally, with regard to property damage, in Louisiana the at-fault insurer is legally required to pay such claims. In a multi-vehicle accident involving a limited amount of property damage coverage, the insurance company typically evaluates each person’s loss, then divides the available policy limits “pro-rata” (proportionately) among the claimants.
So, what should you do to avoid this scenario?
How Do I Protect Myself From Limited Insurance?:
Having an efficient and fast attorney on your side is one step you can take to help maximize your recovery in a multi-vehicle accident case. An attorney who quickly gathers your medical bills and records and submits adequate proof of loss to the insurance company gives you the best chance of recovering before everyone else. If the at-fault insurance company decides that it doesn’t have enough coverage to pay all the claims, but decides to pay some of them, having your paperwork ready on their desk gives you the best chance of recovering.
Also, make sure to have UM (uninsured/underinsured motorist) and collision coverage! We cannot stress this enough and have done many other articles on this issue alone. UM insurance will provide additional insurance to you in the event the at-fault driver was uninsured or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your injury claim. Collision coverage is similar and covers damage to your vehicle, regardless of who was at fault for the wreck. Make sure you have these coverages!
Have You Been In A Multi-Vehicle Accident And Are Worried That The Number Of Injured Claimants Will Diminish Your Claim Value?
If you have been injured in a multi-vehicle car wreck and are worried that the number of injured claimaints will diminish your claim value, contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
Will I Be Followed By A Private Investigator If I File An Insurance Claim?
Insurance companies sometimes hire investigators to spy on car accident victims who have filed car accident claims. Typically, insurance companies only do this if the potential value of a car wreck claim is big enough, since the cost of hiring investigators can be pricey. Most insurance companies have their own, “in-house” investigators whose job it is to gather information on accident victims, hoping to show that the claimant is engaging in physical activity contrary to their injury claim or doctor’s recommendations.
Why Insurance Companies Hire Private Investigators:
Insurance companies hire private investigators to get information on a claimant in order to discredit them or devalue their claim. If a car wreck claim involves a serious injury, investigators look online for social media posts showing our client participating in physical activities. If a client is claiming that a car accident caused emotional distress, the investigator will look for Facebook posts where our client appears to be having fun or socializing.
Of course, a snapshot of a Tweet or a photo from Facebook, in themselves, can be taken out of context very easily. And, that’s exactly what the insurance company relies on.
Example of Insurance Companies Spying On Accident Victims:
The extent of an insurance company’s investigation or surveillance of an accident victim can range from simple online searches, including google and social media searches, to in-person spying.
Most of the time, the insurance company will not reveal whether they have done any surveillance on our client until they have to exchange “impeachment” evidence before trial (that is, evidence that someone is lying). In our practice, in almost 20 years, we have received only a handful of surveillance videos from insurance companies, allegedly showing our clients doing something they shouldn’t have been doing.
For instance, one video was taken in the parking lot of a grocery store and showed our client lifting a case of water into his truck. The insurance company argued that he was not following his doctor’s orders, which restricted lifting to 40 pounds. We were able to prove that the pack of water weighed only 35 pounds and pointed out that at the time the video was taken, our client was frantically preparing for a hurricane which hit later that night.
What To Do If You Think The Insurance Company Is Tracking You:
First of all, we tell all our clients to expect the insurance company to search their social media posts. Social media posts can be taken out of context very easily. A simple statement like “I’m doing fine” can be misconstrued to diminish the fact that the person is going through severe pain from a car accident.
If you think you are being followed by a private investigator, be extra aware of your actions, including any physical restrictions from your doctor. Keep notes on when you were followed and a description of the person following you, including their vehicle information. If it is safe and you are able to do so, take photos and video of them! Give all of this information to your attorney so that they can follow up with the insurance company and request surveillance information.
If you don’t feel safe, or if the person following you invades your personal space or crosses the line by trespassing on your property, call the police and report them.
Are You Wondering Whether The Insurance Company Is Investigating Your Car Wreck Claim?
If you have been injured in a car wreck, and wondering whether the insurance comapny is investigating your car wreck claim, contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
How Do We Use The Internet To Investigate A Car Wreck Claim?
There is an amazing amount of information out there in cyberspace! When Flattmann Law is hired to represent a client with a car accident claim, it is not uncommon for us to take to the internet for some initial research and investigation.
Even for car wrecks that may seem straightforward (like rear-end collisions), we typically use sites like Google Maps to get a better idea for the accident scene. We look at intersections, locations of stop signs and traffic lights, distractions, etc. If we have the information before an initial client consultation, we sometimes print out maps so that we can have our client point out exactly where an accident happened. We want to make sure we understand exactly what happened so that we can represent our clients most effectively.
Social Media Sites, including Facebook:
It is amazing how much personal information people post on social media. Not only do criminals collect (or mine) the data placed on social media, but after a major car wreck case, insurance adjusters and their investigators may also be collecting that information. In fact, when we take a case, one of the first things we tell our clients is to be careful what they post, as a photo, video, or statement may be misconstrued and used against them later on.
When we are working on a big personal injury claim, we may search social media sites, including Facebook to see what information our clients have posted publicly. We look for pictures, videos, and anything else which may be used against them in their case.
If a car wreck claim involves a company vehicle, we may need to search online for the company’s corporate information, including whether they are registered with the Louisiana Secretary of State. When we file a lawsuit, it is important to get information regarding the company’s registered agent for service. This is especially true for insurance company defendants, whose information may be found on the Louisiana Department of Insurance’s website.
Police Reports and Other Records:
For 95% of our cases, we are able to obtain police reports for car wrecks online. Sometimes, depending on the accident, the police also take pictures of the scene which are available to purchase.
In some cases requiring substantial research, we may submit public records requests (or Freedom of information requests) to different public entities via online portals. For instance, a public records request may be issued to the State of Louisiana for traffic camera footage.
Have You Been Injured In A Car Wreck In Covington Or The Surrounding Area?
If you have been injured in a car wreck in Covington or surrounding areas, contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
If The Accident Was The Other Guy’s Fault, Do I Still File A Claim With My Insurance?
One of the most common questions following a car accident is “Do I file a claim with my insurance, the other person’s insurance, or both?” As explained below, the quick answer is that you may want to file with both insurance companies, especially if the wreck was not your fault.
Stop Reading And Call Us! We May Be Able To Take Care Of Everything!:
At Flattmann Law, we can take care of every aspect of an insurance claim, including the initial filing of claims following a car wreck. This means you don’t have to file a claim with anyone. If we take your case, we can take care of that for you!
Filing A Claim With The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company:
If the accident was caused by the other driver, make sure to file a claim with their insurance company as soon as possible. Sometimes, the other driver has already reported a claim and a claim is already set up and all the insurance company needs is your information. Sometimes, however, a new claim has to be set up, which can take a good deal of time over the phone.
Why You Should Also Report The Claim To Your Insurance Company:
“Why would I report the claim to my insurance company if I’m not at fault?” “Won’t that just raise my rates?” I know that people are hesitant to report insurance claims for fear that their rates may go up or that they may get cancelled.
But rest assured that by law, insurance companies in Louisiana are not allowed to raise your premium or cancel your insurance based on “no-fault incidents.” Louisiana Revised Statute 22:1284 prohibits insurance companies from increasing rates, cancelling, or failing to renew any motor vehicle insurance policy based on one or more no-fault incidents, meaning an accident involving a vehicle covered by a policy in which the driver of the insured vehicle was not at fault.
One reason for reporting the claim to your insurance company is that it may be required by your insurance policy. Typically, the fine language in the insurance policy requires policyholders to report any accident or potential claim to the insurance company as soon as possible. If you don’t report an accident, the insurance company may try to hold that against you if you have to file a claim in the future.
A second reason for filing a claim with your insurance company is to make sure they hear from you first regarding the accident. Remember that anyone can file an insurance claim. You don’t want your insurance company to hear from the other driver first, even if they are lying about the facts of the accident in an attempt to skirt responsibility. Also, the at-fault insurance company will likely check to make sure your insurance was valid at the time of the accident. In Louisiana, this is called the “no pay, no play” rule, which requires a claimant to have their own valid insurance.
Finally, another reason for filing a claim with your insurance company is that it may be the quickest way to resolve your property damage and rental claim. If you have collision coverage (which is optional coverage), going through your own insurance company for an accident is typically faster than waiting on the at-fault insurer to investigate the claim. (Check out our other articles on collision coverage). Also, if the at-fault party did not have insurance or had only minimum coverage, you may have claims with your own insurance company if you have optional coverages like UM or med-pay.
Have You Been Injured In A Wreck And Feeling Overwhelmed With The Insurance Claim Process?
If you have been injured in a wreck and feeling overwhelmed about the insurance claim process, contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
What’s Another Option To Calling The Police After A Minor Car Accident?
An accident happens to you on your way to work. You are in a hurry and the damage doesn’t look that bad. Should you call the police anyway? The answer is... Probably! But if you insist on not calling the police, here are a few tips.
Why You Should Call The Police After Any Accident:
The police will document the accident (even a minor accident), and collect important information from both drivers. The information collected by the police should include the other person’s name, insurance information, and vehicle information.
If you have to make an insurance claim with the other driver’s insurance company, they will ask you if you have a police report. If you don’t, this may slow down the claims process, since they will have to rely on other evidence in order to take responsibility for the wreck.
At the scene of the accident, even if the other person seems nice and reliable, you never know if they are giving you the correct information or if they will admit fault to their insurance company later. Having a police report is the best way to document information right after a wreck.
What If I Don’t Want To Call The Police?:
I get it. You are in a hurry and the other person doesn’t want you to call the police. Maybe they are a young driver and you don’t want it on their record. You choose not to call the police. What should you do?
- Take as many pictures and videos of the scene and other driver as possible: Document EVERYTHING! Without a police report, this is the only opportunity you will have to preserve evidence of the position of the vehicles and the parties involved. Think, “what if the other person denies being in an accident?” If you take pictures and video, you will have proof that they were.
- Take a video of the other driver admitting fault: If the other driver is apologizing to you for causing the wreck and begging you not to call the police, have them state that they are responsible for causing the wreck on video. Have them state their name, the date, and what happened to cause the accident (ie. “I looked down...”). If they are unwilling to do this, call the police.
- Take pictures of the other driver’s information: Take photos of the other driver, their vehicle, license plate, registration, and insurance card. You will NEED all of this information if you have to file an insurance claim.
- Get names of witnesses: If there are witnesses to the accident, get their names and contact information. You never know if you are going to need them to prove that the accident happened.
- Keep an eye on your injuries: During an accident, adrenaline is released in the body, sometimes masking injuries. It may take a few days for some injuries to reveal themselves.
Keep an Eye on Your Injuries:
During an accident, adrenaline is released in the body, sometimes masking injuries. It may take a few days for some injuries to reveal themselves. If you feel that you are injured, get medical attention as soon as possible. If you let it go too long, the insurance company will discredit that the accident caused your injury.
Were You Involved In An Accident And Something Just Doesn't Seem Right?
At Flattmann Law, we know that even accidents that seem minor can result in serious injury. If you were involved in an accident and something just doesn’t seem right, contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
What is GAP Insurance and Do I Really Need It?
Most people have heard the term “GAP insurance” and may have been told that they don’t need to get it when purchasing a vehicle. You may have been told that GAP insurance is something the car dealership is offering you just to make a little more money. But before you decline it, let’s go over a few things.
What is GAP Insurance?:
GAP insurance is an optional insurance you can purchase when you buy a new vehicle. It is often offered to you at the dealership along with things like extended warranties when you are filling out the sales paperwork and/or applying for a car loan.
In the event of the loss of your vehicle (typically as a result of a wreck), GAP insurance covers the difference between what you owe on the vehicle and what the auto insurance company is paying.
GAP Can Be Extremely Helpful After a Total Loss:
As stated above, GAP insurance comes into play if your car is totaled and your car loan is more than the amount the car insurance company is paying you for it. Say for example you total your vehicle in a car accident a year after purchasing it and at that time, you still owe $20,000 on your loan. Since your car started to depreciate as soon as you rolled off the lot, it may only be worth $15,000. After the car insurance company pays the loan company $15,000, you still owe $5,000. If you have GAP, your GAP insurer will pay the $5,000 difference on your note.
In the scenario above, if you didn’t have GAP, you would be stuck owing the $5,000 difference. That’s because, in Louisiana, the law only requires the at-fault insurance company to pay the Actual Cash Value “ACV” of your vehicle after a total loss. The ACV and the amount you may owe on your car note are TWO SEPARATE THINGS. In short, the at-fault car insurance company doesn’t care how much you owe on your vehicle.
When Don’t I Need GAP?:
You likely don’t need GAP insurance when the Actual Cash Value of your vehicle is more than what you owe on it. If you are uncertain about this, or if the amount you owe on the vehicle is close to its current value, you may want to consider GAP.
Oh Shoot! I Don’t Have GAP. Can I Still Get It?:
Good news! Even if you originally declined GAP insurance when you purchased your vehicle, you can probably add it if you still have a car loan and your vehicle hasn’t been wrecked. You can call your original dealer to see if GAP is still available through them, or you can call your own auto insurance company to see if they offer GAP as an optional coverage on your insurance policy.
Have You Been Injured In An Accident And Have Questions About How Your GAP Insurance Works?
If you have been injuried in a car wreck and have questions about how your GAP insurance works contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.