If you get injured in a single-vehicle car accident in New Haven, Connecticut, do not assume that you are ineligible for benefits from an insurance provider. Even if yours was the only vehicle involved in the wreck (such as a collision with a fixed object), you might not be to blame if there was an outside influence, such as a road hazard or auto part defect. It is important to take the correct steps in the aftermath of a single-vehicle car crash to preserve your right to seek financial compensation.
Call the Police
Stay where you are – parked as close to the scene of the car accident as is safely possible. Only exit your vehicle if it is safe to do so. Call the police to report the crash, even if it is minor. Calling the police can help you prove that your vehicle was damaged or that you were injured in a car crash for insurance purposes.
Since there is no other driver to act as a witness, calling the police can help you document the cause of the losses that you are claiming to an insurance company. Otherwise, the insurance company may try to allege that you suffered the injury or property damage under other circumstances and are attempting insurance fraud.
The police can create an official accident report documenting the facts and details of the crash, including the time, date and location. The police can also include an opinion on the cause of the accident. Although this will not definitively prove fault, an insurance company may take this into account when assessing your claim.
Take Photographs and Videos
Another important source of evidence in a single-vehicle accident claim is images of the scene. Use your smartphone to document the crash using photographs and videos. Take as many pictures as you can, including up-close shots of the damage to your vehicle and wide-lens angles of the entire scene. If you know what caused the accident, such as a pothole in the road, a slick surface, a crossing animal or a stationary object, take photographs to document it.
Talk to Eyewitnesses
While you will not have another driver to help you document the crash, there may be eyewitnesses near and around the scene who witnessed the collision. If so, speak to them and ask if they would be willing to give statements as to what they saw. If so, write down their names and phone numbers for future use, or use a pen and paper to obtain signed statements at the scene. The police can also help you recover statements from eyewitnesses.
Go to a Hospital
If you were injured in the single-vehicle accident, go to a hospital in New Haven right away for professional medical care. Delaying medical care for an injury such as whiplash, a pulled muscle, a broken bone or lacerations can give an insurance company a reason to reduce your benefits or deny coverage. Request copies of your medical records for future use.
File a Claim
In Connecticut, first-party insurance coverage is not a requirement. This means you may not have the right type of automobile insurance on your policy to pay for your own medical bills and property damage unless you purchased an optional type of coverage. If you do have the right type of plan, contact your own insurance provider to seek financial benefits.
Otherwise, if you believe you did not cause the single-vehicle accident, consult with a car accident attorney in New Haven about holding someone else responsible. Another person or party, such as the government responsible for maintaining a safe roadway or a vehicle manufacturer, may be liable for your crash. An attorney can investigate your single-vehicle car accident, determine its cause and help you seek the financial recovery that you need to move forward.