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Car Accident Checklists

What To Do After A Car Accident In Michigan: 9 Steps To Take

Save this useful what to do after a car accident in Michigan checklist with important medical advice and lawsuit timelines

Immediately after a car accident in Michigan, there are so many important steps to take. Our attorneys have highlighted the most time-sensitive precautions below.

If you’d like to speak with an attorney, call Michigan Auto Law at (800) 777-0028. There’s no fee or obligation.

What To Do After A Car Accident in Michigan Checklist: 9 Steps To Take

  1. Contact the police
  2. Seek medical treatment now and if you experience new symptoms later
  3. Report ALL injuries to first responders and emergency room personnel
  4. Never give statements to an insurance adjuster or sign a release
  5. Notify your insurance company immediately and file an application for benefits
  6. Obtain a copy of your police report
  7. Attend all medical appointments
  8. Keep good records
  9. Check your auto insurance policy for very specific notice requirements

Contact the police

After a car accident in Michigan, an accident victim should definitely contact the nearest police department and file a police report.

Seek medical treatment now and if you experience new symptoms later

After a car accident in Michigan it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible even if you feel your injuries are only minor. Many injuries that initially appear to be insignificant can later cause substantial pain and discomfort. These injuries  are often referred to as delayed injuries and they must be documented immediately to prove they were caused by the crash and not some other event. It’s also important to return to your doctor if you experience any new symptoms that were not apparent during initial treatment.

Report ALL Injuries to first responders and emergency room personnel

After a car accident in Michigan, it is extremely important that all personal injuries suffered as a result of the accident are well-documented. It’s also especially important to tell emergency room doctors if you experienced any loss of consciousness. Insist that medical personnel record all of your injuries. Although they may initially appear to be minor, be sure to report symptoms resulting from the accident such as:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Blurred vision
  • Problems with short-term memory or concentration
  • Emotional changes

Never give statements to an insurance adjuster or sign a release

Never give “statements” to an auto insurance claims adjuster after a car accident in Michigan. And never sign a release or allow the insurance adjuster to look at the damage without the presence of an attorney.

Why? Claims adjusters often try to get recorded statements early trying to minimize pain and injuries. This is for use later in court when trying to undermine the accident victim. Often, when there is low vehicle damage, insurance adjusters try to claim that no one could have been seriously injured in the accident.

Even limited property damage releases will contain unrelated language releasing all personal injuries suffered from an accident, whether known or unknown. Many people rush into signing these documents without having the release language reviewed by an attorney, and very well could lose their right to sue the negligent driver later – or receive No-Fault insurance benefits – for their accident-related injuries.

Notify your insurance company immediately and file an application for benefits

After a car accident in Michigan you should immediately notify your auto insurance company of your accident. Then you must file an application for No-Fault benefits.

In Michigan, there’s a strict one-year time limit to notify your own No-Fault insurance company of your accident, and to file your application for No-Fault benefits. This is referred to as a “first-party” accident case (There’s also a three-year time limit to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver’s insurance company for pain and suffering; referred to as a “third-party” accident case).

To get your No-Fault insurance benefits you must apply with your own insurance company by filling out an application for benefits. You can request this form from your auto insurance company. Filing the application for benefits form is extremely important – and essential for protecting your No-Fault rights. This form is required to receive five important benefits:

Obtain a copy of your police report

Contact the police department where your accident occurred to order a copy of your police report. Many reports can be ordered online.

Attend all medical appointments after a car accident in Michigan

It’s imperative that you continue treatment for your personal injuries, whether it be physical therapy and occupational therapy, or routine follow-ups with your family doctor. It’s very important that you recover. Additionally, insurance adjusters often contend that an accident victim who fails to attend his or her doctor’s appointment must not be experiencing pain. Read why getting the right medical care at the right time is important.

Keep good records after a car accident in Michigan

  • Document all doctor’s visits, prescriptions, over the counter medications, laboratory services, physical therapy, hospital visits, treatments, medical documents and x-rays.
  • Note the date each service was provided and the amount you were charged.
  • Keep a diary of your daily pain, discomfort, emotional distress, fatigue, tenderness, inconvenience, etc.
  • Write down how your personal injuries have impacted your daily life and relationships.
  • Take photos of all of your injuries, as soon after the accident as possible.
  • Keep copies of all medical bills, medical records and other documents.

Check your auto insurance policy for very specific notice requirements

It’s best to have an attorney look over your insurance policy after a car accident in Michigan for any fine print that could put your rights in jeopardy.

You should also check your Michigan insurance policy for VERY specific notification requirements pertaining to your accident. In addition to the legislative deadlines (of one year to file a first- party case for No-Fault benefits and three years to file a third-party pain and suffering case with the wrong-doer’s insurance company), many auto insurance policies pose even stricter notification requirements. For instance, one policy requires the accident victim notify the auto insurance company within 30 days for a hit and run Michigan accident.

Our attorneys have seen far too many unadvised clients assume that their auto insurance policies were consistent with Michigan No-Fault timelines. In many cases, the contractual language of the policy and the filing limits were far more restrictive. If accident victims fail to adhere to these notification requirements on time, they can lose important coverage.

Protect yourself. Call Michigan Auto Law.

You can only benefit by contacting a Michigan accident attorney to review your circumstances. For a free case evaluation, call (800) 777-0028 or fill out our consultation form. There’s absolutely no fee and no obligation.