Do I Have a Claim if I Didn't Call the Police?

Let’s say you just went grocery shopping and as you’re walking through the parking lot to your car, a driver pulls out of a parking spot and strikes you. You get knocked to the ground and the at-fault driver gets scared and speeds away. Fortunately, you weren’t alone. You were shopping with your friend, who saw the whole thing. She quickly took note of the driver’s license plate number and wrote it down on a slip of paper.

At first, you didn’t feel any pain. You were shocked, but you didn’t think you were hurt. Of course, your adrenaline was pumping; adrenaline can mask pain for hours, if not days after something scary happens. The next morning, you try to get out of bed and suddenly, you’re in a lot of pain. Now you’re wondering, “I didn’t call the police, do I still have a claim?”

Take Action Right Away

The best thing for you to do is take action right away. Do you see a doctor first? Do you file a police report first? Do you contact an attorney first? If possible, your first call should be to a personal injury lawyer. He or she may be able to refer you to a doctor who won’t charge you anything upfront.

You need to see a doctor and you need to file a police report – both asap. Give the police the other driver’s license plate number and tell them what happened in the parking lot.

“But I don’t have the at-fault driver’s name or insurance information!” That’s okay, the attorney should be able to locate it for you. Once a case is opened, the insurance company will probably contact you and ask for a recorded statement. The insurance company’s goal is to get you to say something that can weaken your case. Don’t talk to the insurance company until after you’ve hired a personal injury attorney.

Getting Started on Your Case

If you were hit by a negligent driver while walking, bicycling, driving, you don’t want to ignore the situation or wait another minute. Your lawyer will need to gather evidence to corroborate your story, and to help you.

The most important things:

  • Who is at-fault?
  • How bad are your injuries?
  • What are the limits on the at-fault driver’s policy?
  • Do you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage?

If you were just in a pedestrian or car accident, contact our firm right away. Our Columbia personal injury lawyers can answer your questions, explain your rights and help you seek the medical care and compensation you need and deserve.

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