Car accidents can be devastating. Injuries sustained in a car crash may not only affect your quality of life but also your financial future. If you are injured in an accident, taking the correct actions will enable you to build a strong case right from the beginning. However, before filing a car accident injury claim, it is always smart to know how much your case may be worth. That way, you will be in a better position to maximize the compensation you receive for your injuries. This will help you to recover both emotionally and financially.
Here are the steps to follow after an accident.
STAY AT THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT
It is normal to feel disoriented immediately after a car accident. This can lead you to make mistakes that will jeopardize your chances of getting fair and just compensation. In such a confusing situation, remain calm and stay at the scene of the accident until the police arrive.
While at the accident scene, beware of making self-incriminating statements. After the wreck, say as little as possible and avoid posting anything related to the accident on social media. Lastly, resist any pressure to handle the situation without reporting it to the police or your insurance company.
CALL THE POLICE
No matter how minor the collision seems to be, call the police to report the accident. Be sure to file a police report and ask for a copy of the document. When speaking to the police, provide accurate information. Also, do not blame others or admit fault.
An official police report will come in handy when deciding the proper compensation amount. The information contained in the report can be used to determine fault and link your injuries to the accident.
GET TREATMENT IMMEDIATELY
Sometimes, accident-related injuries and pain do not present themselves right away. However, such injuries can have long-term effects on your health. This is why it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. The doctor will record everything you complain of and provide appropriate treatment.
Apart from promoting your health, seeking treatment will also ensure your injuries are documented. The medical report you obtain will play a critical role in proving what happened to you as a result of the accident, something that will help your car accident injury claim. As such, you should not downplay or exaggerate your symptoms.
INFORM YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
Once you have obtained a police report and received a medical examination, contact your insurance company. This will enable you to get a proper damage evaluation, making it easy to pursue the compensation you legally deserve. Make sure you get in touch with your insurer within the shortest possible time to ensure they do not reject your claim.
Avoid talking to a representative of another insurance company. Instead, politely ask anyone who contacts you to get in touch with your lawyer. This way, you will avoid costly mistakes that could compromise the amount of compensation you can claim.
DOCUMENT THE ACCIDENT AND OBTAIN WITNESS STATEMENTS
To prove your personal injury case and obtain a fair settlement, you need strong evidence. If you are in a position to, gather as much evidence as possible at the scene. The information you collect will help to make your case stronger.
Write down everything that happened while it is still fresh in your mind. Also, take clear pictures and videos of the scene, all the vehicles involved in the crash, and your injuries. Remember to interview accident witnesses and get their contact information. Finally, exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. The evidence will make it easy to determine how much compensation you should be paid.
DOCUMENT YOUR EXPENSES
After you have been injured in a car accident, you may suffer both economic and non-economic losses. The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the kind of damages you experienced. An accurate record of your bills will enable you to get the most money from your claim.
Make sure you keep track of all your medical bills, lost earnings and the out-of-pocket expenses you incur. In addition, keep a diary of the pain and discomfort you experienced since the accident.
HIRE A CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
Hiring a lawyer is the most important step you can take to get the most money from your car accident injury claim. No matter how minor the accident, make sure you have a lawyer on your side. Your car accident lawyer will help you understand your case and determine what your true damages are. The legal expert will also handle the claim on your behalf.
For a favorable outcome, ensure you listen to your lawyer’s legal advice. A trained professional of the law will be familiar with the court system and know how to use the law to help you get the best possible settlement.
FILE A CLAIM
It may take time to receive adequate compensation for your accident-related injuries. Once you file a claim, you should be patient and prepare to negotiate. Also, put your best foot forward by preparing thoroughly for your deposition. Lastly, take your case to trial if you cannot reach a fair and reasonable settlement.
Car accident injury claims can be complicated. An experienced car accident lawyer will help you navigate through the complex legal issues and make sure you are not taken advantage of. This will go a long way in ensuring you do not miss out on money that you are rightfully owed.