It can be expensive to recover from a serious car accident injury. An ambulance ride plus an emergency room visit can result in hefty medical bills for car accident victims. Some crash victims may have to spend weeks in the hospital. Other patients might need X-rays, pain medication, surgery, physical therapy, and follow-up visits with their physicians.
Victims may recover monetary damages when another party causes a car accident. Court awards and settlements differ widely. Victims don’t control every factor that affects the economic outcome of a car accident, such as the severity of their injuries.
However, other decisions that car accident victims make in the minutes, days, and weeks following a wreck can alter the value of their claims.
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Common causes of car accidents include:
You have rights if you get injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness. You can recover compensation for your expenses and pain and suffering with the help of an experienced lawyer.
It is a common misconception that hiring a car accident lawyer will result in less money. The opposite is true. Hiring an attorney after a car accident is the best thing you can do. Claims representatives use many tactics to reduce the value of your claim.
If a car accident lawyer does not represent you, the insurance adjusters will try to take advantage of your lack of understanding. By wanting you to sign off on deals that are not in your best interest, they aim to get you to settle for as cheap and as quickly as possible.
Hire an experienced car accident attorney if you want to improve the strength of your claim and get the most money from your accident.
When you are involved in an accident, stay at the scene. You should contact the police if the accident resulted in injuries, deaths, or vehicle damage that makes driving impossible. You should provide other drivers and responding police with basic information such as your contact information and vehicle registration.
Call 911 and summon police to any car accident scene, regardless of the type. You should not leave the scene until they arrive, conduct their formal investigation, and give you the okay.
If you leave the scene of an accident before giving authorities information, you can be charged with a crime, depending on your state.
At the crash site, you are free to gather information on your own if you can do so safely and without getting in the way of first responders. Obtain the contact information of other drivers and passengers involved in the accident. This will prevent any potential errors in the crash report. Take pictures or videos of the wreck from every vantage point possible so you can document its exact appearance.
Imagine a situation in which someone commits a hit and run, and you fail to get their details. Under those circumstances, the only payment you might receive for the collision and your injuries might come from your medical benefits coverage and your uninsured motorist coverage. As soon as possible, write down names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, insurance information, and car information.
In gathering details, please do not discuss fault for the crash or confess to having caused it. The insurance company may use even innocent statements against you later to reduce the value of a possible legal claim.
Do not restrict the information you gather at the accident scene to those directly involved. Eyewitnesses to the wreck may also have useful information. Obtain their contact information so that you (or your lawyer) can follow up with them about their memories.
Look for video witnesses—traffic or security cameras that might have caught the wreck on film—and take measures to determine who uses those cameras. You may have a limited time to save any video footage of the wreck before someone deletes it, so act quickly.
Imagine that you have been in a serious car accident. If that happens, you will likely have to go to the nearest emergency room by ambulance to get medical treatment beyond first aid and field medicine. In less severe accidents, or those in which you are fortunate enough to remain conscious and walk away from, you might choose to avoid medical treatment. Avoiding medical treatment is almost always a mistake.
You must show that the accident caused your injuries to get the most compensation for your case. Your medical records provide this evidence. You might avoid the physician if you are only a little sore or have only a few lumps and scrapes. Many life-threatening car accident injuries do not show symptoms for hours or days after a collision. To safeguard your health and your legal rights, have a physician examine you immediately for these damages.
If you didn’t cause the accident, you will still need to notify your auto insurance company about the damages to your car. It is a requirement of most insurance policies that you file such a report, and failing to do so can result in policy cancellation or other legal repercussions.
It is best if you keep in mind that even your own insurance company will look for ways to avoid having to spend your benefits. Talking to an insurance adjuster about the details of the accident can be risky. It will help if you do not make offhand remarks about who is at fault or how you feel. Keep only the essential facts and leave any discussion of fault to your lawyer’s conversations with your (or any other individual’s) insurer.
To obtain adequate compensation for the economic costs associated with your car wreck and damages, you must provide documentation to support your claim. It is more likely that you will receive every penny of repayment you deserve if you provide more evidence.
From the time of your wreck onward, keep all medical bills and insurance documentation. Documents conveying ambulance and emergency assistance, physician visits, hospitalizations, diagnostic testing, and prescriptions are all examples of what you should keep. Expenses reflected in these records may be elements of damages that the at-fault party owes you.
In addition, if a car accident prevents you from working temporarily or permanently, keep any payroll data that shows your wage or salary as well as any paid time off that you used as a result of the crash. Expenses like these also illustrate potential damages owed to you.
Keep a record of any other costs directly related to your crash and injuries. A car accident injury may require you to modify your home or workspace, such as installing handrails and wheelchair ramps. Additionally, if you cannot do daily chores and have to hire someone to do them, these expenses may qualify as damages.
A large part of the uncertainty of how much money you might receive for a car crash lies in calculating the damage done to you that does not have a monetary value. You deserve compensation for your suffering, harm to your relationships, and emotional trauma that may accompany bodily injuries such as disfiguring scars and disabilities.
Occasionally, attorneys and insurance adjusters use mathematical formulas to value these damages, but the process can be highly subjective. To assist them in calculating the proper amount of compensation you should receive for these non-economic damages, keep a diary of your damages and recovery. Describe how you are feeling emotionally and physically. You can use this document to convey your non-economic losses and raise the payment amount you can receive for your car accident claim.
There are times when individuals skip physician visits for perfectly reasonable reasons. Insurance companies and defense lawyers will not be compassionate. If you miss medical appointments, they will use that as proof that you are not as seriously injured as you claim or that the crash did not cause your damages.
After a car crash, your medical records contain some of the most crucial evidence you will need to prove that you deserve compensation. To receive the most cash from your claim, you need to prove that you followed your physician’s treatment plan exactly. Attend every physician appointment, lab visit, and treatment session until your doctor gives you a clean bill of health.
Doing so will construct the constant documentation of your injury and rehab that you need to maximize the amount of cash you should obtain as payment after a car crash.
When auto accident victims accept settlement offers without speaking with an attorney, they leave a lot of money on the table while sacrificing valuable legal rights.
Don’t accept a settlement offer from a party with conceivable legal liability to you without first consulting your attorney. They want to get off the hook for as little money as possible. Say no to them if they offer you a settlement saying things like “no need for attorneys.” That is a red flag. They believe they owe you much more than they are showing, and they hope you will give up your privilege to use them for cents on the dollar.
Car accident victims might feel financial pressure to “take the money.” But, it is always a mistake to accept a settlement and give up rights without first ensuring the party proposing to write you a check is not trying to exploit you. You can protect yourself from that sort of conduct by seeking the help of an experienced car accident attorney.
When insurance companies and defense attorneys look into a car wreck, they often try to talk with the accident victim and the victim’s friends, families, and colleagues. If you are a victim, you should never speak with investigators without first consulting your lawyer. It is also advisable not to speak with people who investigators may seek out.
A claimant does not want to put their friends and family in the awkward position of having told an investigator something they said to them that reduces the value of their claim. Despite how much you may want to tell your close friends and family about your accident, the best thing you can do to safeguard yourself and them is to stay silent. Until your lawyer tells you otherwise, do not speak to them about the accident.
Insurance company agents and detectives will look for all the details they can find about you online, hoping something you have reported or published will give them a reason to slash the value of your claim. For now, stay off social media. Ask your lawyer before posting anything.
An experienced car accident lawyer plays a crucial role in helping accident victims get the most money from a car wreck for all the reasons discussed above. While your lawyer is fighting for you, you should be healing from your injuries. Having a car accident attorney on your side is the single best thing you can do to get the compensation you deserve after an auto accident. Contact one today to maximize your compensation.