Each year, anywhere from 20 to 50 million people worldwide face an injury or disability due to an auto accident.
If you’re one of these unlucky people, you may not only be stuck without a car. Lost wages, pain, and suffering, and medical costs are often also in the picture.
When you have an auto accident, you might not know what to do or might panic, especially if you’ve gotten hurt. You might feel tempted to settle with the other driver on the spot, and this mistake can cost you a lot in compensation.
However, you can take some steps at the crash site, as well as seek professional advice from an attorney, to ensure you get the right compensation.
Read on to learn how you can get the best compensation for your auto accident claim.
1. Have as Much Evidence From the Accident Site as Possible
Gathering and preserving evidence from the accident site is key for maximizing auto accident claims. Videos, photos, reports, and contact information will all help.
Gathering evidence should begin with taking detailed photos when the accident occurs and getting important information about the other driver and any witnesses. It also includes filing a police report with any witness statements.
In the end, you’ll want to have documentation that shows both your injuries and the state of the cars at the time of the accident.
If you can safely photograph the cars without moving them and you have someone who can photograph your state of injury, this can build a stronger case. However, only do so if you’re not put in a dangerous situation, and you don’t need emergency medical care.
2. Get Prompt Medical Care and Have It Documented
To get the best car injury compensation, you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you feel that you just have some bumps and bruises, it pays to see a doctor who can document your physical state and any injuries. You can use your medical paperwork to build a stronger case.
Since some car accident effects don’t show up until later, don’t hesitate to return to the doctor and explain you have new symptoms that could be from the accident.
You also need to follow your doctor’s directions perfectly. If your doctor suggests physical therapy or follow-up visits, make those appointments and have them documented. If you don’t follow the doctor’s orders, your car accident injury compensation can suffer.
3. Don’t Accept Just the First Compensation Offer You Get
You may just want to get everything over with and accept the first settlement offered to you but avoid this temptation. Not only will your first offer likely be a low one, but you need more information to determine what amount is fair.
For example, if you accepted a lowball offer but lately experience new symptoms from the accident, you may have trouble getting more money. Also, you might forget to consider other compensation like future damages, missed work, and later emotional stress the accident causes you.
By considering all factors, you’ll be able to explain why you deserve more compensation and will avoid taking a bad settlement.
4. Document the Accident’s Effects on Your Daily Life
You can maximize your traffic accident compensation if you can prove how the incident has impacted your ability to work and carry on daily activities.
This can mean keeping a journal of any physical pain or other symptoms you have and the activities impacted. You might also document any mental or emotional symptoms such as post-traumatic stress that the accident has caused you.
In some cases, your insurance company may ask for proof of accident injuries or want to film you doing some kind of daily activity. Having documentation will build stronger evidence that you’re not faking any symptoms.
5. Communicate Closely With an Auto Accident Attorney
You may worry about the costs of legal help and try to handle your auto accident case alone. This is a big mistake, though, since an attorney’s advice is indispensable.
Having a good auto accident attorney help you know what to expect during the claim process. They’ll help present your evidence and build a case that works in your favor and helps you get the most money.
You’ll probably find that your car insurance company wants to do an investigation about the accident. You can have your auto accident attorney work with the insurance company and provide evidence as needed to save you some hassle.
You’ll want to keep your attorney updated whenever anything changes. Whether you have a new medical diagnosis or heard something from the insurance company, let your attorney know as soon as possible.
6. Be Mindful of What You Say
Anything you say can be used against you during the claim process and can mean you lose the claim or get poor compensation. So, you’ll want to maintain a good impression offline and online.
While you probably feel angry about your accident, you’ll need to stay calm and professional while you deal with the other driver, your auto accident attorney, law enforcement, and the insurance company. This will help you report the incident more accurately and avoid heated disputes.
Avoid admitting that you’re at fault since this can work against you during your car accident compensation claim. You should also avoid talking about any specifics of your car accident on social media sites.
Now You’re Ready to Get the Maximum Compensation
Now that you know what to do as well as avoid, reach out to an auto accident attorney to begin building a strong case. You can explore local options online and request a free consultation to find the right attorney for you.
With your documentation in hand and your attorney’s expertise, you can ensure you have a better chance of getting the amount you deserve. Be prepared to respond to your attorney promptly and keep them up to date on any information you have.
Be sure to check back for more articles about money and health.