If you’ve recently sustained a car accident injury, you probably have questions about how to file a personal injury claim. You also want to know how to do so in such a way where you can maximize your compensation.
To make sure that you get all that’s coming to you after a car accident, it’s important that you act quickly and gather all the necessary information to make your claim. Remember that the insurance companies aren’t looking to help you maximize your claim, they want to pay you as little as they can get away with.
Knowing what records to gather, who to turn to for support, and what evidence is needed will help you in claiming compensation for your injuries.
Let’s take a look at what you need to do to prepare to make a solid claim, especially if your case makes it to trial:
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s important that you have accurate records of the details surrounding the accident, particularly if you believe the other driver is to blame.
Collect all police reports and gather the documents that itemize the medical treatment you’ve undergone. You should also have witness statements as part of your records.
Keep in mind that the other driver’s auto insurance company is going to be working to collect information that they can use against you. If you don’t have all the documentation you need to prove your case, you’ll be in a vulnerable spot when dealing with them.
A good attorney will help you collect the records that you need so that you’re prepared for your settlement.
Take Plenty of Pictures
Taking lots of pictures of the scene of the accident will go a long way in proving the extent of your car accident injury. Take pictures of the damage to your car, the surrounding debris, the other car, any nearby damage to stop signs or light fixtures or property, and of your injuries.
Clear, detailed photos will be some of the most important pieces of evidence used in proving your case. If your case ends up going to trial, your pictures will present strong visual evidence of your claims to the jury.
Don’t Accept the First Offer
Insurance adjusters have been trained to use tactics to get you to agree to a settlement that’s less than you might deserve. Some adjusters will even try to ask things in such a way, or word things in a manner that get you to admit to fault in the accident. Once they have that admittance on record, it will be very hard for you to claim compensation for your injuries.
Take caution when dealing with the insurance adjuster and don’t give them more information than necessary. Do not admit fault when speaking with them and don’t accept their first settlement offer.
This is another situation in which an experienced attorney will be able to protect you by dealing with the insurance company for you.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders Regarding Your Car Accident Injury
If you sustained an injury in a car accident and you’ve been getting treatment from a doctor or other medical professional to address it, it’s important that you continue those treatments through to completion. If you don’t follow your doctor’s orders to the “T”, you put yourself at risk for losing money in your settlement.
The insurance company is going to check for any gaps in your medical treatment to discredit your injuries and suggest that they weren’t that bad because you weren’t following your doctor’s orders.
Keep in mind also that the insurance company may not pay for any medical bills that occur after the break in your treatment. By following your doctor’s orders, you protect yourself against being denied.
Keep Ongoing Records
Continue keeping records after the accident regarding how your injury is impacting your life. Should your case ever go to trial, it will be hard to recall how your injury affected you on particular days without records.
If you keep a journal, however, you can paint a picture to the jury on how your injuries made your life more difficult.
If you’re seeking compensation for your pain and suffering, any detailed record will only help your case.
Don’t Wait to File
You only have a certain window of time to file a personal injury claim. Depending on where you live this can range from 1-4 years from the date of the accident. The sooner you file your claim the better so that your witness testimonies will be clear and recent and your evidence is fresh.
Find a Reliable Attorney
As soon as you’re involved in a car accident injury, it’s a good idea to start seeking out the help of a professional personal injury attorney. A good attorney can walk through the process of filing a claim step by step.
While you’re searching for the right attorney, make sure you avoid speaking to the other party’s auto insurance company. You need experienced legal assistance in your corner to avoid jeopardizing your claim.
Discover Other Useful Information
Now that you have a better understanding of what’s required to make a solid car accident injury claim, be sure to read up on some of our other helpful legal articles and content.
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