Being involved in an accident can be extremely upsetting. Even if your injuries aren’t serious, a car accident can leave you with severe anxiety.
While you may be feeling overwhelmed, you’ll want to make sure you take the steps necessary to file a personal injury claim so that you can be fully compensated for damages.
What You Need To Do To Secure A Settlement
If you want to be awarded a settlement, you’ll need to do more than submit a claim. You’ll also need to establish that someone else was at fault for the accident and that the accident leads to an injury. Beyond that, you’ll need evidence that shows the damages that you’ve incurred.
Damages available in a personal injury case include:
- Medical bills
- Loss of wages
- Cost of future care
- Loss of future wages
- Pain and suffering
Laws regarding personal injury cases vary from one state to the next. The majority of states require the party at fault to cover damages.
However, if you’re in a no-fault state, you may still be able to sue for damages if your damages are above a certain threshold. It’s best to work with an attorney that is familiar with the laws in your state.
What To Do Immediately After Your Accident
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, safety should be your top priority. If possible, you’ll want to pull your vehicle over to the side of the road so that you’re not in the way of oncoming traffic. You’ll also want to examine yourself and any passengers in your vehicle to see if emergency medical care is necessary.
You’ll want to quickly call the police to the scene of the accident so that they can write an official accident report. This report will be an essential piece of evidence in your personal injury case. You should never let another driver talk you out of contacting the police, even if the accident is minor.
If you’re able to do so, you’ll want to gather evidence at the accident scene. You should photograph the accident from multiple angles. Ask for the name and contact information of anyone that might have witnessed the accident.
You’ll also want to exchange insurance information with the other driver or drivers involved in the accident so that you can file an accident claim.
Even if you don’t need emergency medical care, you’ll want to make sure you receive medical attention shortly after an accident.
It’s important for you to be examined by a medical professional so that they can determine if you were injured in the accident and provide the appropriate care.
Dealing With Your Insurance Company
Even if you weren’t the one at fault, you’ll want to immediately report your accident to your insurance company. Insurance policies typically include something known as a “notification clause.” This means that you are obligated to inform your insurance company of accidents and that you must cooperate with their investigation.
Contacting your insurance company may also allow you to utilize other benefits provided by your policy, such as coverage for a rental vehicle, reimbursement for car repairs, or some medical coverage.
In addition to filing a claim with your own insurance company, you’ll want to contact the insurance company of the other driver or drivers involved in the accident. Inform them that you have filed a claim.
While filing a claim is essential, you’ll want to be cautious about speaking with an insurance adjuster. An adjuster may offer you a settlement that’s far below what you are owed. If you agree to their offer, you may not be able to pursue a larger settlement in the future.
Hiring An Attorney
Negotiating with insurance companies can be challenging, which is why you’ll want to partner with an attorney that has plenty of experience with personal injury claims. Your lawyer will be able to handle all negotiations, build a strong case for you, and help you to recover the damages that you are owed.
When hiring a lawyer, it’s important to find someone that specializes in car accident cases. You’ll want to work with an attorney that has been practicing in your area for a long time. You’ll want to make sure your case is in the hands of a professional that’s very familiar with local laws.
Although a claim doesn’t have to be filed immediately, it’s best to hire an attorney as soon as possible. Taking action early on will increase your chances of receiving a substantial settlement.
When Should You Hire An Attorney?
If you’ve been involved in a minor accident, and the damages aren’t severe, you may be able to handle your claim on your own. However, you should be open to working with a lawyer if your insurance company tries to deny your claim or refuses to pay what you are owed.
If your accident involves serious or permanent injuries, working with an attorney will almost always be necessary. These claims tend to involve large sums of money, and they can also be very complex. Hiring an attorney will ensure the best possible results, and it will also give you time to fully recover from your injury.
What Else Should You Consider?
If you want to maximize the amount that you are awarded, you’ll want to do more than seek medical attention in the immediate aftermath of your accident. You’ll also want to follow up with your doctor regularly and listen to their recommendations.
It’s also crucial that you listen to what your attorney has to say. It’s likely that your lawyer will advise you against speaking about your accident on social media. Even an offhand comment could be found by the legal team for the other party. Don’t allow your own words to be used against you.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you’ll want to make sure you’re able to cover the expenses that you’re facing. You should follow the advice above so that you’ll have no issues when filing a personal injury claim.