Did you know that yearly auto accident deaths are at a 16-year high?
People are more distracted than ever with their cell phones and smart car features. Even the most defensive drivers among us are having to exercise more caution than before. But no matter how careful you are, a car accident is rarely the result of your own negligence.
After an accident, your first course of action is to make a claim. There are a few things you can do to strengthen your case for more favorable compensation.
Keep reading as we discuss five tips for how to get the best result for your claim.
1. Collect Evidence After an Auto Accident
Getting in a wreck is highly disorienting, and you may be in shock knowing the financial burden this will introduce into your life. You may be injured and require medical attention.
Assuming you are not suffering from debilitating injuries that prevent free movement, gather as much evidence from the crash site as you can. Snap a photo of the driver’s license plate and the driver. Record a video if you can in case they admit to fault in the accident.
Get detailed photos of both vehicles, but do take care to stay away from traffic as you do. Write down everything you can remember about the wreck in case you forget it later.
Obtain as much contact information as you can. This includes the name, contact number, address, and insurance information of the responsible driver. Do the same with the police officer who comes to deal with the accident.
If you have a dash cam, this will provide invaluable evidence in your favor. Make sure to download the video before the dash cam records over the footage of the crash.
2. Seek Medical Assistance
Some make the false assumption that seeking medical assistance can hurt their case. This isn’t true and delays treatment that you might need. Things like brain injuries are serious and require immediate attention to mitigate long-term damage.
Further, the medical report that your practitioner provides will be important for making claims later. If you were not at fault, these injuries could guarantee you better compensation.
Get this medical treatment as soon as possible. If you seek the treatment the next day or later, the at-fault party could claim it was an injury unrelated to the crash.
Be complete and honest in describing your symptoms to your medical professional. This helps to give complete documentation both for your treatment and your future court claim.
3. Get in Contact With Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company needs to know about the accident as soon as possible. There is a chance they may cover some or all of the damages. Delaying contact with them likewise makes it less likely to get fair compensation.
You may have to contact a representative who will ask you for detailed information about the crash. Be forthcoming and honest during these conversations and present all the evidence you gathered. You don’t want to risk denial of coverage if they later discover that you were dishonest or incomplete in your answers.
Be sure that you understand your coverage before you put in a claim. You don’t want to get caught by any surprises later on when you discover that some or all of your accident was denied coverage. Coverage may come in different forms such as replacement coverage or actual cash value.
They may ask you to sign documents. You should review, in detail, all documents before you sign. Ideally, have a lawyer review these documents with you before signing.
4. Get in Contact With the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company
Similar to your own insurance company, you may have to speak with an adjuster. This adjuster will ask for detailed information and request all the evidence you have on the crash. Give them everything that you can possibly think of: dash cam footage, doctor’s records, repair bills, and so on.
Like with your own insurance provider, don’t hesitate to ask for help from a personal injury lawyer. Insurance companies may use practices to avoid being fully responsible.
5. Contact an Attorney or Lawyer Skilled in Personal Injury Law
In any situation, you should seek out legal help and counsel. You might think that you’re saving money by avoiding a lawyer, but this isn’t necessarily true. Lawyers can help you to obtain more compensation than you originally hoped to get, and may know about additional compensation you were unaware of.
A lawyer helps with every step of the process. They can negotiate with insurance companies and work with law enforcement. If a lawsuit becomes necessary, they can guide you through every step of the process.
Without a lawyer, you might be alone to fight your own case. If you have a full-time job and other responsibilities, you may not be able to find the time to handle any legal proceedings or appearances.
Finally, there’s no harm in at least contacting a lawyer for a consultation. It will be free, leaving you to decide for yourself whether you will proceed with their help. Just know that your chances will always be infinitely better with legal assistance on your side.
Get Help from Heard Merman
An auto accident is a tricky case to fight since it involves multiple parties, witnesses, and sometimes conflicting evidence. This car accident may leave you with injuries that your health insurance cannot fully cover. Do the above in the event you get into an accident to increase the chance that your claims are successful.
Heard Merman specializes in auto accidents and personal injury law. Contact us today and request a consultation from our expert lawyers.