In the aftermath of a car accident, you will likely be worried about medical expenses, repair bills, lost wages, and other losses and expenses caused by the accident. But if you did not cause the accident, then there is a solution to those problems, and it is compensation. If the car accident was caused by the other driver, then you can file a personal injury claim against their insurance company to get the compensation that you need. It is a straightforward process, but not necessarily an easy one.
That is why you should get the help of an experienced car accident attorney to help you. They can help you put your claim together and they can deal with the insurance companies to make sure that they give you a fair settlement that can cover all of your expenses. So if you want to maximize your settlement, you need to get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible after the accident. You can check out lawyer websites online to learn more about how they can help you.
What To Do After a Car Accident
While a lawyer is invaluable, there is a lot that you can do immediately after the accident to help you secure the compensation that you need. The first thing you should do is call 911 so that the police and paramedics can take care of the situation. While you are waiting for them to arrive, be sure to take pictures and/or video of the accident scene, including the damage done to each car. You should also take an inventory of any clothing and items that were damaged in the crash so that you can get compensated for their repair or replacement.
You should be careful of what you say to the other driver and to the police, in particular, you should avoid admitting fault for the accident. That even includes apologizing for anything that happened, the insurance company will take any such statement as an admission of guilt and use it to reduce or reject your claim. In fact, you should try to avoid talking to the other driver as much as possible, you should only speak to them to get their contact information and their insurance provider.
If there were any witnesses, then you should ask them if they are willing to provide a written statement about what happened. If you are not in any condition to talk to witnesses, then there is no need to worry as the police will speak to them and put their statements in a police report that you can access later. Be sure to get medical treatment even if you do not think that you are injured. The adrenaline of the crash can mask the pain of a serious injury and some injuries might not manifest until later on. Not only is treatment necessary for your health, it is also important for your compensation since you will want all of your medical expenses to be covered. If you wait too long to be treated, then the insurance company might try to claim that your injuries were not caused by the accident.
Starting Your Personal Injury Claim
Once you have completed the previous steps, the next step is to start preparing your personal injury claim. It is highly advisable that you get an attorney to help you since the process can get complicated. Start by notifying your insurance company of the accident as that is mandatory even if the accident was not your fault. Next you should inform the insurance company of the at fault driver that you intend to file a personal injury claim against them. Once the accident has been reported to the insurance company, they will assign a claims adjuster to the case.
At some point the claims adjuster will call you, but you should be careful what you say to them. You should avoid making a recorded statement to them and you should reject any quick settlements that they offer you. It is best if you consult your attorney or have them speak for you when dealing with the claims adjuster. You or your attorney should then calculate your various accident-related expenses to find out how much compensation you need.
If you are experiencing any pain and suffering or emotional or psychological distress after the accident, then you should mention them too. The reason is that attorneys and insurance companies have formulae that they use to calculate the non-economic damages from car accidents. The compensation amount as well as all the evidence gathered should be summarized in a demand letter that is sent to the insurance company of the at fault driver.
The Personal Injury Claim Process
Once the demand letter has been submitted to the insurance company, they will choose to accept it, make a counteroffer, or reject it. If they accept it or make a reasonable counteroffer, then the case ends here and you collect your compensation. But if they make an offer that is too low or reject the demand letter, then you will have to file a lawsuit to get the compensation you need. The lawsuit starts with the discovery process where the attorneys representing the two parties exchange the evidence and information that they have gathered so that they can provide the best defence for their clients.
Next up is the mediation phase where a neutral third party tries to get the two parties to come to a resolution. This is done to avoid a trial because a trial is expensive and time-consuming so it is in the best interest of everyone involved in the case to avoid that outcome as much as possible. But if a resolution cannot be reached, then a trial is the next step. If that does happen, then a judge and jury will decide the case. Fortunately, most personal injury cases rarely ever reach this stage and are resolved well before a trial becomes necessary.
Contact an Attorney to Help You With Your Car Accident Compensation
The process to get the compensation you need after a car accident can be a long and complicated one, which is why you need an attorney to help you. They will be familiar with the process and will know what to do to maximize your compensation. Your attorney will also negotiate with the insurance company to make sure that they give you a fair settlement amount. If a lawsuit becomes necessary, then they will guide you through that process as well. So do not try to get the compensation for your car accident by yourself, contact an attorney to get the help you need.