While nobody intends to get into a car accident, they happen, and you should be prepared. A survey by Esurance found that 77% of drivers have been involved in an accident at least once. Besides, three million people suffer from car accident-related injuries every year. Therefore, even if you drive defensively and responsively, you can be involved in an accident. Shock and initial confusion are normal immediate reactions following a car accident. After this initial period, thoughts of medical expenses and other financial losses become a reality. If you sustained injuries because of another person’s negligence, you are probably uncertain if the driver at fault will agree to fair compensation. Interestingly, small mistakes can affect your eligibility for compensation. However, besides consulting car accident attorneys, the following car accident tips can help you get the most from your claims.
1. Seek medical attention immediately
The best way to maximize your injury claims is to seek immediate medical attention. Most people don’t seek medical help after an accident simply because of minor injuries or because they don’t feel hurt. However, you shouldn’t ignore medical help, especially because some life-threatening injuries’ symptoms don’t occur immediately.
A medical service provider will conduct investigations and identify symptoms of various injuries. Therefore, don’t refuse to be attended by an EMT and seek further care from the hospital if the emergency responders recommend it. Seeking prompt medical attention is important for your well-being and personal injury.
Receiving treatment after the accident creates medical records, which an attorney can use to show a direct connection between the accident and your injuries.
2. Report the accident
Most states require drivers to remain at the accident scene and exchange contact information. Drivers should also call 911 or report the accident to the nearest police station within a given period, especially if there are severe injuries or casualties. If you are unsure of the extent of your injuries, waiting for first responders to assess them and taking an accident report is prudent.
You should also report the accident to your motor vehicle insurance company. Most auto policies require policyholders to notify their agents about an accident within a given period. Notifying your insurance company within the stipulated period is enough grounds for rejecting claims.
3. Gather evidence
Gathering enough evidence is another surefire way of maximizing your claim payouts. Your attorney needs evidence to prove the other party’s liability. You can help your lawyer by gathering basic information from the accident scene, such as:
- The other driver’s contact information
- License plate and insurance details of the other driver
- Pictures and video of the accident scene
- Witness details
- Contact details of police officers and first responders on the scene
You can also help your lawyer build a solid case by gathering additional evidence after the scene. These include:
- Medical records and other related expenses
- Quotes on the cost of repairing your vehicle
- Copy of the official police report
- Insurance statements
- Receipts from injury-related expenses, such as medication and mobility aids
- Employer records about missed work hours, rate of pay, and insurance details
The more evidence you have, the more the chances of receiving a higher compensation.
4. Don’t accept offers before consulting your lawyer
Not accepting initial offers from the at-fault party’s insurance company is a sure way of getting the most from your compensation claim. Most accident victims ignore legal advice from attorneys, opting to negotiate with insurance adjusters alone. While this is your right to choose, insurance adjusters won’t prioritize your injuries. They always prioritize the insurance company’s interests, which is generating profits.
Defense lawyers and insurance companies often try to avoid paying for car accident claims in full. They can initially deny claims or undervalue them. In most cases, they prefer calling accident victims almost immediately after the accident to offer a quick settlement. While this is tempting, don’t fall for this trick until all your damages have been valued.
You should consult an accident attorney, gather evidence, and up your negotiations to maximize your claim payouts. You should also avoid simple mistakes, such as sharing too much on social media, as they can hurt your claims.