Being in an auto accident is not something anyone asks for medical treatment, vehicle damage and insurance documentation are just a few of the immediate issues that arise due to a crash. However, insurance companies have a distinct advantage in handling these types of claims. People who have been involved in a crash may not know what rights they have and what they will need to successfully pursue their claim. For this reason, we have put together 7 steps to successfully pursuing an auto accident claim, discussed in more detail below.
1. Check yourself and others for injuries
The most important thing after an injury-producing accident is to do everything possible to make sure that all parties are able to walk away unscathed. Second, if you are injured, be sure to seek medical treatment immediately. By waiting to seek medical treatment, you run the risk of delaying your healing process. In addition, you provide the insurance company with an argument that your injuries were not caused by the accident.
2. Don’t delay medical treatment
Many people involved in an accident suffer injuries. Too often, those injured people try to fight through pain that almost never goes away on its own. If you are injured, go to the doctor. And do it early to make sure you can get the medical treatment you need to get back to the way you were before the accident. Remember, not all injuries are obvious. For example, you could be suffering from life-threatening internal bleeding, which can worsen with the lack of immediate medical attention.
3. Take Photographs
Often, your first thought after an accident is not to get out of your vehicle and take photographs. Even if you don’t take photographs at the scene, see if you can get pictures of the property damage after the fact. They could be very important in pursuing your claim. Also, if you can take photographs of obvious injuries, continue to do so on a regular basis. These photographs should be taken from a variety of angles and positions so that important details are not missed. Finally, don’t forget to save or back up your photographs.
4. Don’t try to settle your claim too early
If you are injured in an automobile accident, you only have one chance to settle that claim with the responsible party. When you settle your personal injury claim, the insurance company makes you sign a release that prohibits you from coming back at any time in the future to ask for more money for the same claim. Insurance companies know this and may try to contact injured persons quickly to settle the claim before the claimant has a chance to understand his or her legal rights.
5. Do not give a statement to the opposing party’s insurance company
After almost every automobile accident, the opposing party’s insurance company will contact you for a recorded statement over the telephone. You are not legally obligated to give this to them, and often, allowing a statement to be taken is not in your best interest. These statements can be used against you later, so it is advisable to consult with an attorney first to determine if a recorded statement is in your best interest.
6. Do everything you can to improve
Clients often ask our attorneys what they can do to help us pursue their claim. We tell them to do everything they can to improve. Most of the time, that will mean doing exactly what your doctor tells you to do regarding follow-ups, appointments and limitations.
7. Contact an attorney
Contacting an attorney is crucial to pursuing an auto accident claim. Attorneys can help investigate your case, determine who was at fault and fight for your legal rights every step of the way. In addition, they can help you pursue the maximum amount of compensation for your medical bills, property damage, emotional distress and more.
While this is not an exhaustive list of what should happen after you or a loved one has been involved in a crash, following these steps will provide you with a start on some of the important parts of successfully pursuing your claim. By contacting an attorney, you can take the facts and circumstances of your case and apply them to the applicable law to make sure you have the knowledge you need to move forward.
Were you involved in a car accident? Talk to a personal injury attorney today
Auto accidents can be traumatic events and can leave the victim with thousands of dollars in medical bills and property damage. While car accidents cannot always be avoided, there are certain steps you can take after the fact to keep yourself safe and help you with your future car accident claim.[adinserter block=”3″]