A lot has changed over the past few decades in terms of people knowing their rights. In the past, many didn’t have any idea what they’re entitled to when it comes to their jobs or civil rights. Still, with the internet and technology, that kind of information became accessible to everybody.
One area where a lot of people still aren’t quite familiar with their full prerogatives is car injuries. It happens quite often that a person gets injured after a car accident, and because they don’t really know what should happen next, they get lousy compensations, if any. These tips will help you settle the case and obtain compensated.
Get Proof Before Leaving The Scene
The first thing you need to be doing is collecting evidence from the accident scene before going anywhere. Never leave until you have documented what has happened, preferably taking pictures and notes of the exact positions of the cars after the accident, as well as any damage to the vehicle or personal injuries.
It helps if you also get a copy of the police report because it will contain the officer’s inspection of the scene and their preliminary take on what happened. This step is crucial because you might need such documentation or proof in court to get your rightful compensation.
Get Contact Information
One more thing you need to remember about the scene is getting the other driver’s contact information. You most likely will not be dealing with them, but rather their insurance company. Still, you should get their name, contact information including phone number and license number, their insurance company and their details as well.
You should get the numbers/names of any witnesses that might be of relevance. Understand that insurance companies will ask you for a lot of information, and they will go out of their way to give you as little money as possible, so you really need to be prepared for anything.
Don’t Talk Too Much
No matter which side is to blame in an accident, you need to be really careful with what you say. Even if you were the guilty party, never admit it on the scene, because that could really destroy your chances of any settlements.
You also shouldn’t give away your medical records after the incident to the other driver’s insurance company, because they can be used against you. In short, don’t say anything unless you’ve talked to an expert first.
Hire A Specialized Lawyer
It is never easy going through a car accident, and you will have mixed feelings during a time like that. You might even be tempted to accept whatever offer the insurance company throws at you, but that would be a big mistake.
You need to get an automobile lawyer to resolve your case, and you shouldn’t really do anything before you consult with one. Their expertise and insights will help you understand your situation, and based on their advice; you will know what your next move is.
It needs to be a car accident lawyer, though, not just anyone. Their knowledge of the state laws and regulations concerning car accidents ensures they can get you the right compensation. And they’ve also been doing this for some time, so they know how things work and what any maneuvers by insurance companies might entail. So, it’s best to always go with an expert on this one.
Talk Money With Your Lawyer
Now that you’ve hired a car accident lawyer, things will get more interesting. You need first to start discussing settlement options with them. Based on the circumstances surrounding your incident, and the lawyer’s expertise, they will be able to give you an estimate of how much money you can expect.
And more importantly, they can determine if this is a case that you need to settle outside of court or not because sometimes you might not have a strong claim that would survive a court case. Most likely, the insurance company will give you a very low offer at first, and you need to know if this is an offer you should accept or not, and you should have someone experienced by your side to help you with the negotiations.
Generally speaking, it’s a bad idea to jump at the first offer they provide, because it will probably be far from what you deserve. So, be patient and play the long game. It also helps if you have a settlement number in mind, which you’ll have discussed with your lawyer, as mentioned earlier.
What Kind Of Compensation Are You Entitled To?
This is a fundamental question you should be asking yourself because a lot will be based on the answer to that question. For starters, any physical injuries entail compensation, and there’s even compensation for the emotional distress you’ve suffered.
Still, there’s a catch to figuring out what you should get for your medical bills. Some injuries manifest after a while, and some treatments are recurring and repeated over long periods of time. So, it would be wise to wait before handing in the medical bills and asking for money.
As for your car damage, you should be patient here as well and wait until the experts tell you how much exactly it would cost you. It helps if you also do a little research on this topic to make sure no party will scam you out of your money. Compensation should also include any personal belongings you had on you or in the car when you had an accident, like a laptop or a phone.
So, remember to include those as well, since you are going to pay for replacements or repairs, one way or another. There are even other expenses that you should include, like transportation to and from the hospital because your car was down, and any other out-of-pocket expenses incurred because of the accident.
When it comes down to it, car accidents can be brutal experiences, and they may even be life-changing for many people. This is why it’s essential that you do all the right things to ensure that you get adequately compensated for your troubles. Just arm yourself with knowledge, stay calm, and don’t forget to take it one step at a time.
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