It doesn’t matter whether you’re an experienced driver or if you have recently gotten your license, everyone is likely to get into a car accident at least once in their life. South Carolina’s recent statistics show that the number of injuries resulting from traffic accidents went from 2.34 million to 2.44 million, with one person injured in a car collision every 8.7 minutes. Some of these accidents can be mild but others can cause serious harm to the vehicle or passenger, which leads the victims to pursue compensation for the damages.
Anyone with a license should know how to act if they get into a car accident in order to get a fair insurance settlement, and that’s why we compiled these tips that can help you out.
When you’ve been in a car accident, you’ll want to initiate a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. To do that, you’ll need to gather all the facts of the incident. This is beyond the part of taking the other driver’s insurance company information. Put on your investigator’s glasses and examine the scene if, of course, your state allows it.
It goes without saying that your first concern should be checking if there is any injury you might be suffering from. If you can, make sure you take pictures of the scene of the accident and take down the contact information of any nearby witnesses and officers at the scene. Try to take notice if there are any surveillance cameras around that caught the whole thing.
2. Count Your Losses
Before you make the insurance claim, you’ll need to assess all the damage you suffered in all aspects. This will help you calculate how much it will cost, which can give you an idea of what a fair settlement should look like. Evaluate the damage to your vehicle and how much it will take to fix as well as any property damage inside the car, like a laptop or phone. Reflect on the injuries you suffered both physically and mentally and how they will affect your life whether in the short or long term since the insurance company could cover any physical treatments needed or therapy.
3. Document Everything
Once you’ve gathered all the information to file the claim, you’ll need to keep accurate records to present it to the parties concerned. Print out the photos you took at the scene, get the detailed medical report and bill from the hospital that treated your injuries, and put together all the witnesses’ info and their statements. Don’t forget to provide pictures of the damage done to your vehicle. It’s wise to make copies of everything because multiple parties will require them and to avoid anything getting lost.
4. Hire A Specialist
Waiting too long to hire a lawyer after an accident lowers your chances of getting a fair settlement. You’ll want to get on it as soon as you can so that the insurance company doesn’t use your lack of knowledge of personal injury law against you. You’ll need to seek out locally-based specialists who you can consult with about your case because personal injury laws vary slightly by state.
For instance, if you were involved in an accident in South Carolina, you should do some research and hire the best Orangeburg car accident lawyer you can find. They will not only ensure you are treated fairly, but they will also give you confidence and reassurance if your case escalates to a trial. Choosing a car accident lawyer with expertise can get you the compensation you deserve without having to go to trial.
Your car accident attorney will help you draft your demand letter to send to your insurance company which will then be met with an initial offer for settlement. Without a lawyer, many people rush and accept that offer which is usually a low amount and is not fair to the victim. However, it’s important to consider the possibility of injuries worsening or new ones showing weeks after the accident.
No matter how good you think the offer is or how much you need the money, take your time and let your lawyer guide you through negotiating a better compensation. Sometimes negotiations reach a dead end, and that’s when a neutral professional personal injury mediator can come in to settle it once and for all.
What’s important to remember during this process is that these things take time and need a lot of patience and good judgment on your part. In the midst of it all, don’t forget that you went through a traumatic experience, both physically and mentally. Take it easy and seek support from family and friends. Even though it’s vital to get proper compensation for such a tragic incident, your wellbeing should always come first.
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