The unexpected nature of a car accident makes the event scary and stressful. It is bad enough to be in the middle of the road or in an intersection with a damaged car--add in your injuries, and dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be tedious. One thing to remember is the fact that if you are injured in an auto accident that way not your fault, you are entitled to compensation for vehicle damage, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The following steps are essential to ensure that you receive the insurance settlement that you deserve:
Get Medical Treatment Right Away
Car accidents are often violent events, and the injuries sustained as a passenger can range from mild to extreme. If you are in a car accident, it is prudent to be examined by the medical techs on the scene. After a car accident, you may be dazed and in shock, making it more difficult for you to realize the extent of your injuries. Paramedics will be able to assess your physical state, provide treatment, and determine if you need to go to the hospital. Most importantly, any medical treatment that you receive on the scene will be documented, which will help strengthen your insurance claim.
Some injuries from auto accidents are not immediately apparent, so in addition to getting medical attention at the scene of an accident, make an appointment to see your own doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will prescribe a course of treatment, and will keep detailed records of your injuries as you heal. These records will be essential when settling your personal injury case.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer ASAP
Most people are not injured in car accidents very often, so few have the experience to successfully settle a personal injury claim on their own. If you are hurt in an auto accident, it is so important to hire a personal injury attorney who understands how to work with insurance companies, and knows how much your claim is worth. A lot of people hesitate to hire an attorney because they think they can't afford to do so--personal injury lawyers usually work on a contingency basis, so you do not have to pay them any money out of pocket. Instead, their fee is a negotiated percentage of your settlement.
Ignore Contact from the Other Driver's Insurance Company
When you have an open personal injury case, the last thing you want to do is speak with the other driver's insurance company. They may contact you to request a phone interview, or they may ask for a written statement--decline their requests, and refer them to your lawyer. If you talk to the insurance company on your own, your words may be turned around and used against you when it is time for a settlement. Your lawyer will protect you rights and ensure that the insurance company does not take advantage of you.
Keep Records of Everything
Physical evidence is important when negotiating a personal injury settlement, so keep records of everything related to the accident and your injuries. If you have visible injuries, such as lacerations or bruises, take photos daily. You will also want to give your lawyer copies of all medical reports, as well as receipts for any out-of-pocket medical costs you incur while your case is being settled.
For more information, contact McCourt Law Offices or a similar firm.