A car accident is a traumatic event that can cause serious injuries, lost income, property damage, and medical expenses. To obtain compensation for your injuries, you must file a car accident injury claim.
Steps to File a Car Accident Injury Claim Successfully
1. Call the Authorities
After being involved in a car accident, you need to call 911. Tell the dispatcher about your injuries, your location, and whether the accident scene is dangerous. It is important to call the police because the police report will be essential when building your personal injury claim.
2. Gather Evidence
Both police and medical reports will help you build your claim but won’t cover everything. If possible, try to gather as much evidence as you can to increase your chances of a better insurance settlement.
Take photographs and videos of the accident scene, damage to both cars, and your injuries. Get the names and contact information of all the witnesses. You will also need the other driver’s name, address, insurance company, and policy number. Try to get the model, license plate number, and vehicle identification number for the other cars involved in the accident.
3. Get Medical Treatment
No matter how mild your injuries are, never refuse medical treatment at the scene of the accident. If needed, go to the hospital. Your injuries and the medical care the paramedics gave you will be shown in the EMS report.
If you choose not to go to the hospital, make sure to see your primary care physician. Delaying or refusing medical attention will severely weaken your car accident claim. The insurance company will try its best to deny your claim by arguing that the collision did not cause your injuries.
4. Notify Your Insurance Company
Most auto policies include a ‘notification clause,’ requiring you to let the insurance company know about any accidents and cooperate in their investigation. It doesn’t matter if it wasn’t your fault; you must notify your insurer. After talking to your insurance company, you should notify the at-fault driver and their insurance company of your intent to pursue a claim.
5. Seek Legal Assistance
You should speak to a car accident attorney to receive a case evaluation to determine the maximum compensation you are entitled to. A car accident can lead to lost wages, medical bills, emotional trauma, diminished quality of life, pain and suffering, and property damage.
A car accident lawyer will calculate the personal injury compensation by combining the economic and non-economic damages caused by the accident.
6. Negotiate a Fair Settlement
A personal injury claim is best handled by an experienced attorney. Settlement negotiations could take months, a year, or more. The length of negotiations depends on the severity of your injuries, your treatment, and the complexity of your case.
Also, dealing with an insurance adjuster is not easy. Still, your car accident lawyer will investigate all the available evidence and fight for you to receive the maximum compensation for your injuries or damaged property.
Be careful with your state’s statute of limitations, meaning that you need to file a claim or lawsuit before the deadline. Any car accident can significantly impact a person’s life, either temporarily or permanently. Hence, you need to make sure your case is strong to receive the best possible compensation. Car accident attorneys will use their knowledge to ensure that you get what you deserve.