Car accidents are unfortunate and can cause an immense amount of stress.
Being prepared beforehand with a few tips to remember can ensure that you get the correct information from the scene of the accident and put you in a stronger position for your claim.
There is no set formula to determine the amount of money you can receive from the accident. However, there are many tips on what to do and things to avoid that can get you more money.
Everything you say and do can be held against you so being prepared is important.
Collect all Documentation after the Accident
Collect all documentation from the accident, treat it as if you are collecting evidence for an investigation, gather as much information as possible to strengthen your claim.
Take pictures of your property damage and the other person involved, the scene of the accident and injuries. Please make sure the pictures are vivid and take plenty, your attorney will appreciate as many clear pictures as possible.
Request a copy of the police report (or let your lawyer handle this for you) and police report number, witness statement and contact information, tow company receipt, anything and everything relating to the accident.
You will be at a serious disadvantage if you do not have all documentation.
Go to The Hospital After the Car Accident
Even if you do not feel hurt at the time of the accident, it is in your best interest to go and get yourself checked out.
Many injuries are not noticeable at the time of the accident because your adrenaline is pumping but by the next day or even week you might feel pain.
Let a doctor verify any injuries, if you do not go to the hospital immediately after the accident there is a chance that your claim value will be less.
Ask the doctor to check you for accident related injuries, mention all complaints regardless of how minor.
Make sure you keep track of all treatment you received, including all documentation.
Do not Admit to Fault to Anyone
When you speak to anyone regarding the accident do not admit to any fault, even if you think you might possibly be at fault. Stick to the facts of the accident, be clear and concise.
The fault of the accident has not been decided yet, sometimes fault cannot be decided immediately after the accident and the police officers at the scene of the accident do not have the final say.
You do not want to prematurely accept fault of an accident that could be decided differently.
You are not obligated to speak to the other driver’s insurance company
If the other driver’s insurance company tries to contact you, you’re not obligated to speak with them. Contact your attorney and give them the other driver’s insurance information, they are better equipped to handle the questions.
Big insurance companies are good at asking question that could potential place blame on you, which could leave you at a disadvantage on your claim.
Social Media After an Auto Accident
Attorneys and insurance adjusters will try and investigate you through the social media or other avenues on the internet.
The privacy setting on social media does not always completely stop them from being able to view your page. The primary purpose of them trying to gain access to your accounts are to gather information to prove that you are not really injured.
Please be careful posting photos of your activities.
Know all your damages
- Medical treatment (present and future)
- Pain and suffering for your injuries
- Loss of income for time off work
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of business
- Cost of a rental car
- Property damage
- Cost for psychological counseling caused by stress or some other aspect of the accident
Do not settle right away with the insurance company
Insurance adjusters are trained negotiators, most adjusters have a settlement range and will start at the lowest range when speaking to you.
You do not have to accept the first settlement amount offered to you, you can reject the first offer over the phone or in writing. Whether you are seeking an attorney or not, please make sure you know what you insurance says, know the worth of your claim and the acceptable settlement range for your claim.
Hiring an attorney to negotiate for you will put you at an advantage, attorneys are used to dealing with insurance companies and will be able to get you the most money possible for your settlement.
The more prepared you are when dealing with an unfortunate situation like a car accident the better position you will be in with insurance companies, attorneys or any others involved in the accident.