There’s no doubt that the aftermath of an accident is one of the most stressful things that you can go through in life. Not only are you dealing with significant damage to your vehicle and making sure that you’re medically okay, but you also have to file an injury claim while still doing everything else in your normal routine!
Suffice to say, it’s enough to drive even the most organized person to distraction. In this article, we’ll help you prepare so that you can be ready if you ever fall into this unfortunate situation. We’ll go over eight things that you’ll need to remember as you navigate this process.
1. Document Evidence
The first thing that you need to start doing immediately after the incident (after making sure everyone is safe and healthy, of course), is to document evidence. Remember that there’s no telling what the other party may say about what just transpired. You need to have all the evidence on your side so that you can tell your story to the police when they arrive and to your insurance company when you file your claim.
The most important way to document evidence is to take pictures. Take pictures of the damage done to the car. Take pictures of the position of the cars on the road. Take pictures of the license numbers of all cars involved. Take pictures of any physical damage to any passengers in either vehicle. When in doubt, document.
2. Get Insurance Involved ASAP
The best time to get insurance involved after a major accident is right after it happens. Make sure that you get the other party’s insurance information right at the time of the accident. Then call your insurance company to get the process started of filing the claim.
If it is the other party’s fault and they need to talk to their insurance, it’s still a good idea to let your insurance know that they will be receiving information from the other party’s insurance company. Don’t wait to get insurance involved, as there is a statute of limitations on accidents that you may accidentally exceed if you wait too long.
3. Talk to the Police
When an accident happens, don’t think twice about calling the police. It’s important to have police around for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, the police are the ones who will make an official, legal report. Within this report, the police may assign blame to a certain party.
If you weren’t at fault, you will need to prove that to your insurance company. The best way to prove that is with a police statement that declares that the other party was at fault. You won’t have this if you don’t call the police to the scene of the incident just as soon as it happens.
4. Talk to Bystanders/Witnesses
After the accident, it may not be immediately obvious to the police of who was at fault. Thus, you need to have statements from uninvolved parties who may have had a better view of what happened.
Talk to any bystanders around at the time of the accident who may be able to serve as witnesses and state to the police what happened. If they are in a hurry and need to leave before the police can take a statement, then make sure to get their contact information so you can get in touch later. Without witnesses, there’s a chance that police may not be able to assign fault.
5. Get Medical Help, and Record Expenses
If you’ve suffered medical injuries as a result of the incident, then make sure that you get medical help as soon as possible. Don’t wait — your health is far more important than anything else.
As you are getting medical help though, make sure that you are recording all of the involved expenses, from medical transportation to the actual care. Then, you can get all of those expenses reimbursed if your insurance company covers you.
6. Record Lost Wages
Have you been unable to work since the incident due to the injuries that you suffered? If so, then you need to record lost wages since the other party may be on the hook for those. Your auto insurance company may pay these wages out if your other insurance programs do not.
7. Know When Legal Advice is Required
Keep in mind that at the end of the day, chances are that you just aren’t a legal expert. You don’t know the letter of the law, and what insurance companies are and are not liable for. Thus, you could very easily get swindled into a settlement that’s far less than what you are legally due.
That is precisely why you should consider hiring a personal injury attorney for large-scale cases. This attorney will have significant experience in the arena. He or she would have seen the exact incident that happened to you in numerous cases before. Thus, the lawyer is very well equipped to get you the settlement that you’re looking for.
8. Stay Calm While Negotiating
If it turns out that you have to negotiate a settlement with the other party for medical damages, lost wages, and any other expenses, then it’s important that you stay calm while negotiating. If you did decide to hire an attorney, allow them to use their vast experience to control the negotiation process.
It’s your duty to stay calm while negotiations happen and to hold out for the best settlement that you can get.
Know These Injury Claim Tips
If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation where you’re in the aftermath of a car accident, it’s important for you to be prepared at that time. With this guide to injury claim tips, you’re well set to make the most out of the situation. The process certainly won’t be any fun, but by using these tips you can make it a great deal easier.
For more legal advice, be sure to take some time to check out the rest of the articles on the website!