If you were recently involved in a car accident, you aren’t alone. Car accidents are becoming more and more common. The NHTSA reports that there were 2,443,000 people injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2015. When you’ve been hurt in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you’re going to want compensation.
Car accident claims can be incredibly confusing and complex. While hiring a car accident attorney will help make the process easier, it is also important that you understand what you’re walking into and what you can do to help your lawyer get the best settlement possible.
The Compensation That You Can Receive
When you decide to file a car accident claim, it is important to have a goal in mind. Think about what you want to receive compensation for, how much you think you should receive, and what information you have that will help you get there. Here are the types of property damages that you can collect:
- Vehicle Damage – Get your car inspected and find out how much it will be to fix it or whether or not it is fixable.
- Personal Property Damage – If you had attachments on your car like a bike or a bike rack that was ruined in the accident, you can collect that too.
- Rental Car – The majority of car insurance companies will reimburse you for the rental car that you drive while your car is getting repaired.
- Out-of-Pocket Expenses – These expenses encompass purchases that you made as a result of the accident. For example, if you had to pay for a Lyft or Uber to get home after the accident, you could ask for that to be paid back. In order to claim these expenses, you must have a receipt or proof of purchase.
If you sustained injuries, you are also able to receive compensation from them. If the injury prevented you from being able to go to work or will no longer allow you to be able to perform the duties that you once could, you could also get reimbursed for that. Since these tend to be larger sums of money, they are more complicated to claim, prove, and settle. Speak to a personal injury lawyer on how you should proceed.
The Information You Need to Provide
In order for your attorney to present your case in the best way possible, they need to have as many details as possible. You should provide them with photos, documents, and medical records.
This is an obvious one, but definitely worth mentioning still. You need to collect the other driver’s name and insurance company. If there were any witnesses to the car crash, you should also write down their names and numbers.
If your accident was only a minor fender bender, you should immediately take images of the scene. Try to collect photographs from various angles. This will help paint a more cohesive picture of the environment and of who is at fault. Remember to take photos of the damages that occurred on both vehicles. If you sustained an injury, you should also document that. Photos make it harder for their attorney or insurance company to argue that certain things did or didn’t happen. This could help cement your claim and provide you with a bigger settlement.
Get Medical Attention
If you were injured in the accident, be sure to get checked out immediately. Having a doctor quickly assess your condition will prevent them from getting worse. However, it is important to remember that not all injuries show up immediately and that some could worsen over time. Save all your medical bills and records to show the insurance company and your lawyer.
Be Weary of Insurance Companies
The person who caused the accident might want to move quickly and only pay for the medical bills from your check up right after the accident. You should not allow them to do this. If you receive your settlement and find out that your injuries were worse than you thought or that you need more medical attention, you will not be able to ask for more compensation.
When dealing with insurance companies, you need to remember that they are not on your side. They do not want to pay you more than they need to. To combat this, provide as much information as you can.