Being involved in a road accident can be damaging physically, mentally, and financially. But when these mishaps are due to the negligence of another person, you have the right to protect your legal right following the accident or injuries. One way to make this happen is by filing for a personal injury claim, which covers several damages related to the consequences of the injuries.
These damages include loss of income or earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life or pain, legal costs, out-of-pocket expenses, pre-judgment interest, and future loss of earnings. If you have recently faced a road accident and got injured or want to be prepared when such mishaps occur, below are some important steps that you should take.
- Seek the help of an attorney
Hiring the right lawyer can formalize your personal injury claim. We highly recommend choosing an attorney that specialized in the type of vehicle accident you’re in. For instance, if you’ve been injured in a motorcycle incident, find an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to represent you. Other types of vehicle accidents that personal injury lawyers can help you with include car, truck, bus, and bicycle cases. You can also seek help if you’ve suffered injuries due to a pedestrian accident or dog bite incident.
Obtaining legal assistance will increase your chances of winning the case and maximize your claim. Basically, the personal injury lawyer will perform a careful analysis of the incident and determine what moves should be taken for you to receive a fair settlement for the losses.
- Figure out a settlement amount
It’s always a smart idea to determine and present the maximum compensation for your losses. You can work with your personal injury lawyer to finalize the settlement demand letter and come up with a range. Be sure to know the minimum figure you are likely to accept within the given range prior to talking to an insurance adjuster. This can also be useful when offers and counter-offers happen. Take note though that this does not mean you will need to stick or fight for the figure you initially set. There are possibilities that you can receive a much lower figure in case the insurance adjusted finds mistakes or errors in the request, making your claim weaker.
- Keep a record of everything
Next important thing that you should do is to record everything you can about the accident and the entire settlement case itself. As for the time of the accident, it is a smart move to record audio clips or take photos and videos of the situation, from the damage to your vehicle to your injuries. If there are witnesses at the scene, don’t forget to get their names and contact details in case you need their statements.
Having such kind of evidence can help make your claim stronger and gives you a better chance of receiving maximum compensation. On top of that, you can also keep a journal of any post-accident discomfort or suffering for additional reference. At the same time, make sure to also have original and extra copies of your medical records.
- Acquire prompt medical treatment
Seeking proper medical treatment is highly essential for you to determine the severity of your injuries and get a grip of what your current or future losses are. While financial losses are already devastating, the physical and mental ones are often the hardest parts. Following the accident, make sure to continuously visit your family doctor or a healthcare professional to better assess your physical and mental well-being.
Doing so also allows you to have a fully documented medical record related to the accident, as well as come up with a future treatment plan. These details are useful for filing the highest settlement you can get. Post-traumatic stress procedures and physical therapies are also recommended to obtain maximum loss compensation, and of course, for you to get better.
- Don’t jump at the first offer
In case you are not aware, the negotiations for accidents generally begin with the insurance adjusters offering a low amount. This is a standard technique for the adjuster to measure your patience and determine if you fully understand the worth of your claim. So if there’s one thing you should never do, that is to sell yourself short.
If you receive a very low offer, it’s obviously not a smart idea to accept it right away. On the other hand, you can file a counteroffer in case the offer is reasonable. Do not hesitate to do a little bargaining to help you obtain a fair settlement for the case. If you have a hard time checking on the facts, talk to your lawyer.
Filing for a personal injury claim can take a lot of time and effort. However, by working with an experienced lawyer and knowing how you can smartly proceed with your claim, getting the compensation you deserve won’t be much of a challenge. Be prepared for the legal process by bearing these tips in mind.