How to Get the Most Money from a Car Accident
If you’ve been in a car accident, you may be wondering how to get the most money from your claim. This article offers quick tips on how to do so.
No one gets behind the wheel of a car expecting to have an accident, yet you live in a country that averages about six million car accidents each year. You could be the safest, most careful driver and still become involved in one of the 4.8 million vehicle collisions that result in injuries requiring medical attention.
Serious injuries from a car accident exact more than just a physical and mental toll on victims of someone else’s negligence. The aftermath of a car accident imposes a financial burden when you are unable to work and have medical bills piling. It is for these reasons that the law gives you the right to recover damages from those responsible for causing the car accident.
You may not have control over preventing a car accident when another person is at fault, but you can increase the chance of getting the most money as a settlement or verdict after trial. Here are some of the things that you can and should do to build a strong case against the at-fault party to maximize the compensation that you receive.
- Serious injuries from an accident take time to heal and create financial hardship.
- There are steps that you can take after being injured to increase the size of the settlement or judgment awarded in the case.
- Be wary of automobile insurance companies that may not be looking out for your best interests.
- Pre-settlement funding may provide relief from financial hardship while awaiting settlement of your personal injury claim.
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Taking control of your claim for damages
The law places the burden on you to produce evidence to support your claim for compensation by proving liability and damages. You need to prove that the negligence of another person caused the accident, which is the liability part of your claim, but you also must prove that the injuries you have were a result of the crash.
The personal injury attorney you choose to represent you in pursuing your claim for damages must prove the cause of the car crash, the party or parties responsible for it, and the type and severity of the injuries you sustained in the crash. You can help your attorney and strengthen you claim by doing the following:
Report your injuries while at the accident scene
Proving that you have an injury that was caused by the negligent act of another driver begins at the scene of the accident by reporting your injuries to police and emergency medical personnel. Let paramedics examine and treat you to document your symptoms and injuries.
Strive to be as accurate as possible in describing the symptoms, including pain and discomfort, that you experience. Avoid exaggeration when describing how you feel. Be as factual and accurate as possible.
If medical personnel at the scene suggest that you go by ambulance to be seen by doctors at the emergency department of a local hospital, do not decline the offer. You may not feel that your symptoms indicate injuries requiring emergency medical care, but you could be wrong. Some very serious and life threatening injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, may not develop severe symptoms until several hours after an accident.
Letting police and emergency personnel at the scene know about the existence of symptoms and injuries provides documentation through police reports and reports kept by fire and ambulance services. If an insurance company challenges whether a particular injury was caused by the accident, the official reports can be used to prove otherwise.
Follow the treatment plan and keep appointments with doctors
Unless you follow the treatment plan recommended by doctors, take the medications prescribed for you, and keep appointments with your health care providers, it can hurt your claim for damages. An adjuster for an insurance company may offer less to settle the case on the theory that your injuries may have healed better and faster had you followed instructions and gotten the proper treatment.
Maintain a daily journal
You may be entitled to recover damages for pain and suffering and diminished quality of life, but you need to prove how your injuries affect you on a day-to-day basis. Using a journal is an easy way to keep track of symptoms that you experience because of your injuries. By including entries about how they limit your ability to engage in activities that you enjoyed in the past, you create documentation supporting a higher settlement value.
The journal can also be used as a written record of medical treatment that you receive and comments about how effective it has been in helping you recover from your injuries. A journal makes it easier to recall details about your claim that you might otherwise forget, and it can be of use to improve how much you get in a settlement by proving that you followed your treatment plan.
Documenting the scene of an accident
The position of the cars immediately after an accident happens can help your attorney determine its cause and identify all parties whose negligence contributed to causing the crash. By using the camera on your cellphone to take photos of the positions of the vehicles before they are moved, your lawyer and investigators can determine how the accident occurred. Photos of the area around the accident location may reveal the presence of security cameras on buildings or traffic cameras that may yield video of the accident.
If there are witnesses present at the scene, write down their names and contact information. Testimony of an eyewitness confirming your recollection of events strengthens your case and improves its settlement value.
Obtain the name and contact information of all drivers and occupants of vehicles involved in the crash. Taking a photo of the person’s driver’s license using the camera on your cellphone is a quick and convenient way to document the information to hand over to your personal injury lawyer.
Refrain from posting on social media about the accident
Insurance adjusters routinely scour social media platforms to dig up information about accident victims with claims pending for personal injuries. What you or your friends post can be used as evidence to weaken or defeat your claim for damages.
For example, if you claim in your lawsuit that the severe injuries suffered in a car accident prevent you from engaging in sports activities as you did before being injured, a video on social media of you crossing the finish line of a local running event could be a problem. Posts that other people post can have the same negative effect on your claim for damages and cause an insurance company to refrain from making a settlement offer or severely reducing the amount that is offered.
Retain a personal injury lawyer to fight for you
A personal injury lawyer levels the playing field for you by knowing the laws that apply to car accidents and having the skills and experience to take on insurance companies, defense lawyers, and the tactics they use to prevent you from getting the compensation that you deserve. Your lawyer knows how to identify all parties who may be liable for causing a car crash and the evidence needed to prove fault and the injuries inflicted upon you.
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Importance of including future damages when negotiating a settlement
Damages in a car accident personal injury case include those anticipated to occur in the future after the lawsuit has been settled. You have the right to include them in your settlement demand.
For example, if a child has serious facial lacerations from a car accident, the damages need not be limited to medical bills for services only up to the date of settlement. The doctors may recommend that scar revision surgery be delayed until a young child is older for better results. The anticipated cost of the surgery may be demanded as a future medical expense.
Serious injuries that leave a person with a long-term disability that may affect their future earning capacity can also be claimed.
How can a car accident loan improve a settlement?
Insurance companies know that financial pressure from being unable to work may force some plaintiffs to quickly settle their claims to get access to money, allowing an insurance adjuster to increase pressure on the plaintiff to settle for a fraction of the true value of the claim.
A car accident loan provides a plaintiff with immediate access to a portion of the value of an anticipated settlement or verdict. The money may be used to pay medical and other bills or for any purpose the borrower desires. Unlike a traditional loan, the borrowers are not personally responsible for the debt if they lose the lawsuit. The funding company only gets paid from the settlement or verdict in the car accident case.
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A little effort on your part can strengthen your car accident claim and possibly increase its settlement value. If delays by the defense attorney or insurance company for the at-fault party create financial pressure for you, talk to your attorney for advice about a car accident loan and apply now at LawsuitLoans.io.