Tips for Settling a Car Accident Claim
After getting into a car accident, you will likely only be worrying about the immediate repercussions of the accident. You will be checking if you have any serious injuries and assessing the damage to your vehicle. It is understandable if you are overwhelmed and in a state of shock after the event as that is a natural reaction to an unexpected trauma. Eventually however, you will start to worry about the financial aspects of the accident as well and how you will pay for them.
Fortunately, either your insurance company or the insurance company of the other driver— if they were at fault for the accident— will be responsible for those payments. But that means you now have another concern, which is dealing with the insurance company. This is not always an easy proposition, which is why you might need the help of an accident attorney to settle your claim. An accident attorney will have your interests in mind, not the interests of the insurance company, so they will give you the best chance of getting the settlement amount you need.
Step 1 – Record The Scene of The Accident
Once you have got yourself out of danger and contacted the authorities for assistance, you should take an account of the accident scene, especially if you believe that the other driver was at fault. That means taking pictures of the vehicles involved in the accident from various angles as well as taking pictures of any property damage that may have occurred. If there were any witnesses, then you should try and get their contact information too.
As is the usual protocol, you should also exchange insurance information with the other driver. However, you should make sure that you do not admit or imply that the accident was your fault as that could come back to hurt you later on. Once the police arrive, you can request to get a copy of the accident report as well.
Step 2 – Contact Your Insurance Company
You should get in touch with your insurance company as soon as possible after a car accident. That is because all the details will still be fresh in your mind so you will be able to give a more accurate account of what happened. Also, it is a good idea to start the claims process as soon as possible.
Step 3 – Keep Detailed Records of Your Accident Expenses
After the accident you should collect and keep records like your medical bills, repair bills, and other expenses related to the accident. You should also record the number of times that you visit the doctor and make a note of any lingering pain that you feel after the accident. You should also mention if the accident affected you emotionally or psychologically as that could be a factor in your settlement as well.
Step 4 – Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
For the next steps in settling your car accident claim, it is best if you have an experienced personal injury attorney by your side. The reason is that the next steps involve your dealing with the insurance company and an attorney can offer you advice and support during this period. You need someone who has experience dealing with the insurance company since it is unlikely that you will have the expertise necessary for that task. A personal injury lawyer will have that experience and they will use it to help you.
Step 5 – Calculate Your Settlement Claim
Insurance companies will usually try to offer you a settlement amount that is lower than what you need. That is why it is important that you determine how much your settlement is actually worth before dealing with them. Your personal injury attorney can help you with this as they will assist you in tallying up your medical bills, repair bills, lost wages, and other quantifiable accident expenses. They will also help you calculate non-quantifiable expenses like pain and suffering as well. Furthermore, they will negotiate on your behalf to make sure that you get the settlement claim that you deserve.
Make Sure To Retain an a Personal Injury Attorney When Settling Your Car Accident Claim
All these steps are important when settling your car accident claim, but hiring a personal injury attorney is paramount. That is because they have experience dealing with insurance companies and dealing with the insurance company is the most important part of the claim process. That is because it is the insurance company that will decide on your settlement amount. That is why you need a personal injury lawyer to help you. They will work to make sure that you get a fair amount that covers all of your accident-related expenses.