The roads have steadily become more unsafe over the years, and after the COVID-19 lockdown, we saw a spike in dangerous driving conditions. A good driver avoids accidents, and a great driver can predict them before they happen, but they’re called accidents for a reason. Sometimes the negligence of others cannot be anticipated, but as a responsible driver, there are ways you can still find restitution. Accidents are naturally traumatic, and it can be challenging to regain the life you had before they occurred. Following these basic steps – no matter what kind of accident you’re in – will help you get the best possible payout for your damages claim.
Immediately after an accident, the most important thing to do is get medical attention as soon as possible. If the accident is bad enough and emergency medical services arrive, even if you “feel” fine, you could be in shock or not realize that there is an injury just beneath the surface. If the accident is relatively minor, you should still see a medical professional as soon as possible. Getting medical assistance affects the case’s value, but more importantly, your health.
At the first opportunity, you need to call your attorney. Fight the urge to call your insurance company because their services may benefit you, but their adjusters are there to protect their profits, while your attorney is there to represent your best interests. Anything you say to an insurance adjuster can be interpreted negatively and used against you later when you file a claim.
Once the Dust Has Settled
If you’re able to document the situation, do so by taking photos and videos, and asking for the names and information from all witnesses if possible. An attorney may be able to assist you with this process if you are not in a position to do so yourself. This documentation will provide key evidence for your claim.
Once you have the opportunity to speak with a medical provider, either in-office, urgent care, or the hospital, make sure to fully explain every aspect of the accident. Even if it seems small, medical professionals will consider the circumstances and look for injuries you may not have known existed. You could have a traumatic brain injury if you hit your head, even with no visible marks. Even if they don’t find anything that requires more than some Tylenol and rest, this documentation is imperative to your case.
At this point, your attorney will help you collect all the relevant documentation, such as witness testimony, photographs, lost wages, medical bills, the police report, and insurance information and begin the claims process. Your attorney will try to resolve the case for your best interest. Sometimes filing a complaint can prolong the resolution process. For example, if you’ve missed work because of your injuries, spending weeks in court may not be advisable to get the damages you may be owed. A settlement outside of court is a common resolution that can still provide the results you need to get your life back on track. Once a resolution is reached, the insurance company will pay the damages. The check for property damages will go directly to the client, and the attorney will manage the personal injury damages. Once all the medical bills are paid, the attorney will disperse the remaining funds to the client.
After an accident, the most important thing is to get your life back as it was. Even in the worst scenarios, collecting damages will be a huge leap toward finding justice. Our firm has extensive experience helping clients with personal injury claims and are here to help. If you are in an accident or require a consultation, contact us any time at (704) 358-0026.