Insurance companies make profits by offering coverage for accidents or injuries, and compensation claims hurt their profits. The companies try to save money by offering lower settlements or delaying the process. Regardless, you deserve compensation that matches your damages after an accident. Along with hiring a competent accident attorney, you can maximize your potential compensation by implementing the following strategies.
1. Notify the Insurance Company Immediately
Even when you’re not liable for the accident, informing your insurance provider about vehicle damages and personal injuries is vital. Most insurance policies require holders to make immediate reports about any accident. However, always maintain honesty when sharing the accident facts and avoid any comments about liability. Stick to the essential facts and leave your attorney to discuss and determine the parties at fault.
When another driver causes the accident, their insurer pays for the damages, but it may be insufficient to cover the compensation. Once you inform your insurance company, they take over the process and claim compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurer.
2. Calculate the Value of Your Claim
There is no universal formula for calculating an accident claim, and every compensation claim is different, so the value depends on various factors. Typically, economic damages include lost wages, medical expenses, household assistance, travel expenses, and other direct costs related to the accident. Unforeseen financial expenses can be included if the accident leads to permanent impairment.
However, calculating financial expenses is easier than calculating non-economic expenses. Most non-economic damages seek to compensate the victim for physical and emotional suffering related to the car crash. Severe cases can attract higher compensation amounts due to the trauma and emotional stress you go through during recovery.
3. Consult an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer after a car accident increases your chances of getting maximum compensation. Accident attorneys have the expertise to investigate and help you avoid unnecessary blunders that can compromise your payout. In addition, they can compile an accurate compensation value of your damages and battle with insurers to award you the maximum claim.
Insurance representatives try different tactics to minimize the value of your claim. Fair compensation may be at risk if you don’t have sufficient legal representation. Once the insurance company knows you have a competent lawyer for car crash, they’ll be more obliged to offer good compensation to avoid a court battle that may lead to higher payments.
4. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Regardless of the accident’s severity, seeking immediate medical attention is important. This can help medical professionals identify serious injuries that you may be oblivious about and avoid health complications afterward. For example, a slight bruise may be a sign of internal wounds and bleeding that could threaten your life. It’s best to take matters seriously and let a doctor look at your injuries to determine if you need specialized care.
In addition, you need a documented record of all your injuries and treatments after the accident. Since some insurance companies can claim your injuries occurred before the accident, securing reliable records for your diagnosis and treatment can help you avoid misunderstandings.
Following your doctor’s recommendations and appointments is essential even when you feel like you’ve recovered fully. This ensures that you will get fair compensation for your suffering in case you develop medical complications later.
5. Gather your Evidence
Gathering and preserving evidence after a car crash increases your chances of getting a high compensation since you have sufficient evidence to support your case. Ideally, you should start collecting evidence at the crash scene and ensure to call the police so that you have a police report. Videos and photographs are essential, and they should capture the car, your injuries, insurance details, license plate, and any other proof like skid marks.
If you must move the vehicles from the scene, ensure you capture the evidence before moving them. Request contact information from several eyewitnesses who may be willing to record an official statement with the police. Most importantly, keep a journal of the events that led to the crash and try to include as many details as possible.
If your evidence is clear and indicates that the other driver is liable, it will compel the insurance company of your inevitable success in court. They’ll be more likely to offer a sufficient amount to avoid the chances of a higher verdict by the jury.
6. Prepare a Settlement Demand and Avoid Quick Settlements
It’s vital to carefully decide an amount you feel is sufficient to cover your loss after the crash. Always ask for more than you’re comfortable accepting to create enough room for negotiation. The settlement demand denotes the value of your claim and justifies the same.
The insurance company is likely to offer a quick settlement that is often lower than your initial demand settlement. While you may be tempted to take the offer, the insurance may be testing the waters to see if you understand the value of your claim, but you have a legal right to negotiate your claim and ensure the settlement is fair.
Ideally, you can file a response and highlight your justification in the demand letter reiterating the severity of your injuries and the other driver’s liability. If the company doesn’t grant you the exact amount you claim, you can still get a higher amount than the initial settlement.
7. Avoid any Statements and Remarks That Can Weaken Your Case
It’s normal to want to discuss the details of the car accident with family and friends, but when you want to maximize your compensation, you don’t want your remarks to jeopardize the process.
Keeping off social media platforms is important since your conversations can compromise your case. Typically, insurance representatives can access your social media profiles and see your activity. This includes opinions, videos, and pictures related to the accident, and since their job is to maximize their profits, they’ll use anything that can minimize the claim.
Insurance representatives may reach out to friends and families when investigating the incident. While you may be cautious not to speak about certain details of the accident without direct advice from your lawyer, you may not have control over what your friends say. Avoid sharing sensitive details that may weaken your case.
Making a successful compensation claim after a car crash can be overwhelming, especially when you’re recovering from your injuries. Observing due diligence throughout the process can help you get better compensation and obtain adequate legal representation.