If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Although the at-fault driver is responsible for paying damages related to the crash, the burden falls on you to prove how much compensation you deserve. To avoid any missteps in maximizing your recovery, here is a list of five things you should do after a collision.
Get Medical Help
Call 911 if you or someone else needs emergency medical attention. Otherwise, visit your doctor as soon as possible. Even if you are unsure if you are injured, it is still a good idea to get checked out. Seeing a doctor protects your health, and it will also medically document your injuries, which is proof you need to show they are related to the accident. Be sure also to follow your doctor’s treatment plan for ongoing care.
Start collecting evidence and building your case right away. Notify the police if you didn’t call for emergency responders so that a police report will be on file. Take photographs or video of the accident scene from different angles. Include your injuries, both cars, how they are positioned, the other driver’s license and insurance information, their car’s license plate, and the road to show any skid marks. If you need to move vehicles out of the way due to safety concerns, make sure you get these photos before doing so. Ask any witnesses for their contact information and if they are willing to give a statement to the police when they arrive. Take notes of the events that led up to your accident while it is still fresh in your mind.
If you have a lot of clear evidence that the other driver was to blame (such as an accident report from the police and eyewitness testimony), this may indicate to the insurance company that you will likely be successful in court. As a result, the insurer may be more prone to offer a favorable settlement to avoid taking the chance that a jury will award a large verdict.
Keep a Record of Financial Losses
Carefully keep track of any financial losses related to the accident. Those may include:
Hospital and doctor bills
Receipts for prescription medications
Receipts for over-the-counter medications
Medical supplies and equipment
Therapy and counseling bills
Loss of income, benefits, and any other compensation
Keeping a pain journal and notes about your inability to perform daily activities, along with detailed medical records, can bolster your case and help the insurance company understand why you deserve the amount of damages you are seeking.
Steer Clear of Social Media
It is best to stay away from any social media until your case is resolved. The other driver’s insurance company and their attorney will most likely search for any information online that can be used against you. Statements and posts that seem innocent to you can easily be twisted to create doubt that your injuries are severe.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
Not only can a car accident lawyer bring professional negotiating skills to the table, but the insurance company will also know you are serious about your rights to compensation. A lawyer will investigate your accident and collect enough evidence to support your claim for maximum compensation. They will also ensure you do not settle for less than you deserve.