The number of auto accidents is on the rise these days, but luckily personal injury law comes to the rescue of the victims. Anyone who gets injured due to someone else’s negligence can rightfully claim compensation under this law. Sounds great, but this is easier said than done because insurance companies make sure that you don’t get the settlement you deserve. But what if you have a serious injury that leaves you handicapped for life? What if the injury is grave enough to make you lose your employment? What about the physical and mental trauma you may have faced in the accident?
When things are so critical, you deserve a fair chance to get coverage for medical treatment and loss of employment. And even when you are not seriously injured, you still need to be compensated for something that happened because of no fault of yours. The smartest approach would be to know your rights as a victim. At the same time, you should be aware of how to deal with the insurance company so that they have to pay you the best possible settlement. Here are some tips that can help you in this context.
Follow through the treatment recommendations promptly
As a victim, the first thing you need to do is to concentrate on your recovery. Of course, you must report the accident and file a claim but you should not overlook treatment just because you know that you will get compensation. According to personal injury law, the victim must take reasonable action to minimize the effects of the injury. Failing to follow through with the recommended treatment promptly can make things unfavorable for you. In this situation, the insurance company will try to prove that you failed to follow the doctor’s recommendations with the wrong intentions of making your injuries worse. Proper documentation of recommendations and treatment is mandatory as well.
Have proper records of economic losses and life impacts
Another key aspect of getting the best possible settlement in a personal injury case is to have proper records of the economic implications of the accident. These include the documents that prove economic losses such as out-of-pocket expenses on treatment and lost wages. Keep receipts of medical prescriptions and other expenses at hand. Also, maintain records of missed days at work. Further, you should have records that prove the life impact of the accident. For example, the pain and suffering you may have experienced during the accident impact the quality of your life. Though you cannot measure it up in the form of tangible expenses, you can still claim substantial compensation for them.
Hire an attorney early
Hiring a personal injury lawyer right after the accident definitely gives you a head start. Look for the specialists in car accident claims if you want to maximize your chances of getting the settlement that you rightfully deserve. A timely collaboration ensures coverage of the entire aspects of the case, from the collection of evidence and relevant documentation for proof to negotiations with the insurance company. Additionally, they make sure that the insurance company does not take you for a ride. Having them on board also gives you the confidence that you need to take the case to the court in case negotiations do not work out.
Don’t be in a hurry
Insurance adjusters may offer you a settlement right after the accident, but this could actually be a smart move to mislead you. Obviously, you may not know the full extent of the injuries immediately after the accident. In fact, some injuries may take weeks or even months to show up. Rather than jumping at a settlement right after the accident, you wait for at least some time until you are certain about the injuries sustained in the mishap. Being in a hurry is the last thing you should do because you may end up with a smaller settlement.
Avoid accepting the first offer
Another thing that you should avoid is accepting the very first offer from the insurance company. Adjusters usually want the victims to settle for a much lesser amount than what they fairly deserve. For the victim too, getting money soon after the accident sounds like an attractive proposition, considering that they need money at this time. Lack of awareness is another reason why they may settle for something less than they actually deserve. The best advice is, therefore, not to settle for early offers because you need to negotiate with the insurance company to get the amount that covers the entire injuries and losses.
Only an attorney can guide you about the fair compensation value in your case and you should not settle for anything lesser. You may even have to proceed with a lawsuit to get a fair claim, which is something you should be ready for.