02 Dec How to Get Compensation for a Car Accident (Complete Guide)
More than 2.5 million Americans end up in the ER every year because of car accidents. Crash injuries total $18 billion in lifetime medical bills. Car accidents are the foremost cause of personal injury cases in the US. Accident injuries range from minor scrapes and bruises to permanent disability or dismemberment and death.
When you’re in an accident caused by someone else, you have the right to seek fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, related costs, and your pain and suffering. Most claims are made by the victim to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. For severe or complicated injury claims, a personal injury law firm may need to file a lawsuit against the parties at fault involved in the accident.
Whatever the circumstances, your financial outcome depends on you and your attorney to build a strong injury claim. Truskett Law has the knowledge and resources to help you file a claim to maximize your compensation from the driver at fault and his or her insurance company. You don’t have to face off with big insurance companies on your own when you have Truskett Law on your side.
Here are some helpful things that you can do to make sure your claim is strong enough to get the insurance company’s attention and to get the desired outcome and compensation for your vehicle damage repair and your injury medical expenses. Don’t settle for less than you deserve. Let Truskett show you how to get the compensation you deserve for your accident claim.
What to Do Right After the Accident Occurs
In the event of a car accident, there are a few things you can do to strengthen your claim and give your personal injury lawyer a strong case to work with. First things first, check yourself for any injuries and make sure you can get out of your vehicle. Call the police and stay put if you are seriously injured or pinned inside your vehicle.
If possible, remove vehicles from the road as to not block the flow of traffic. If either or both of the vehicles are inoperable, call 911 to get the proper equipment to remove the vehicles and for the police to direct traffic around the crash in some way.
Once the vehicles are off the road, check for any debris or glass left on the road and remove any that you find to ensure no other vehicles could damage their tires while driving by. After the road is clear of the vehicles involved and any debris from the crash, it’s time to start documenting the crash.
Start building your claim from the moment of the accident. Jot down every bit of information about the details of the crash. Even information that does not seem pertinent to the accident can help set the scene for the insurance company and give them context to the accident and the damages and injuries involved.
Get the name, number, and insurance information of the driver at fault as well as the make, model, year, and color of the vehicle at fault. This will leave no open ends in the claim. There have been cases of “he-said-she-said” that ended in a stalemate and no compensation exchanged due to a lack of information from the crash. By taking down any and all information that you can, the likelihood of a stalemate grows thinner and thinner.
Keep the information safe until you can relay the information to the at-fault driver’s insurance company or until you give the information to your personal injury lawyer. This is one of the most vital aspects of the accident compensation process, so keep a clear head and grab your pen and paper to record what you can about the accident.
Take pictures of the scene, the license plate of the at-fault driver’s car, and the damage on all vehicles involved. This will only enhance the written record of the crash details. Picture evidence will corroborate the testimony of any eyewitnesses who may give statements.
The pictures provide context to the things you write down about the accident, as well as back up anything you say in your claim. Any pictures you take will help your personal injury lawyer to help them strengthen your claim to the insurance company. Truskett Law can use any documentation you can produce to help strengthen your claim and get you the compensation you deserve.
If you haven’t already called the police for a more serious crash or injury, this is the time to call the authorities and give them your statement. They will assess the scene and take statements from both you and the driver at fault. This will further strengthen your claim as long as the police records are thorough and precise.
The police at the scene will be able to help you get your car off the road, clear any debris from the street, and direct traffic away from you and your vehicle. If medical attention is required, any medical professionals that respond to the 911 call will assess yours and the driver at fault’s injuries and treat them appropriately.
The paramedics may request that you go to the hospital to get a full triage to make sure there are no hidden injuries. Though this is not required, it may be a good idea to get yourself checked out to find any hidden injuries rather than finding them weeks or even months down the road. This could make it very difficult to add to your insurance claim after the fact.
Getting a full medical evaluation can make sure you get the full amount you deserve in compensation. Medical bills associated with injuries from the crash can add up quickly and getting an evaluation can prove that any injuries you have came from the crash, tying them to the accident and the claim.
As the visits to the doctor and physical therapist add up, so do the medical bills, and you want to make sure those bills are covered in the insurance settlement. Hospitals keep records of these things and can release them to your lawyer as he builds your insurance claim.
What to Do in the Weeks After the Accident
As time goes on, you may experience some chronic pain that you didn’t catch on the day of the car wreck. There also could be hidden damages and complications with your car that only surface later on. Don’t worry because you can still add this to the insurance claim. Contact your lawyer to figure out the steps necessary to add any long term issues to the insurance claim.
Chronic Pain and Injury Complications
You may find yourself in pain from a less severe injury from the car accident that has exacerbated into something more severe or experienced some other kind of chronic pain related to your previous injury. In this case, the next step is to go into the doctor and get the pain checked out to officially tie it to the car accident.
There may be some complications like infection and gangrene that arise after the car accident. The infection can be from a simple scrape you got in the wreck that wasn’t disinfected in time and some bacteria got into your system. Most bacteria have an incubation time of one to two weeks.
The pain and complications you may experience after the car wreck are more than likely tied to the crash and will be relatively easy to pinpoint by a doctor. After the visit to the doctor, send the notes from the doctor to your personal injury lawyer.
Hidden Damages and Complications With Your Car
On the off chance that the body shop and mechanics who take care of your vehicle repairs miss something when doing the various repairs, you may find an issue rears its ugly head a few weeks after you get your car from the shop. This can be disheartening after finally getting your pride and joy back from the repair shop, but there is a process you must follow to get it back into the shop on the insurance company’s dime.
You need to take your vehicle back to the body shop you took it to originally. They can look at the vehicle and find the issue to determine if it is associated with the car accident or if it’s just a fluke. Generally, it will be related to the accident or to the repairs, but these things happen some times and it might be a fluke.
In the case of the issue being connected to the car accident or to the repairs, the subsequent repairs are not your financial responsibility. The responsibility for payment falls to the insurance company if the issues are still car wreck-related. The body shop should take care of the repairs of the issues left over by them free of charge. If they try to feign ignorance, get a second opinion and contact your lawyer.
Maximizing Your Compensation for a Car Accident
There are a bunch of things that can affect your ability to get full compensation from the insurance company of the driver at fault in your car accident. These factors are simple but many times are missed because of emotions running high in the moment of a crash.
There tends to be some awe and mystery on how insurance companies work with claims adjusters and eventually compensate you for your claim. Between medical bills and body shop prices, there is a lot that can go into a claim. Here are some simple answers to come common questions about compensation after a car wreck.
Just by taking some quick notes, snapping a few pictures, and reporting your story of the crash to the police, you can maximize the compensation you deserve for the accident.
How Taking Notes can Affect Your Compensation
No matter the circumstances of your car accident, there are a few things that insurance companies look for to determine the amount of compensation on a claim. These factors are as follows:
- The driver was capable of avoiding causing you harm.
- The driver neglected to do something any reasonable driver would do.
- The driver’s neglect injured you.
- The driver caused real injuries to you and physical damage to your vehicle.
As long as these things are clearly reported in your notes about the details of the car crash, the insurance company will have no choice but to follow through with the claim and give full compensation for the accident.
How Taking Photos Can Affect Your Compensation
Taking photos of the accident scene and the damage to the cars involved in the wreck helps to prove that the other driver is liable for the damages done in the car wreck. This can help corroborate your notes and strengthen your claim in these ways:
- Telling the story and adding context to the story of how the wreck happened
- Providing proof of the damage done to your vehicle and correlate to personal injuries.
- Helping remind you of events that occurred during the accident to recreate the accident scene.
The picture evidence can help you make the insurance adjuster take you seriously and treat your case with care in order to get the most compensation you can out of the car accident.
How a Police Report Can Affect Your Compensation
In the event of a serious car crash, the police should be called to ensure all parties involved are taken care of as well as the cars and debris are removed thoroughly from the road. The police officers at the scene have a duty to report the accident and determine four things that can affect your compensation from the insurance adjuster. These things are:
- Report involves injuries or fatalities.
- Accident was blocking traffic
- One or more drivers were driving intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
- One or more drivers involved are fighting (usually indicative of road rage)
In these events, police officers are able to ring a clear head to the scene and help to get to the bottom of what exactly happened in the accident and help out the parties involved.
Truskett Law is a personal injury lawyer in Tulsa specializing in car crash cases and insurance claims. Their team of experienced lawyers and legal assistants are fully capable of helping you get the maximum compensation for your car accident, no matter how big or small.
Give them a call for all your car accident compensation and insurance claims needs. They are ready to help you today.
Thank you for reading. If this article helped you, take a look at some of our other articles here.