Get the Most Out of Your Car Accident Claim
Filing a claim after an accident is never easy. On top of having to worry about recovering from your injuries, paying your medical bills, and taking the time to heal emotionally, you now have to stress over a legal system that you probably know nothing about. That is why The Husband and Wife Law Team put together this list of steps for you to follow while going through the claims process. If you follow our advice, you may get more in compensation than you originally expected.
Get Medical Assistance Immediately
Any delay in receiving medical assistance can, and probably will, be used against you during your claim. The insurance adjuster may try to make it appear that you are not really hurt, hence why you didn’t seek a doctor’s opinion immediately after your accident. The best way to defeat that argument is to either go to the hospital or see your general practitioner as soon as is possible. Be sure to keep all medical records and request copies of bills, diagnosis, and treatment records. Documentation will provide key evidence during your claim and help you get as much as possible from the insurance adjuster.
Collect Evidence and Documentation
As we mentioned above, proper documentation and evidence will be key in maximizing your compensation. Medical records are not the only document you should get your hands on though. Any piece of evidence that makes it clear there was a high monetary loss, as well as emotional trauma or difficulty because of the accident, will help you in recovering as much in damages as possible.
Things as simple as taking daily notes on your pain level, how much emotional turmoil you are in, the things you couldn’t do because of your injuries, and how your overall relationships and quality of life have been affected can go a long way for proving that you deserve high compensation. Keeping a journal is an important step in documenting your recovering and losses.
You should also document any and all financial losses the accident caused. There are a lot of things that could fall under the umbrella of financial loss, and they can include:
- Medical bills
- Therapy bills
- Costs of medicine
- Personal care costs
- Loss of income
- Legal costs
- Travel costs
You can document these finances by hanging on to all receipts, bills, and invoices that you get, as well as old pay stubs that show you have lost wages. This will help you settle on an exact monetary amount that you are owed by the at-fault party. Plus, with the documentation to back you up, it will be hard for the adverse insurance to refute your claims.
Avoid Social Media
Many of us cannot imagine our daily life without social media. It has become so ingrained in the fabric of our lives, that staying away from it can seem next to impossible. But keeping off of all social media can be vital in getting as much in compensation as possible. You see, the adverse insurance will do everything they can to prove that you are not as injured or emotionally distressed from the accident as you claim. One of the many tactics they use to do this is by combing through everything you posted after the accident, in addition to things your friends and family have posted.
Even something as innocent as a picture of you on a walk with a friend could be used to prove that you’re feeling fine and should be able to go back to work. Anything that can be used against you, whether or not it is actual evidence, will be brought into your claim. Keeping offline and advising those close to you to avoid posting photos or videos of you can be key to stopping the insurance adjuster from using your accounts against you. The best social media practice is to simply stay off of it until your case is completely settled.
You should also avoid talking about your case to anyone who is not directly involved. One slip up to the wrong person could cause your entire claim to completely fall apart. Or, at the very least, hurt your chances of receiving as much in compensation as possible.
Do Not Take Your First Offer
Following your car accident, you will probably receive a phone call from the insurance adjuster working on your case. They will act sympathetic to your pain and tell you they understand. Because they want to be as helpful as possible, they will immediately make you an offer, and you may be tempted to take it. It would make your life a lot easier if you just took the money and dropped the whole issue but doing so would be a massive mistake.
The first settle you are offered by the adverse insurance will never be the amount that you are really owed and is often offered just to keep you from filing a larger personal injury claim. The insurance company’s job is to pay people the amount that is lined out in their policy, but the company’s best interest is in their bottom line. They will offer you as little as they think they can get away with. By accepting their first offer, you are lowering the actual value of your case and of yourself. Always speak with your attorney before accepting any offer made by an insurance adjuster. Chances are, your injuries are worth far more than what they are offering.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
One of the most important steps in making sure you get as much compensation as possible is contacting a skilled auto accident attorney. An attorney who knows the ropes will be able to investigate your case, find all sources of compensation, and provide you with a critical eye when the insurance company makes settlement offers. Going up against a big company on your own is next to impossible. A strong legal team can offer you the support you need to come out on top. If you want some of the best legal help in Arizona, call Breyer Law Offices, P.C. at (602) 267-1280 and find out how we can help you get maximum compensation.
Get Help Now
During a free consultation, we will look at the important aspects of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options clearly. All submissions are confidentially reviewed by Mark Breyer.
Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer