Statistics show that the average motor vehicle accident that results in damage and non-disabling injuries can cost $7,500. While your insurance company may be responsible for covering your costs, there are situations in which you may run into problems. They may only agree to pay a small portion of your expenses. There’s also a chance that they may not cover anything at all. The good news is that if you know what steps to take immediately after your accident, you can avoid this. Below are a few tips that will help to ensure that you’re fairly compensated.
Get Medical Treatment
Insurance adjusters pay close attention to injury claims. Specifically, they want to know how soon you sought medical attention after the accident. If you wait too long, then the adjuster may assume that your injury is not real. And this could hurt your claim. So even if you don’t feel as if you’re injured at the moment, pay a visit to the emergency room to get checked out. Injuries can show up days after the incident.
Request an Investigation and Report
Each state is different when it comes to police reports. Some states only require you to file a report if someone was injured in the collision. There are other states, such as the state of California, which require that all drivers file a police report–no matter how minor the accident. Make sure that you request a police investigation, especially if you aren’t at fault. By requesting an official investigation, it will help to document what happened.
Leave Your Vehicles Where They Are
If your vehicles aren’t a danger to others, then suggest to the other driver that you leave your vehicles exactly where they are. The position of your cars is great evidence. It can help the police to determine who was at fault. If the cars pose a hazard make sure that you take a photo of their positions before moving them. Ensure sure that the image captures all of the damage.
Inform the Police of Your Injuries
If you feel as if you’ve been hurt let the police know. This will play a huge role in the report. Specifically, it will ensure that the adjuster takes your claim more seriously. Specify each area of discomfort, even if the pain is mild or barely noticeable. If the pain is severe, request an ambulance.
Get the Contact Information of Witnesses
If you’re working with a personal injury lawyer from Los Angeles, then they’ll likely ask if there were any witnesses to your accident. And that’s because these individuals can give a detailed account of what they saw, which makes it easier to identify who was at fault. So before leaving the scene of an accident get the contact information of those who witnessed the collision. Get their names, numbers, and addresses.
Avoid Settling When Injured
If the accident causes an injury that requires medical treatments such as therapy or MRIs, then you may be offered a financial settlement. And there’s a good chance that you may be tempted to take it–especially if you’re in a financial crisis and need the money.
The problem is, the settlement may not cover all of the expenses that you incur in the future. In some instances, the settlement may not even cover your legal fees. That’s why a qualified personal injury lawyer will advise you not to settle. They understand that in most cases the client is entitled to more. Remember that the insurance company doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Their job is to save as much money as possible and settlements are a great way to do this.
Avoid the Other Insurance Company
It’s important that you contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Give them the details of your accident as well a3s the contact information of your witnesses. However, you should avoid speaking to the insurance company of the other driver.
It’s not uncommon for an adjuster to call on behalf of the other driver. They may ask for a written statement or want to record the call. Keep in mind that what you say can and will be used against you. Kindly refer their questions to your Los Angeles car accident lawyer. Not only should you avoid speaking with them, but you should avoid signing documents as well. The adjuster may ask you to sign authorizations forms so that they can get the exact amount that you’ve lost in wages or have access to your medical records. Before signing anything, you should always speak with your attorney.
File Your Claim On Time
There are a lot of people who miss out on their compensation simply because they failed to file the claim on time. You see, there’s a certain amount of time that the law gives you to file your claim with the court. If you don’t do it within this time period you completely forfeit your right to do so. This is referred to as the “statute of limitations.”
When it comes to filing a personal injury claim California has a two-year statute of limitations. This means that if you’ve been injured in a car accident you have two years to file before you’re forever barred from bringing to court. In the case of property damage, the statute of limitations is three years. Though this may seem like a long time, it’s easy to miss the deadline if you’re not paying close attention. So the sooner you can speak with a Los Angeles car accident lawyer and file your claim, the better.
Hire a Lawyer
If you’re involved in a minor accident it can be tempting to try to handle the case on your own. However, it’s a good idea to work with West Coast Trial Lawyers. Why is this? Well, they have the ability to take all of your documentation and arrange it to work in your favor. They also have many years of experience in cases like yours and are familiar with what steps should be taken.
They understand what time constraints you’re under. They’re able to help you communicate with the insurance company. They can assist you with proving liability. They know when it’s the right time to settle. They can offer emotional support during a stressful time. If you try to handle the case on your own then you may not receive the compensation you deserve.
The decisions you make immediately after your car accident can have a long-term effect. That’s why it’s so important that you take the proper steps. Seek medical attention immediately after the accident. Request an official investigation and police report. Make sure that the officer is aware of your injuries. Avoid moving your car and if you have to, remember to take pictures. Avoid settling. Never speak directly to the insurance company of the other driver. File your claim on time. Also, work with a professional who has experienced in this field.
Car accidents aren’t always predictable. So you need to do your research. If you have more questions, you should contact West Coast Trial Lawyers for additional information.