When you have been involved in an auto accident, many factors come into play. First and foremost, always make sure you attend to any injuries you or others have sustained. However, since emotions will naturally be running high in these stressful situations, it is difficult to think clearly. Because of this, certain things may be overlooked that will later determine the amount of compensation you can receive due to the accident. To make sure you receive the maximum amount of compensation you should be entitled to for being involved in an auto accident, here are the top seven pieces of advice you should always remember in these situations.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
Even though you could use any type of attorney to handle your accident case, it is best if you select one who specializes in personal injury cases, and specifically those cases involving auto accidents. By doing so, you can be sure the attorney working with you understands the many complexities associated with these cases, such as dealing with insurance companies, reaching out-of-court settlements, gathering the proper types of evidence, and other aspects that will help determine the amount of compensation you receive.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
If you are involved in an auto accident, seek medical attention immediately. Even if you think your injuries are only minor, still have yourself checked over by a medical professional. In many of these situations, symptoms of injuries such as whiplash may not appear for several days, so it is always best to have medical documentation as soon as possible after the accident. If you delay seeking treatment, the defendant’s lawyer and their insurance company will use this against you, claiming any injuries you have were not the result of the auto accident.
Take Photos of the Accident Scene
If possible, take photos of the accident scene. Since having as much information as possible will be critical to proving your case, use your cell phone to take pictures of the damage sustained by each vehicle, where the vehicles are located, license plates of all vehicles involved, any property damage resulting from the accident, road conditions, stop signs and traffic signals, and anything else you feel may be relevant to your case. If you are not physically able to do this yourself, have a passenger or family member do this for you.
Don’t Settle for Less Money
When you are involved in an auto accident, it will not be long before you are contacted by the other driver’s insurance company. When this happens, the representative will attempt to convince you he or she is on your side. However, do not fall for this tactic. In reality, they are not only trying to convince you to accept as small a settlement as possible, but also seeking evidence from you that could lead them to claim the accident was your fault, which could lead to you receiving no compensation whatsoever for your injuries. To keep this from happening, say as little as possible to insurance representatives, and direct all future communication to your attorney.
Know What You are Entitled to Regarding Damages
Since most people have little if any idea as to the types of damages they can sue for in these situations, it is vital to be as well-educated as possible on this topic before, during, and after meeting with your attorney. While the most common damages for which you can receive compensation include medical expenses related to treatment for your injuries, lost wages from being unable to work, and punitive damages such as pain and suffering, there are other damages you can seek as well. These can include being compensated for having your vehicle repaired, compensation for personal property that was damaged while inside your vehicle, such as a computer or cell phone, rental car expenses, and other out-of-pocket expenses, such as if you had to hire a taxi service to take you home after the accident.
Be Truthful with Your Attorney
Unfortunately when many of these types of accidents occur, victims may tend to exaggerate the circumstances of their accident, thinking this will help them receive even higher amounts of compensation. However, all this will do is ultimately sink your personal injury case. If you lie about various aspects of the accident and are later proved to have misrepresented the situation in court, your case will likely be dismissed very quickly. Therefore, if you are involved in an auto accident and choose to seek compensation for your injuries, always be as truthful as possible not only with your attorney, but also police who arrive at the scene as well as your doctors. By doing so, you eliminate the chances of having your version of events disproved by the defendant’s lawyers or insurance investigators, allowing you to receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Have Plenty of Patience
Perhaps more than anything, be prepared to have plenty of patience while your case plays out. Since auto accident cases are some of the most complex in terms of gathering evidence, communicating with insurance companies, and preparing strategies to be used in court proceedings, they often take many months to reach a conclusion. However, by making sure you have done certain things along the way, such as having medical documentation of your injuries, photos of the accident scene, and providing your attorney with the necessary facts surrounding the accident, it may be possible to see your case wrapped up much faster than you anticipated.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an auto accident that resulted due to the carelessness or negligence of others, contact Brisbane Car Accident Lawyers Murphy’s Law for assistance. By doing so, you can be well on your way to gaining the maximum compensation you need and deserve.