Getting into an accident affects your daily life and finances, and can cause a considerable amount of stress.
Unfortunately, car accidents are pretty common. Even though getting into a collision is technically an accident, these situations usually happen because of negligent behaviors. If you’re the victim of a crash, you may want to file an accident claim for compensation.
Filing a car accident claim can be a challenge, and you should make sure you have a strong case before you decide to settle out of court or take the case before a judge and jury. The stronger your case, the more financial compensation you can receive to pay for injuries and damages after a wreck. Here are a few essential steps to keep in mind.
Investigate as Soon as You Can
This is one of the most important steps in building your car accident case. Investigate the crash scene as soon as you can. This will help determine the cause of the collision, the damage to all involved vehicles and injuries victims sustained. Also it can help identify who was at fault for the wreck.
If some people saw the crash first-hand, you should talk to the witnesses since they can help strengthen your case in court. If you get into a wreck in the Jacksonville area, you should contact a car accident lawyer in Jacksonville as soon as you can. They can offer expert guidance every step of the way, considerably easing the process.
Don’t Get Rid of Evidence
The more evidence you have, the more likely you can prove who is liable for the accident. Some essential evidence about your case includes statements from witnesses, police reports, and photos or videos of the aftermath of the collision.
When you visit the crash scene with your lawyer, you may also draw up a diagram of the crash that you can present in court. Keep a record of the care you received from the paramedics at the scene of the accident as well.
Go to the Doctor
Even if you go to the emergency room after the accident and you’re not in any pain, you should still see your regular doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries may not show up until days or weeks after the crash. Seeking immediate treatment strengthens your case and provides proof that your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
Visiting the doctor can also put you in a position to get the treatment you need for your injuries as soon as possible. You may have to undergo physical therapy or go to the chiropractor for long-term treatment. Be sure to keep a record of all the treatments you’ve received and submit it to your lawyer.
Be Careful About Speaking to Insurance Companies
Insurance companies are always focused on not losing money. Therefore, even if the insurer’s policyholder is at fault for the accident, the company will try to give you a settlement that is much lower than what you deserve. Don’t speak with an insurance company until you’ve met with your lawyer.
A claims adjuster may try to get you to admit fault or to say that your injuries are not directly due to the accident. It may be best for your lawyer to talk to the insurer on your behalf so you can receive adequate compensation.
Prepare to File Your Claim
Once you’ve consulted with your lawyer, make sure you’ve completed everything on the case preparation checklist. Getting into an accident affects your daily life and finances, and can cause a considerable amount of stress.
Continue working with your attorney so you’ll know what to say or do if you decide to settle out of court. If you decide to bring the case to a judge, ask your lawyer which documents to bring with you.
The Bottom Line
An attorney with experience in car accidents will assess all the details of your accident and help you build a case based on the extent of the injuries or damages you’ve sustained.
Working with a professional lawyer also ensures that you’ll get the settlement funds you deserve from insurance companies so you’ll have enough money to cover medical bills and the cost of replacing your vehicle.