When you are injured in an accident, you may want to file a claim against whoever is responsible for your injuries and other losses. After all, your life may be completely upended, and your financial situation may not be at its best. Working with a personal injury lawyer in Essex is a great way to start your claim since this will mean that you have a skilled legal professional by your side who can guide you through your options and help build a strong case for your defense. Your lawyer can be a great asset when it comes to maximizing the compensation. Read on for other important steps you can take to maximize this amount.
Know How to Act from the Moment the Accident Happens
Understandably, you may feel confused, overwhelmed, angry, or fearful when you sustain injuries in an accident. However, if your injuries allow it, stay at the scene, and gather as much evidence as possible. Otherwise, call an ambulance and get your injuries checked out immediately. While you are at the scene of the accident, breathe deeply and spring into action as soon as you can.
Look at yourself to evaluate your injuries. If there is anyone else riding with you, make sure they are also okay. If not, call an ambulance for them or others if they are injured.
No matter how minor you believe the accident to be, it is important to remain at the scene and call the authorities so that they can come and evaluate the situation and prepare an accident report. Request a copy of the report to provide to your accident attorney and your insurance company.
If the police ask you questions, be polite but answer concisely. Avoid speculating as to why or how the accident happened since you might end up incriminating yourself. Let the authorities do their job.
Write down all pertinent information related to the other driver. This should include their contact details and all information on the car such as its make, model, year, color, and license plate number. Ask for their driver’s license and get the number and expiration date as well as their insurance policy number. Avoid engaging in conversation with the other driver. They are not your friends, and they may misinterpret what you say and use your words against you later.
Document the Scene
Take out your phone and take pictures of all the vehicles involved, their damage, and their position on the road. Photograph anything that might have played a role in the accident, such as debris on the road, poor pavement, low-hanging branches, or any traffic signs. Photograph your injuries and those of your passengers as well. If there are any witnesses, get their testimonies and their contact information should your lawyer need to contact them when you file a claim.
Get Prompt Medical Attention
Even in minor accidents, it is always essential for you to receive a full medical checkup as soon as possible. You might have internal injuries of which you are not yet aware. These could have fatal consequences if left untreated.
Additionally, it will be hard to convince the insurance company that you care about your health and are concerned about your injuries if you have not taken the time to be seen by a healthcare provider. Make sure your accident doctor specifies in your medical record that the injuries you are dealing with are a direct result of the accident.
Call Your Insurance Company
It is important to let your insurance company know about the accident as soon as possible. However, don’t go into lengthy explanations about the incident with them. They may use your words against you to deny your claim or offer you an insufficient amount to cover your medical expenses and other losses.
Also, do not feel pressured to accept a lowball offer with the veiled threat that this will be the only offer you’ll receive. A skilled accident attorney can fight for entirely different results. Don’t sign any statements or give any recorded testimonies to the insurance company regarding how you will not pursue further compensation or how you agree to settle for this small amount.
Work With an Experienced Accident Attorney
Make sure to find a legal professional who has experience with cases like yours and let them hear your story. They will conduct a full investigation into your accident and gather all evidence to strengthen your case. They will likely go over the information in the police report looking for any errors or inconsistencies. They will also review your medical records and, if necessary, call upon expert witnesses to backup your claim.
Your lawyer will also help you place a fair value on your claim, which will include all your economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to those expenses you might have incurred while taking care of your injuries such as doctor’s visits, treatments, prescription medications, surgeries and hospital stays, travel to and from medical appointments, therapies, and more. They also include the money you have not been able to earn while taking care of your injuries and the funds you may need to fix your car or any other personal property that might have been damaged during the accident.
Non-economic damages are harder to quantify since they cover intangible but serious items like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. By knowing how much your case is worth and working with a skilled legal negotiator, you increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.
Call (410) LAW-YERS to speak with The Parker Law Team.