Car accidents often cause fatal injuries and financial losses, further leading to unnecessary strain on your budget or those of your loved ones. However, this should not be the case, especially if the accident resulted from someone else’s negligence and recklessness. The offending motorist or company is legally obligated to compensate you for your injury and losses in this event. Your insurance company is also required to reimburse your losses.
However, it is not uncommon to get duped into receiving less money than you deserve. Here are five ways to maximize your car accident claims and ensure you get the most out of the rather unpleasant experience.
How to Maximize Your Car Accident Claim
So you are thinking of how to get full compensation from your insurance and wondering how best to go about it. Following these steps will increase your chance to maximize your car accident claim.
1. Seek Legal Counsel
One of the wisest decisions you will make when dealing with insurance companies is seeking help from an experienced car accident lawyer. As much as your insurance company may seem to be on your side, remember that they too are a business, and they seek to minimize losses, even if that means refunding you the least amount possible as compensation for your loss.
A seasoned car accident lawyer will see through any ill-meaning insurance and ensure that you do not get under-compensated. Moreover, your lawyer will deal with the offending motorist’s insurance company and help you avoid simple mistakes that may cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars compensation.
2. Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
As soon as you can after the accident, seek medical care to ascertain the intensity of injury sustained as a result of the accident. Find out the required costs that you will incur to recovery.
The offending driver’s insurance company may use delayed medical visits to argue that the accident was not as severe as you claimed it to be. Such claims will cost you some of the compensation you deserve.
3. Document Your Injuries
Make sure you contact the police to report the accident as soon as it occurs. It is essential to take photos and videos of your losses. Capture your vehicle, your injuries, or any other personal items that incurred damage due to the accident.
Such documentation will ensure that you get compensated long after you have recovered and your injuries are not physically visible. They will also serve as evidence when placing your claims. Apart from photos, preserve medical reports that will authoritatively prove your injuries.
As part of this, you may take the statements and contact info of eyewitnesses at the accident scene. Ensure that they are independent so their accounts will be credible. Doing this will enable you to engage them when the need arises during the claim.
4. Document All Financial Losses
Ensure that all the out-of-pocket costs and expenses resulting from the accident, your injuries, and your recovery are documented and safely preserved. These expenses include hospital bills, therapy and counseling, physician bills, prescription medication, legal costs, and personal care costs during your recovery (such as help with various chores).
The law also considers the loss of income and benefits as financial losses. The key is to ensure that you can prove that you lost your income due to the car accident or the injuries you sustained from the accident.
Keep clear and detailed copies of invoices, bills, and receipts that will act as evidence of expenditure and financial loss. Insurance companies will not refund money for expenses that you cannot explain or account for.
5. Do Not Accept the First Settlement Offer
Be very cautious when dealing with insurance companies. Most of them will offer you a quick settlement with the hope that they will spend less than your actual claim.
As much as the deal may seem very good at first, you will benefit more if you wait until you recover fully to establish the total medical costs you incurred due to the injuries sustained during the accident.
When approached with such a proposal, you will find it beneficial to engage a car accident lawyer and seek advice on how to go about the offer. This way, you will avoid deals that are devised to take advantage of your ignorance in the field of insurance.
What to Avoid when Making Your Car Accident Claim
While following the five ways to maximize your car accident claim, ensure that you also avoid the following common pitfalls that may cost you greatly.
1. Waiting to File Your Case
It would be best if you did not take a long time before filing your claim. In some states, the period allowed for filing a case is much shorter than others. So, you need to file the case as soon as possible.
Filing a case as soon as possible after the accident also gives your claim credibility.
2. Conflicting Social Media Posts
As you continue to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company, you should keep off the social media platforms. Insurance companies can use your posts against you with claims that your social media posts suggest that you are not as devastatingly injured as you claimed to be.
Such allegations could affect your case and lead to interference with your car accident claim.
3. Ignoring Medical Instructions
You may want to follow your doctor’s or physician’s medical instructions to the letter, especially if they do not cause any medical complications for you. Failure to do this will create a grounds for the insurance company to avoid refunding you, claiming that your negligence of doctor’s orders worsened your situation.
The Easy Way Out
Are you either physically or financially recovering from your car accident? Does following these ways to maximize your car accident claim seem to you like the most daunting task in the world?
You don’t have to go through the whole hustle to get the compensation that you are legally entitled to. Contact a car accident lawyer and let them handle all the hectic paperwork and difficult negotiations for you as you peacefully recover without fear of under-compensation.