Auto accident attorneys advise that even seemingly low speed accidents are often serious, resulting in severe injuries due to another person’s negligence. If you are injured in an auto accident involving either cars or trucks, you may be able to seek compensation with an accident claim.
However, many people aren’t aware of how to file a claim and seek the compensation they deserve. If you wish to file a claim and recover compensation for injuries and other types of damages, the following are some steps you can take to help you get started.
Report Your Accident
If you or a loved one are injured in an accident, report it as soon as you can. In the case of an auto accident, you would typically file a claim with either your or another driver’s insurance company. It’s also important to contact the police as soon as possible to file a report.
With sufficient reporting, you’ll have a better chance of building a strong claim against the parties responsible for the accident. Reports can paint an accurate picture of the accident and provide you with documented evidence that may support a claim.
Maintain Documentation of Any Injuries and Other Damages
After an accident, it’s also crucial to document all injuries and other types of damages sustained. Evidence could include any medical records, hospital bills, treatment, and even photos of your injuries, along with pictures of the scene of the accident and damage to your vehicle. If you aren’t able to obtain evidence at any point, your accident attorney may help you in this regard.
The most crucial step to take immediately following an accident is to seek treatment if needed. Even if your injuries don’t seem severe, it’s often best to receive a professional medical assessment, as injuries may develop symptoms later and become more serious.
Some details about your injuries to obtain evidence for include:
The Causes of the Injuries
After the accident, you should try to write a statement about the accident’s nature and how it occurred. Write your statement as soon as you can while the accident details are still fresh in your mind. For example, you can write details about the events leading up to the accident, where you were driving, what direction, and the steps you took immediately after impact with the other vehicle. Include as many details as possible to enrich your statement.
The Severity of Your Injuries
It’s also necessary to include as much information about the extent of your injuries with ample documentation. Some documents to help prove the severity of injuries could consist of:
• Photos of the injuries, including photos immediately after the accident and progressive photos showing the healing process during or after treatment.
• Doctor’s reports include details about the nature of the injuries and the treatment that the physician intended to administer or prescribe.
• Medical imaging results, including CT scans and x-rays.
• Statements from occupational or physical therapists during the recovery process.
Keep records of all medical costs, including bills and documents that can prove the monetary damages you wish to claim.
Medical documentation may include:
• Surgical costs
• Ambulance bills
• Hospital bills
• Bills for wheelchairs, prosthetics, or other medical equipment
• Medical procedures and scans throughout treatment and recovery
• The costs of physical or psychological therapy and medication
Consult with an Auto Accident Attorney
The next step to take after gathering as much evidence and documentation as possible is to consult with a reputable attorney to discuss your case. While not all accident cases will require the help of an attorney, it doesn’t hurt to schedule a consultation to seek some guidance on how to proceed with your claim. Try to find an attorney who focuses on auto accidents if possible, although many personal injury attorneys with different practice areas may have plenty of experience in auto accidents.
There are several benefits of working with an attorney, including:
Attorneys May Be Able to Locate All Liable Parties
Often, accidents involve multiple parties that share liability for any damages incurred. For instance, a vehicle accident could involve multiple drivers who practiced a degree of negligence, resulting in the accident either due to their inattentiveness, road rage, or other factors. In some cases, drivers may not even be responsible if mechanics, other service professionals, or parts manufacturers were responsible for mechanical failure leading to the accident.
Ultimately, many potentially liable parties may be involved in auto accidents, which an attorney pinpoint.
Accident Attorneys May Be Able to Obtain Statements from Expert Witnesses
Expert witnesses are vital in many accident cases, as they can paint an in-depth and accurate picture of how accidents occurred. If expert witnesses are available, your attorney may be able to get them to testify, which may go a long way in supporting your claim.
Attorneys Can Piece Together Evidence
You could have all of the evidence you need to support a claim, but you may not know how to organize or use it. In other cases, you may lack specific proof that’s not so easy to obtain on your own. With the help of an attorney, you may be able to organize all of the evidence you currently have, or a law firm may help with gathering other types of evidence that you may not have. Attorneys can then use that evidence to build a compelling narrative around the accident and may use it to build a solid case.
Professional Accident Attorneys Can Help Determine How Much Compensation Victims Deserve
Accident victims may not know how much compensation they deserve for their injuries and other damages. Attorneys will give victims a better understanding of how much they are eligible to recover and set realistic expectations for the possible outcome. Attorneys may also advise when it’s best to accept a settlement offer from an insurer and the liable party.
Develop a Demand Package with Your Accident Attorney
After finding the right attorney, he or she may help you develop and file a demand package that includes:
• A detailed description of the auto accident
• Details about injuries, accident care, and all medical costs
• The amount of compensation requested
Damages detailed in this package when seeking compensation may include any monetary or non-monetary damages, such as injuries, lost wages due to time taken off from work to recover, damage to vehicles or other property, and any pain and suffering experienced, whether physical or mental.
With all of these steps in mind, you may be able to file a successful claim following an auto accident. To help you reach the best possible outcome, consult with an auto accident attorney as soon as possible. A good attorney will be able to evaluate your case and determine what type of compensation you may be able to recover.