Nobody wants to be in a car accident, but there are certain scenarios where you just aren’t able to avoid a collision. No matter how well-trained you are behind the wheel, there’s still nothing that can prepare you for a serious road accident.
At any rate, you will want to come out the victor in any legal dispute that involves a road collision. Especially if it isn’t your fault, you will need to protect your interests by filing a claim with the other party’s insurance, going to court or settling your claims privately.
That said, here are a few things that should help you when pursuing a legal claim after a car accident.
Start with documentation
In the aftermath of a collision, your first impulse should be to check yourself and others for any and all injuries. If you’re able, the next step you should take is to document the scene by taking pictures of your damaged car. Make sure to include noticeable dents and other damage to fully document the extent of the accident.
You should also ask for the other party’s insurance information, talk with witnesses (and get their information too) and obtain as many details as you can at the scene. The information you document from the scene can prove to be beneficial to your claim for compensation.
Estimate your losses
Before you contact an attorney to pursue your claim, you might want to know how much you’re likely to receive when the case is settled. That said, it’s important that you estimate the costs of repairing your car as well as the medical bills and time away from work. You should also consider whether you will need a replacement car or if the damage on your vehicle can even be repaired.
If the collision resulted in a prolonged hospital stay, you will have to consider economic losses as well. Once you have crunched the numbers, you then have an estimate of the amount you can discuss with your attorney.
Consider emotional and psychological effects
In any personal injury litigation, emotional suffering is a factor in determining compensation and yet it is the most difficult to quantify. How can you measure the suffering you have incurred from a car accident?
While it’s virtually impossible to gauge emotional suffering, you can at least describe what the accident has put you through. For example, being unable to sleep due to serious back injuries can add weight to your claim.
Choose the right lawyer
You’ll be lucky if the other party’s insurance company agrees to a settlement, but there’s also a big possibility that the insurance company will gladly fight tooth and nail to reduce the amount of your claim. It’s for this reason that you will need to hire the right lawyer who can help with car accidents.
You will need to work closely with someone who has a proven track record of representing the victims of car accidents. Apart from that, you also need a person who can keep you informed about the process of getting your claim processed faster and without complications.
Opt out of social media
When it comes down to building a favorable case throughout the litigation process, your communication should be strictly between you and your lawyer. Sharing information about the progress of your case with others can put you in jeopardy and encourage the other party to act in ways you wouldn’t expect.
Don’t give away your position knowing that you’re not at fault in the accident that had transpired. As much as possible, you will have to refrain from talking about the litigation process on social media. This would mean refraining from posting documents or expressing opinions in a public forum that the other party could use against you. If you want to maximize your resources to get better settlement terms, it’s important that you stay away from social media, or at least control your posting habits.
Get ample support
A serious injury caused by a car accident can be emotionally and physically burdensome. Often, tensions run high as your camp demands better settlement terms. By law, you’re entitled to just compensation for all the suffering you’ve been through, but the insurance company will probably not go down without a fight.
When the stress becomes unbearable, it’s important that you ask for support from friends and family members who can help lighten the emotional baggage you will have to carry. Make sure to spend time with the people who are very close to you to make the uphill battle of a car accident claim less of a burden.
A car accident can cost you a lot — physically, emotionally, and financially. But if you’re fully equipped with the right knowledge, you could easily win a legal battle in the aftermath of a collision.