Auto accidents can have devastating consequences. With a good strategy in place, though, accident victims can file successful personal injury claims to ensure that they get the compensation needed to facilitate a successful recovery. Read on to find some tips for maximizing compensation following an auto accident for a better idea of what to do and what to avoid.
Seek Medical Treatment
Few people enjoy going to the hospital, but seeking medical treatment following an accident isn’t just the best way to avoid potentially serious health consequences. It also provides evidence to build a case. If the doctor recommends a particular course of treatment, follow it, even if it means paying for some of the care out-of-pocket at first.
Don’t Accept Unreasonably Low Settlements
It’s rare for insurance companies to offer fair settlements to accident victims. They are in the business of making money, not helping injury victims recover. Never accept an initial settlement from an insurance company without consulting a lawyer first. Accepting a low settlement eliminates the possibility of seeking compensation for future damages or taking the responsible party to court.
If possible, it’s best to start collecting evidence right after the accident. Of course, anyone who has been severely injured should stay put until a medical response team arrives. If anyone involved in the crash has not sustained serious injuries, though, he or she should take pictures of the scene, collect information from witnesses, and do everything possible to preserve available evidence in case the victim must go to court.
Value the Claim Fully
Most accident victims’ top priority is ensuring access to adequate medical care, but compensation for auto accidents can extend beyond paying for hospital bills. Hiring a lawyer is the best way to value a claim fully. The lawyer will be able to identify additional damages, potentially including future damages. The amount of compensation received by the accident victim should be enough to cover not just current hospital bills, but also future medical treatment, lost wages, pain, and suffering.
Build a Strong Case
Even if accident victims are taking a hard line on resolving the dispute outside of court, they should still plan to build the case methodically to maximize damages. It’s important to seek help from a local law office as soon as possible after the accident occurs. A lawyer’s top priorities are protecting the rights of his or her client and holding the person who caused the accident responsible.
Emphasize Emotional Points in Insurance Settlements
Sometimes, there’s no need to go to court to get a reasonable settlement. If there are particularly evocative photos available, such as severe-looking injuries or completely destroyed vehicles, don’t be afraid to refer to them in negotiations with the insurance company. The company is more likely to offer a reasonable settlement if its adjusters are forced to confront the human suffering caused by the accident.
The Bottom Line
All of the tips above can help injury victims receive the compensation they need to facilitate a full recovery. However, none of them replace the need for hiring a lawyer. The best thing an accident victim can do to maximize his or her compensation is to hire a lawyer as soon as possible after the crash occurs.