Being involved in a car accident is a frightening and surprisingly costly experience. From damage to your vehicle and medical expenses to lost wages, a vehicle collision can put you and your family in critical financial jeopardy. Getting the most out of your accident settlement is key to moving on and financially recovering from the crash. Here are several ways you can actively work to increase your insurance settlement after an accident.
Take Photos of the Crash and Any Resulting Injuries
Although law enforcement will write up a report detailing the accident, photo evidence is much more compelling against your insurance company or in court if you proceed to litigation with the help of a personal injury lawyer. If possible, take as many photographs of the accident as possible while you are on the scene. Document damage to your vehicle from a variety of angles, and document any injuries that occurred to you and your passengers.
Wait Until You Are Fully Aware of Your Injuries to Settle
The full extent of your injuries or injuries to your passengers may not be apparent for the first few weeks after the accident. The insurance company may attempt to settle for an amount that includes coverage for emergency treatment obtained the day of the crash, however, accepting this settlement means that future medical expenses will not be covered. You can generally obtain a much larger insurance settlement by waiting to learn the true extent of your injuries and the treatment that will be required for them, and ensuring those costs are included in your settlement offer.
Keep Diligent Medical Records
The largest part of your insurance settlement is likely going to come from money appointed to cover your medical expenses. It is absolutely critical that you keep diligent records of every medical expense following your accident, including doctor's visits, physical therapy visits, in-office procedures, surgeries, prescription medication and over the counter medical needs. Keep your receipts and ask for copies of all medical records each time you go to the doctor regarding your accident injuries. If the court has to estimate what your medical expenses are, they are more likely to estimate on the lower end. Having concrete proof of your expenses can help the court come up with a reasonable figure that counts all of your current expenses, as well as help them calculate what future expenses are likely to be.
Obtain Testimonies From Your Physicians
If your doctor recommends several surgical or rehabilitative procedures, or requires that you abstain from work for a significant period of time, ask your physician to write a letter stating what injuries have contributed to their decision and how long you are expected to be out of work. This is particularly helpful if your injuries have caused you to be temporarily or permanently disabled. Your attorney can use the information provided by your physician(s) to petition the court for a higher settlement due to serious injury or disability.
Although getting the funds you need after a debilitating car accident may be the last thing on your mind if you were gravely injured or lost a loved one in the accident, working towards the goal of getting the highest settlement possible can help ease much of the financial burden caused by a vehicle collision. It's common for individuals who have been involved in an accident to be confused or unsure of what step to take next, making reaching out to a seasoned accident lawyer a priority. Your attorney can help guide you through the process of recovering from an accident and obtaining the settlement you deserve for your pain and suffering. Contact a skilled personal injury attorney in your area today to discuss your case.