You are not a lawyer. You know this. So why, when you’ve become involved in a car accident, are you trying to do a lawyer’s job? To save money? That’s the first step on the hard road to getting compensated after a bad traffic accident.
Depending on how bad your traffic accident was, you’ve probably been seriously injured and need all your energy to focus on your recovery. Why are all these people calling you asking you to accept a settlement? Do you accept it? How do you get them to leave you alone? There is a much easier road to getting compensation. Here are the directions.
Hire a lawyer
Seriously, it’s as easy as this. Your lawyer will make those phone calls go away and will take over all discussions with the other party’s lawyers and the insurance company. Talking to a lawyer, you immediately know whether your case against the other party has merit, or if it may be better to accept that settlement they were harassing you about.
Ideally, find a lawyer or a firm that specializes in personal injury law. Firms like this one seen at https://www.cd-lawyers.com/los-angeles-truck-accident-lawyer/los-angeles-blind-spot-truck-accidents/ will find out the facts of your case, usually at no cost to you.
After this, they will file the necessary court documents for your case, if you decide not to accept a settlement. They will also collect evidence to support your case beyond what you have provided them. Their pre-existing relationships with insurance companies can work in your favor. Even better, having a lawyer at your side can get you compensation amounts 3 to 3.5 times higher than if you went before the court unrepresented.
All you need to do is focus on your recovery.
Document everything involved with the accident
If there is one step that would make things significantly easier for yourself, it’s this. It would certainly make things easier for your lawyer.
Ideally, by the time you decide to hire a lawyer, you should have video/photographic evidence of the scene collected in the immediate aftermath of the accident. You should also have an accident report from the police. You should also have the other party’s personal contact information and that of their insurance company. Finally, you should have obtained a medical report from a doctor after the accident. This helps your lawyer tie your injuries to the accident.
Don’t forget to keep bills for your medical expenses and prescriptions. Ask your vehicle repair shop to provide you with records of their charges as well. It’s important that you keep track of your pain and distress from today. You don’t want to have to remember that on the spot in court.
The more documentation you have, the more detailed it is, the better for your case.
Decide whether you will settle out of court or take your case to court
If you’ve hired a lawyer, allow yourself to be guided by their counsel on this matter.
Sometimes, it may be better to settle privately depending on the severity of your injuries. If you haven’t been badly injured and can get on with your life after a few weeks, it may in fact be easier to accept that cheque than fight the matter in court.
However, if you have been injured in a manner that leaves you permanently debilitated, like an amputated limb, or head and spinal injuries that have impaired function for life, it may be better to go before a jury.
If your medical bills are exorbitant, it may be best to take the matter to court as well. Tied to this, if you are going to need care for the rest of your life, your chances of being compensated fairly increase by going to court. Similarly, if your income-earning prospects have been damaged, going to court may help.
Don’t do anything to undermine your case
It won’t make sense to follow the steps above, only to shoot yourself in the foot elsewhere.
For example, don’t admit to liability in the accident and don’t say or do anything that might be misconstrued later as an admission of fault.
Don’t accept money from the other party on the scene, as tempting as it might be to have the cash immediately in hand. Do not sign any documents that the other party’s insurance company or lawyers want you to sign. Certainly, don’t talk to the other party’s insurance company or lawyers without yours being present.
The other party’s insurance company and lawyers are looking for any way to undermine your case at court, so they can pay you as little as possible or nothing at all. Do not undermine your case by making fraudulent claims with your own insurance company, inflating your medical bills, or misrepresenting the facts of the accident.
If you are found out, it weakens your credibility before a jury and you could lose.
There’s an easy road to getting compensated after a bad accident. You’ve just been shown what it is. Take it and avoid plenty of stress.