How to Strengthen Your Case After a Car Accident
Being involved in an auto accident is a confusing and emotional experience, but this is just the time to act rationally. The things you do or don't do after the accident can affect your ability to be fully compensated. While you will likely hire a lawyer to handle negotiations and court proceedings, you have your own responsibilities in helping to achieve the best possible outcome.
What You Should Do to Help Your Case
Do Question People at the Scene
The more information you gather at the scene, the easier you will make it for your attorney to handle your personal injury case. This means gathering the names, addresses, and phone numbers for everyone else who was involved in the accident along with collecting insurance information. You should also obtain contact information from witnesses at the scene of the accident.
Make a Police Statement
Another way of helping your personal injury lawyer is by making sure the police take your statement at the scene of the accident. If they only take the other party's statement for their report, there's only one version of events in the report. While personal injury law firms like fightingforyou.com are able to work around such gaps, it makes their job much easier if you insist on making a statement and request a copy of the full police report. This will help you verify the facts in the report before they're brought to light in pursuing your claim.
Do Seek a Medical Evaluation
It's vital that you get a medical evaluation after an injury as soon as possible. This can help identify serious injuries that might not be obvious, such as traumatic head injuries, back and spine damage, or neck injuries. Getting treatment early may help you avoid a long-term disability. Additionally, delaying treatment can have a negative effect on the outcome of your case. It may look as though you're delaying treatment in the hopes of getting a bigger settlement and this may cause a judge to dismiss your case altogether.
A Few Things You Shouldn't Do
Don't Make Recorded Statements
While you do want to make a statement to the police, you should avoid making additional statements to insurance adjusters. They will want to record you for accuracy, but any statements you make in a voice recording can be manipulated and used against you. For your own sake, it's best not to speak about the case with any insurance adjusters. Instead, refer them to your lawyer.
Don't Discuss Your Case
If you're interested in increasing the chances of success with an injury claim, avoid discussing the accident with others. Anything you say may be taken out of context and used against you in court. This includes things you post on social media from revealing the fact that you had an accident to posting pictures of yourself after the accident. You can never be sure who can really be trusted, so it's best to keep these things between your attorney and yourself.
Don't Sign Anything
Almost as soon as the accident is over, an insurance adjuster will be in contact with you. He will likely offer you a quick cash settlement to cover your immediate medical costs. However, this will be insufficient to cover your property damages, long-term care, and loss of wages. Once you sign off on that settlement, you give up any further right to pursue damages, so it's best to decline the initial offer.
The most important thing you can do for yourself is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney. The lawyer won't charge you for an initial consultation and he will collect his contingency fee at the completion of the case. This means you won't face another financial burden in trying to collect the damages you rightfully deserve.