Once you make the important decision to file a claim for compensation for your injuries in a car accident, you need to do everything you can to strengthen your case. Doing this can help win your case and receive all the compensation you deserve from the negligent driver’s insurance company. Here are five important tips on how to build a winning case.
#1: Retain an Attorney
The best way that you can increase the likelihood that you will receive all the damages you are entitled to is to hire an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. They can thoroughly investigate the cause of your crash and help you avoid mistakes that could weaken your case. They will also be able to accurately value your claim and fight with the other motorists’ insurance company so that they pay you the maximum recovery you should receive.
#2: Get Medical Treatment for Your Injuries
While you hopefully know to get medical treatment if you suffered apparent injuries, you may not realize how important it is to be examined by a doctor even if you do not think you were hurt. Traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, and back and neck injuries are just a few medical conditions where the symptoms can take days or weeks to develop.
It is also crucial to follow your doctor’s advice, go to all your doctor’s appointments, and not have gaps in your medical care. This protects your health and documents the seriousness of your injuries. You also reduce disputes with the insurance company—and increase the likelihood that they will agree to a fair settlement.
#3: Preserve Evidence
You must prove the driver’s negligence and the seriousness of your injuries to win your case and receive the amount you are entitled to. You do this by collecting evidence, and you should begin doing this at the accident scene. Types of evidence you need to preserve include:
- Police report
- Photos showing the damage to the vehicles, accident scene, road conditions, your injuries, and more
- Your clothes and shoes in the condition they were in at the time of your collision
- Other driver’s and their insurance company’s contact information
- Statements and contact information for witnesses to your crash
- Medical bills and records
- Paystubs and other wage loss documentation
- Insurance policies
- Receipts for repair or replacement of your vehicle and other property
#4: Stay Off Social Media
You should stay off social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, while you are settling your claim. At a minimum, you should not discuss the accident or your injuries or post photos. The insurance company and their attorney may search these sites more than once for posts and photos they can use to argue that you have recovered from your injuries or that they are not as serious as you claim.
#5: Do Not Accept a Quick Settlement
The insurance company may offer you a quick settlement of your claim. This is most likely a low-ball offer made in hopes that you will accept less than you deserve in exchange for getting paid quickly.
Do not accept the insurance company’s first offer. You should not agree to any settlement offer until you consult with a lawyer and know how much your future medical expenses and wage losses will be.
Were you or a family member injured in a car accident in the Virginia Beach area? Call our Norfolk office to schedule a free consultation to learn about your options and how we can help you build the strongest case you can against the negligent driver.