In the United States alone, an average of 6 million car accidents happen every year. This also leads to 3 million people injured annually and more than 90 fatalities every day. Failing to wear a seatbelt and drinking under the influence are among the common causes of these car accidents. If you or your loved one happened to suffer from injuries caused by a car accident, an injury claim has to be filed.
The process of filing for such a claim may seem complicated, but here are a few things that need to be done to get you started on the right track.
1. Call the police
Filing a police report while you are still at the scene of the accident largely adds a heavy layer of proof for your injury claim. It is very common for drivers who caused the accident to avoid facing the police, especially right in the aftermath of the accident. This is why the office of The Terry Law Firm Car Accident Lawyers recommends that individuals should make sure they call the police as soon as they can. Whether you think you are injured or not, or whether your car had major damage or not, a police report will prove to be crucial when it comes to legal proceedings. Being able to protect your rights should be among your top priorities and this is why you need to have evidence of fault through proper reporting with the help of the police authorities.
2. Document the scene
The aftermath of a car accident can be physically and emotionally daunting. This is why you have to seek medical attention right away. But, while you’re waiting for the emergency responders to arrive, you have to be quick at documenting the scene. It is also a must that they secure photos of their own injuries, their vehicle, and their immediate surroundings. If there are other people and vehicles involved in the accident, take photos of these as well. It would also be wise if you have your dashcam and other videos of the moments just before the accident occurred. Remember that having enough documentation as your proof can largely increase your chances of winning an injury claim.
3. Communicate with the witnesses
Get as much information as you can from other people who came to the scene. Most of these people have witnessed the accident. Ask questions and gather as much information as you can. Try to get their phone number and ask if they are willing to become witnesses if you need their help during the process of filing the injury claim. These stories from witnesses will serve as your corroborative information which can help strengthen your claim.
4. See a doctor
See a doctor as soon as you can after the accident. Do this even when you think that your injuries are not that serious. It is always highly recommended that you have yourself checked by a doctor so you can determine whether your injuries are mild or serious. The sooner you have yourself checked, the faster you will also be able to recover from your injuries. Note that the doctors are the only ones who are in the best position to tell whether your injuries are serious or not. Your doctor will also be the one who will give you specific instructions regarding the monitoring of certain symptoms as well as those red flags to watch out for. If you feel pain in any part of your body after the accident, you should consult with the right specialist. To learn more about the types of pain and pain management visit laclinicasc.com.
5. Request for medical records
Requesting medical records is just an easy process. However, it may prove to take a lot of time. Most hospitals may require you to fill out some HIPAA-compliant forms before your medical records will be released. Keep in mind that your request document may have to be personally written by you. If you cannot do this due to your sustained injuries, you may ask the representative to have it written on your behalf. If an attorney will represent you, he or she will be the one to request for your injury claim records. Your attorney will also be the one to deal with your insurance company. Note that there are times when the adjuster may ask for additional medical records especially if you have a preexisting injury prior to the accident. Do not just ask for a medical record from your doctor but also ask for a medical record for a radiologist if you went through an x-ray examination.
6. Obtain records of your expenses and losses
The main purpose of filing for a claim is to have yourself compensated for the expenses and losses incurred after the accident. Although it may not be able to put you back completely in a position that you would have been if only the injuries were not sustained and the accident did not occur. The entire process of filing for a claim can be complicated but it has to be done. Otherwise, the opportunities and income you missed when you were not able to work due to your injuries will never be recovered. If you have lost a chance to be promoted at work because of the accident, this should be compensated as well.
Part of the claim that you will be filing will also include the expenses you had for hiring assistance and care since you have been physically affected by the injury. If you have increased heating bills or have missed a prearranged holiday – all these must be included in the claim. In other words, your attorney or solicitor should also know about these things to ensure you will be compensated well.
In most cases, injury claims for a car accident are settled out of court. This is true especially if there is sufficient evidence to prove the driver’s negligence and liability. But, keep in mind that the process of gathering evidence must involve the full account of when, where and why such an accident occurred. So, follow the above-mentioned tips so you can increase your chances of being compensated well for all the damages that the accident caused you.