When you are injured in a car accident, filing an injury claim can seem like the last thing on your mind. After all, you’re probably more concerned with not having life-threatening injuries and getting better. However, it’s important, and taking these 7 steps will strengthen your accident claim.
Hire A Lawyer
When you’ve been injured in a car accident, your first step should be to hire a lawyer. This is especially true in States like Chicago where chances of winning such a claim without a lawyer are slim; it’s best to hire a Chicago personal injury law firm experienced in car accident cases to handle things. When choosing a lawyer look out for these characteristics:
- Has experience representing people in similar cases
- Is willing to go up against insurance companies without hesitation
- Will go back to the accident scene with you to take measurements, photographs, etc.
Take Pictures Of The Accident Scene And Your Injuries
Photos of the accident scene are helpful because they show the seriousness of your injuries and that it wasn’t just a slight fender bender or scratch. Also, filing car accident claim photos of your injuries help prove that you were hurt and need compensation for medical bills as well as future care that will be needed for those injuries. If possible, hire a photographer since they know how to take great shots and can give you copies as opposed to taking your own photos which could be blurry, underexposed, or overexposed.
The best time to take photos of your injuries is within 24 hours of the accident to show that they are still fresh.
Get Witness Statements And Contact Information
Witness statements help to prove that the other driver was at fault in the accident. Those who saw the accident should be able to tell you what happened and may even mention any careless actions on your part that contributed to causing this accident. It’s important to get their names, phone numbers, email addresses, etc., so that you can use them for future legal proceedings or if they are requested by your lawyer or insurance company during the case.
You should also get contact information for anyone else involved in the accident whether they were a motorist who stopped to help you, someone who witnessed it unfolds, or perhaps an occupant of one of the vehicles involved. This way you have all of your evidence collected in one place for easy access when filling a car accident claim.
Seek Medical Treatment As Soon As Possible
Another step that shouldn’t be overlooked because it can affect your car accident claim is getting medical attention as soon as possible. This should be done even if you feel fine and just want to go home because there might be injuries that aren’t readily apparent, such as internal bleeding or broken bones, which need immediate treatment. The longer you wait to seek medical attention the more difficult it will be to prove your injuries were significant enough for compensation from the insurance company by using objective evidence.
Do Not Discuss The Accident With Insurance Companies Until You’ve Talked To An Attorney
You should not speak with the other party’s insurance company until you have spoken to a lawyer. In fact, it is illegal for an insurance company to contact you directly about your accident claim before they have been notified by your attorney. If someone from the other driver’s insurance contacts you while you are still in the hospital, simply tell them that you need to wait until you have permission from a doctor before speaking with anyone and politely ask them to call back at a later time.
Be Sure To Document Your Accident Claim With The Police
Documenting your accident claim with the police department is important because it affects how your car accident claim will be handled. If there are witnesses who saw the accident unfold, were involved in the accident themselves, or have already contacted the police to file a report about what happened then you should ask for a copy of that report when they’re finished to give to your attorney. This is also an opportunity for you to get police contact information if you need it for later on such as if you receive threatening messages from another motorist following the crash or if someone was hurt and needs help finding medical care or getting to the hospital.
Go To Therapy And Find A Support Group
It is imperative to seek out therapy. This will provide you with emotional support because everyone handles stress differently, so being around others who have experienced similar situations can be beneficial.
There are several things you can do to help strengthen your car accident claim after a car crash that should not be overlooked. If you follow these 7 steps, then you will ensure that your claim is as strong as possible and there is evidence of the damage caused to your vehicle so the other party’s insurance company cannot argue otherwise.