If you are injured in a car accident, it is likely something you will remember for years. For many, the emotional devastation is as bad as the physical injury. Even worse, many victims will suffer significant financial hardship in addition to emotional and physical ailments.
If a second party is liable, however, you are within your rights to pursue compensation for all the ways your life has been negatively affected due to the incident.
First Steps toward Winning Your Case
What is the most important thing to do following a wreck? Get immediate medical treatment. Even if you think you are physically okay, make sure you get to the hospital as soon as possible so a doctor provides a record of your diagnosis. The defendant’s insurance company employs savvy adjusters whose job is to pay out as little as possible. If you are missing medical records, your claim can be reduced or denied. There is a lot you can do as an individual to help your case.
- Find the police accident report online
- Collect contact information from witnesses
- Take photos at the scene
- Refrain from posting on social media
- Keep records of medical bills, vehicle repairs, and lost income
Also, look for nearby businesses with security cameras, then contact the business owner and ask them to share the video with you so your car accident attorney can submit it as evidence.
Will I Need to Go to Court?
The vast majority of car accident cases are settled out of court but don’t accept the first offer that comes your way. Early settlement offers are designed to tempt you with quick cash all while knowing they actually owe you plenty more.
Calculating What Your Case Is Actually Worth
Many factors come into play when deciding what a car accident case is worth. It comes down to whether or not you can prove the other driver is liable. An attorney has many tools at their disposal, including car accident reconstruction, forensic examination, and expert testimony. There are processes of mediation, discovery, and other legal maneuverings your lawyer will go through to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
The Odds of Winning
Of the cases that go to court, more than half are decided in favor of the plaintiff. If your lawyer decides your case can only be settled fairly by trial, there is a good chance you will win. Most insurance companies prefer to settle out of court because it saves on their overall legal expenses.
Factors That Hinder a Fair Settlement
You will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt another driver was at fault. That’s why the collection of evidence is so important in the beginning. Sometimes it is determined the losses you sustained are not sufficient enough to warrant compensation. Again you have the burden of proof.
Another contributor to paltry settlements, and probably the most important factor, is not having the right car accident lawyers to represent you. Of course, there is no law stating a requirement to have a lawyer represent you, but when you opt to not hire legal representation, you could be sabotaging yourself.
Claimants who are unrepresented or underrepresented are more likely to have their claim denied or receive less compensation than they actually deserve. A compassionate attorney will be in your corner every step of the way and help determine how much your claim is actually worth based on precedent and the firm’s previous history of representing clients just like you.