You’ve taken the preliminary steps you need to take after being involved in an accident: Reported the accident to the police, notified your insurance company, and started seeking medical treatment for your injuries. Now what?
In the days, weeks, and months following an accident, an investigation is conducted to determine fault. During this process, the insurance companies will evaluate information from the parties involved. This information will be used to determine negligence and ultimately who is liable for the accident and any resulting damages.
To make sure things go smoothly during this process, there are important items you should collect and information to document to help build your case.
Speaking with Your Insurance Company
As part of the accident investigation, your insurance company will want to speak with you. They may even want to take a recorded statement regarding your account of the accident.
Any time you speak with your insurance company, relay true and correct information to the best of your knowledge. As the insured, you have a responsibility under your policy contract to not omit or falsify information. If you do, the result may be a denial of coverage.
Be Cautious in Your Communication with the Other Insurance Company
The other driver’s insurance company will likely contact you to discuss the accident. Do not give them a statement or comment on the accident until you have spoken with your insurance carrier or a personal injury lawyer.
Document Your Doctor Visits and Medical Treatment
For every doctor you visit, therapist you see, or chiropractic care you seek, be sure to take note of who is treating you and the treatments you receive. Also jot down medications prescribed, referrals given, and any special equipment needed like crutches, TENS units, or braces.
All of this information will be useful later on in proving your medical costs.
Keep a Pain Diary
While your medical bills make it is easy to prove your medical expenses, it can be much more difficult to put a value on your pain and suffering.
To help, keep a pain diary to illustrate what your pain levels are on a day-to-day basis. Also note any medical issues or injury flare-ups that have a negative effect on your life. This may include things like a migraine that keeps you in bed all day or debilitating back pain that keeps you out of work for a week. All of these notations will be useful when settling your pain and suffering claim. Those at Firststatelawyers.com recommend this as having as much documented as possible is extremely important.
Don’t Settle Early On
With mounting medical bills and time missed from work, you may be tempted to settle early on just to get a little financial relief. While settling soon may immediately help ease your financial burdens, it may actually cause more fiscal harm in the long run.
When you settle before knowing the extent of your injuries or true cost of your damages, you risk losing out on compensation that is rightfully owed to you.
Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney
If you are injured in an accident, a personal injury attorney can help you navigate the insurance claims process. Their expertise in handling injury claims and dealing with insurance companies will ensure you get the full compensation you are entitled to under the law.