It's enough to think about a car accident to get shivers down your spine. However, when something like this happens to you, the experience is traumatising. Even if the injuries you sustained aren't too severe, there are other lingering effects, like the psychological ones.
Car accidents happen due to several reasons. While some may occur due to dangerous road conditions, there are times when another driver is at fault. Sometimes accidents are caused by reckless drivers who don't pay attention to the road, and thus, they end up harming someone else.
According to Personal Injury Claims UK experts, you may be able to claim compensation if someone else's negligence caused the accident. In this article, we guide you through the process of making a successful claim and protecting your legal rights.
Document the crash scene
The aftermath of a vehicle collision can be genuinely chaotic. If you've sustained injuries – whether minor or severe – your number one priority should always be to seek immediate medical help. However, if you are safe, there's one thing you must do to have a successful claim, namely, gather as much evidence as you can. You should:
● Talk to witnesses. Anyone present at the accident scene can be a reliable witness. Thus, you should get their names and contact information and ask whether they are willing to help you. They could talk to an investigator or write a statement. They can provide information supporting your version of the collision, which will strengthen your claim.
● Take pictures. Pictures provide significant evidence; thus, you should capture any relevant detail from the accident scene. This includes the vehicles, a traffic sign the other driver disregarded, a poorly maintained road, and your injuries. Make sure to remember the date when you take the pictures so you can use them as evidence in court if needed.
● Call the police. Police involvement adds extra evidence to your claim. A police report can make a significant difference in your legal case. The driver who caused the accident may try to convince you not to involve the police, but you shouldn't fall for this tactic. If your vehicle is damaged and you've sustained injuries, you shouldn't hesitate to call the police. Your first priority after the accident is to ensure everyone involved is safe. The next step is to protect your rights and set up your future claim. A police report includes information about the collision scene, damages and liability and is of great importance – perhaps one of the best pieces of evidence you could have. Therefore, you shouldn't skip this step just because you want to be a nice person.
Get medical help
If you've been injured in a vehicle collision, it's paramount to get medical help as soon as possible. Your doctor's notes, medical records and bills will be great evidence of your expenses and injuries. Whether it's your own insurance company or the other driver's insurer, you'll deal with them effectively when you have a complete set of medical records as evidence of your condition.
It's essential to consider your doctor's orders if they put restrictions regarding the activities you can do. Supposing you want to claim compensation for a shoulder injury, it wouldn't be appropriate to get caught playing tennis. If the accident left you with significant losses and injuries, you shouldn't overexert yourself, as this could blow your settlement. Perceptions matter a lot in insurance claims, and if an adjuster considers you are faking or exaggerating your condition, they could deny your claim.
Stay off social media
During the claim process, car accident victims often make the mistake of writing potentially incriminating things on their social media accounts. Reaching out to your loved ones for support is natural after being involved in a vehicle collision. However, social media can ruin your lawsuit in several ways. Firstly, if you talk about your case publicly, you destroy the confidentiality of your case. What's more, when you post on social media about your activities, the other party's lawyers and the insurance company can use this against you to claim you're actually exaggerating your suffering.
Even spending too much time online can hurt your case. The defence could argue that your pain isn't as intense as you say. While this may seem ridiculous, it's essential to remember that the defence will take every opportunity they have if they can find something that undermines your case. While it may feel lonely, it's best to stay off social media after the vehicle collision.
Be persistent and patient
Insurance adjusters deal with multiple claims at once. Your claim is your number one priority, but it's not the same thing for adjusters. Dealing with insurance experts requires persistence and patience. To maximise your settlement, you should act like a pro and stay on the insurance professional's good side. After all, adjusters are the ones to decide your fate until you decide to file a civil lawsuit.
You shouldn't hesitate to make follow-up calls and check on your claim frequently. As already mentioned, insurance experts deal with hundreds of cases daily, and they may postpone yours unintentionally. Therefore, you should act politely, as this may help you negotiate a suitable car accident settlement.
Hire an attorney
Even if you are persistent and professional, this doesn't completely guarantee that you'll get the desired outcome. If the adjuster ignores or denies liability, you should contact a personal injury attorney. With their expertise and knowledge, a legal professional can help you file a claim against the driver at fault.
A car accident attorney acts with your best interests in mind during the entire claim process. They take the necessary steps to ensure your story is heard and you get the compensation you deserve for all the losses you've suffered. An attorney will organise your evidence and send a settlement demand letter to the insurance company. If the settlement isn't successful, they will fill out the paperwork that is required to start a court case. Having an attorney by your side eases your burden of dealing with the legal aspects, allowing you to focus on your recovery.