Things You Need to Know to Avoid Losing Your Car Accident Case
Most people do not know what to do to legally protect their right to compensation after a car accident. Taking the right actions can greatly help your accident case. But taking the wrong steps can hurt it and potentially bar you from claiming the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
If you have been hurt in a crash, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected.
What to Do After a Car Accident
There are several steps you should take after a car crash that could help with your personal injury claim. These include:
- Call for medical help: After any accident, you should see a doctor right away to ensure you receive a proper diagnosis and treatment for your injuries. Calling for medical help will ensure these injuries do not become worse, and it will provide medical documentation needed for your personal injury claim.
- File an accident report: Call the police so they can investigate the crash and file an accident report. This report could be used to support your claim for compensation.
- Collect evidence: Photographs of the scene provide essential evidence that can help back up your claim. If you are able, take photos of the vehicles involved, the damage, the scene as a whole, and your injuries. If there were any witnesses to the crash, get their names and contact information.
- Call a lawyer: After an accident, you may be entitled to compensation if someone else was at fault for the collision and your resulting injuries. Unfortunately, insurance companies make these claims extremely difficult for accident victims. Our experienced car accident lawyers will protect your rights and fight for the full and fair compensation you need.
Mistakes That Hurt Your Auto Accident Claim
There are some common mistakes that many accident victims make after a car crash. To give your claim the best chance of success, it is important to avoid making any of the following mistakes:
- Leaving the scene: In Alabama, not only is fleeing the scene of an accident against the law, it will also hurt your accident claim. Although you may be in shock and worried about important things such as getting to work on time, your health and dealing with the aftermath of the crash should be your top priority.
- Not calling for medical help: If you fail to get medical attention after a crash, the insurance company or at-fault party will use it against you by saying you were not hurt because you did not see a doctor. Do not wait to see if you feel better after a crash. See a doctor right away.
- Admitting fault: Under Alabama’s contributory negligence law, accident victims are completely barred from receiving compensation if they are even 1 percent at fault for the crash. If you admit fault or even apologize out of politeness, it will be used against you in your claim.
- Giving a written or recorded statement to an insurance adjuster. The insurance company will use anything you say against you. All communication with the at-fault driver’s insurance company should be done through a lawyer to protect your rights.
- Accepting a low settlement: Insurance companies will likely offer a very low settlement soon after the crash. They hope that accident victims will be so happy to receive anything at all, that they will take the first offer. This lowball offer will likely not be enough to fully compensate for your injuries, so you should have an attorney review it before making any decisions.
- Not hiring a lawyer: If you file a claim on your own, you are putting yourself at a great disadvantage. The insurance companies handle these claims every day, and they have attorneys working for them. You should, too.
Why You Need an Attorney to Assist You
Some accident victims think that they only need to speak to a lawyer if their case is going to trial. However, this is not true. Starting in the days immediately following a crash, there are many ways an attorney can assist with your case, including:
- Communicating with insurance companies: Insurers deal with experienced lawyers differently from how they deal with frustrated accident victims. Our lawyers know the tactics they use, and we won’t stand for it.
- Conducting a full investigation: Our lawyers have many resources at our disposal to conduct a full investigation of your crash and determine who was liable.
- Collecting evidence: After an accident, our lawyers will work to collect extensive evidence such as video surveillance of the crash and interviews with witnesses. We may work with accident reconstruction specialists to show exactly how the crash happened.
- Gathering medical records: Medical records and invoices are essential to your claim for damages. Our team keeps track of your treatment costs to ensure we have a record of all losses.
- Working with medical professionals: Before filing your personal injury claim, you should achieve maximum medical improvement so you understand the long-term impact of your injuries. Our lawyer will work with the medical professionals treating you to understand when you will reach maximum medical improvement. We may also consult with experts to determine how your injury will affect you in the future.
- Negotiating aggressively with the insurance company: Understanding what is a fair settlement for your claim is essential when negotiating with an insurance company. Our lawyer will evaluate your claim and negotiate aggressively for a full settlement. Our team will also be prepared to take your case to trial if a fair settlement is not offered.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer Now
If you have been hurt in a crash, do not take the risk of filing a claim on your own. At Serious Injury Law Group, our Alabama car accident attorneys can advise on every aspect of your claim and ensure your rights are protected.
Our attorneys have the experience and the resources necessary to demand the full and fair compensation you need. Contact us online to schedule a free consultation so we can start working on your case today.
Chuck James is a Mobile native who graduated from University of Alabama. Chuck has been practicing law since early 2000. Contact Chuck James today for help with your personal injury case. Free consultations. Locations in Birmingham and Montgomery.