I previously covered what to do immediately after being involved in an auto accident, but what route should you take when you’ve been injured? Here, we let you in on what you should know and do to ensure you are fairly compensated for your injuries.
Who is Responsible?
When you’re injured due to someone’s negligence, that person is responsible. This usually means you will have to deal with that person’s insurance company. When the person is not insured or doesn’t have enough insurance to pay you, your insurance company may pay some or all of your damages ¾ if you have the appropriate coverage. Once your insurance company is involved, you’ll likely deal with its insurance adjuster, the person who decides what your claim is worth.
Dealing with an insurance adjuster can be frustrating and complicated. Plus, you must never forget this: The insurance adjuster is trained to pay you the least amount possible to increase the insurance company’s profits.
It’s important that you receive the most money for your claim, and that is why it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer to help you negotiate with the insurance company.
Provide Proof for Your Claim
Your lawyer will initiate your case by informing the adjuster that you have been injured and will be filing a claim. Your lawyer will have to investigate the facts of your injury. Having copies of the following items can help your lawyer expedite the process:
- Police report
- Traffic tickets given to the other person
- Photos of the accident scene
- Witnesses’ names, addresses, phone numbers and reports of what they saw
- Medical records and bills
- Photos of your injuries
- Wage stubs proving how much you made at the time of the accident and how much work time you missed due to your injury
- Any other papers/proof of how your injury has negatively affected your life
You should expect your lawyer to hold off on initiating serious negotiation with the insurance company until your injuries stabilize and reveal what the permanent effects are. This can take months or even years. Don’t pressure your lawyer into negotiating too soon with the insurance company; it’s a mistake to settle your claim before you know the full extent of your injuries.