When driving to work or doing daily errands no one expects to get into a serious car accident, but when it happens it can turn your life upside down, especially if you are injured. In a perfect world, you would automatically be awarded a fair settlement by the other driver's insurance company when you're not at fault for the accident, but many insurance companies have a business model that relies on paying out as little as possible. If you have been injured in a car accident, take the following steps in order to help you get the settlement that you deserve:
Get Immediate Medical Care
No matter what type of injuries you suffer, whether minor or severe, it is important to get medical care as soon as possible after a car accident. Not only is prompt medical treatment essential for your recovery, it will also establish a clear record of the extent of your injuries. The type of injuries that you sustain and the length of time it takes to recover are often considered when coming to a settlement agreement, so your medical records will serve as important evidence.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney
When it comes to getting a fair settlement after an auto accident that involves injuries, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced car accident attorney. Don't let worries about high fees deter you-- most car accident attorneys work on a contingency basis, so they receive a portion of your settlement. There are no out-of-pocket costs for you.
A car accident attorney will know exactly how to build your case and work on your behalf to negotiate with the insurance company to get a fair monetary settlement. After hiring a lawyer, it is a good idea to not have any contact with the insurance company at all-- just refer them to your attorney if they try to get in contact with you.
Document Lost Income
Depending on your injuries, you may miss time from work after a car accident. Ask your employer to document the days you miss, and also note your weekly or hourly salary. In addition, make sure that you keep records of any paid time off, sick time, or vacation time that you may have used-- you may be able to get compensated fo losing paid days off because you were too injured to work. The better your records of lost income are, the easier it will be for your lawyer to maximize the size of your settlement.