What you do in the days, weeks and months after a car accident could determine whether you are able to receive a settlement check and the size of your payment. You should act according to a plan, as difficult as it may seem when you are dealing with physical injuries. Hiring an experienced attorney is one way to ensure that you take the proper steps and do not make any mistakes. Here are ten steps to take after a car accident to protect both your health and legal rights.
See a Doctor
In many cases, your car accident injuries are apparent at the time of the crash. Even after you receive initial treatment, you must have a comprehensive diagnosis in order to begin the claims process. In other cases, your accident injuries may only begin to show symptoms in the days or weeks afterwards. In either event, you should be diligent about seeking medical help as necessary. If you think that there is even a slight possibility that you could have been injured, you should see a doctor. It is always better safe than sorry.
Follow All Treatment Recommendations
Not only is following doctor’s orders good for your health, it is also a must for your legal case. You can expect that the insurance company will review your medical records to see what you have been doing since the accident. If they see you not getting prescriptions filled or missing therapy appointments, they will begin to question your injuries. They may claim that you are not taking the necessary steps to mitigate your own damages.
Preserve All Evidence
Before you can talk dollars, you must prove that someone else was liable. If you have any evidence in your possession, you must preserve it for use as part of your claim or lawsuit. Once you lose the evidence, it can be gone forever. If you have any photos, make copies and keep them in a safe place. Give what you have in your possession to your attorney for safekeeping.
Your attorney needs to have all the paperwork organized, so they can present the strongest claim possible. In addition, you should remain on top of appointments and deadlines because that could affect your claim. Staying organized is a must, even though it is difficult. You have many things going on at the time, but disorganization can cost you money and add to your stress.
Document Your Damages
Your claim or lawsuit must not only prove that the other driver was responsible for your injuries, but it must also show exactly how you have been injured to be paid for it. You have a far better chance of getting top dollar when you can clearly describe your damages in the wake of the accident. You should keep track of things such as bills, lost wages and your pain and suffering because they will all be a part of your claim.
Begin the Claims Process Quickly
In Louisiana, you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit after your car accident injuries. If you miss the deadline, you may lose the right to sue forever. While you should not rush to file a claim before you are completely ready to do so, you should at least begin the process quickly. If you delay, you could lose valuable evidence that could help prove your case. The legal process takes time, and your case does not move more quickly just because you have started later and need the money.
Contact a Lawyer
Calling an experienced lawyer is perhaps the most important step that you can take after an accident outside taking care of your physical health. The legal process can be challenging, and there are many details to handle. Insurance companies can make your life difficult, taking advantage of you to try to save money. An experienced attorney makes your life easier by handling the legal process for you. They can maximize your recovery by standing up for you when necessary in the face of the insurance company’s stinginess.
Do Not Talk About Your Accident
The more you say about your accident to others, the more of a chance that things that undercut your claim could get back to the insurance company. They could be checking on your social media, or even hiring people to follow you, to see if you are as injured as you say. In addition, if anyone calls you to talk about the accident, you should be very suspicious. The other driver’s insurance company could be trying to trick you into making an admission that could hurt your arguments about liability.
Stand Up for Your Legal Rights
If you are not getting what you deserve, you have every right and ability to fight for your legal right to receive full compensation when someone else is to blame for the accident. You always have the ability to say no when you receive an inadequate settlement offer. In the end, a jury can decide your case, and an insurance company does not have absolute power to dictate whether you get money and how much you get. If you need to fight, an experienced attorney knows how to handle the insurance company.
Things do not happen overnight in the legal process. It could take months, or even more than a year, to get your money. A claim may require multiple offers and counteroffers to reach a settlement agreement. If you file a lawsuit, it could take years from start to finish. In order to get the most possible money, you may need to wait out the insurance company. They will not write you the check that you deserve right off the bat without being pushed. That is where an aggressive attorney will help you.
Call a New Orleans Car Accident Lawyer
One of the most important calls that you can make is to an experienced personal injury lawyer. They will guide you through the process as you seek the money that you deserve. At Egenberg Trial Lawyers, our job is to stand up for you. Contact us online or call us today at (504) 229-5700 to schedule your free initial consultation. Hiring a lawyer can give you peace of mind when things seem so chaotic.