Car accidents are an unfortunate part of life. Even the most careful and attentive drivers may find themselves struck by another vehicle at some point, leading to unexpected and costly injuries. As you navigate the physical recovery process, it’s natural to wonder how you will be able to afford the medical bills, lost wages, and other unanticipated expenses associated with the accident. California auto accident victims have the right to pursue compensation to assist with these costs, but the process of completing and filing a claim can seem daunting and overwhelming. Working with an experienced and knowledgeable Riverside County attorney is the best way to maximize your settlement offer. Additionally, there are several steps you can take to ensure you secure the compensation you need to support your recovery and get your life back on track.
1. Seek Medical Attention as Soon as Possible
The moments after an auto collision can be disorienting. First, assess yourself for any injuries to determine whether you require immediate medical attention. Call for an ambulance immediately if you suspect you’ve suffered a broken bone or you notice severe injuries. Those whose injuries may not seem significant enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room should still schedule a visit to their doctor for a thorough medical assessment. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and internal bleeding, may not display obvious symptoms, so it’s important to have a doctor evaluate you for any harder-to-detect injuries. Seeking treatment also establishes medical documentation of your injuries, which is critical in building a strong and compelling personal injury claim. This documentation will show insurance companies that you took your injuries seriously and followed your doctor’s recommended therapies and treatment plans.
2. Report the Accident
The scene of a car accident is often chaotic. However, it’s important to notify local law enforcement that an accident has occurred. The responding officer will arrive and compile a police report, which serves as an objective account of the details surrounding the incident. When you are ready to file a personal injury claim, you can request a copy of the police report to bolster the strength of your claim. For instance, the police report may show that the other driver ran a stoplight or was texting at the time of the collision, demonstrating that they were responsible for causing the accident. These details may be critical in showing that the other driver was reckless or negligent and that you are entitled to compensation for these preventable injuries.
3. Gather and Document Any Evidence
The more evidence you can provide, the stronger your personal injury claim may be. If possible, document the scene of the accident by taking pictures with your phone and gathering contact information for any witnesses. Additionally, keep a written record of your injuries, your treatment plan, and the ways in which your injuries are impacting your life or preventing you from working, moving around, or otherwise limiting you. You should also keep track of your medical documents, physical therapy bills, and other paperwork associated with your injuries. These documents can help you determine the value of your claim so you can pursue compensation that adequately covers the costs your injuries have incurred.
4. Follow Through on All Recommended Treatment Plans
Having your auto accident injuries evaluated by a medical professional is essential, but so is following up on all recommended therapies. Insurance companies often try to devalue personal injury claims by pointing to “gaps” in medical treatment, claiming that the victim did not think their injuries were severe enough to warrant attending physical therapy or showing up to follow-up doctor visits. Do not allow insurance companies to deny you the compensation you need and deserve by failing to take your medical treatment seriously.
5. Work With an Experienced Temecula Attorney
Although some people move through the claims process without legal representation, they often jeopardize their ability to reclaim the total worth of their claims. Working with a knowledgeable auto accident lawyer is the best way to ensure you can maximize your settlement offer, as these legal professionals are familiar with the tactics insurance adjusters use to undermine or deny your claim. Your attorney will assess the details of your case to determine the most strategic path forward. Rather than wasting your energy on battles with the insurance company, you can have your attorney step in to handle these stressful negotiations on your behalf. Your lawyer will fight hard to maximize your settlement offer while you focus on what matters most—your recovery.
If you’ve suffered an auto accident injury in Temecula or Murrieta, call Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, today at (951) 489-3320 to speak with a trusted and experienced car accident lawyer.