Car Accidents: What You Need To Know About Making A Personal Injury Claim
In 2020, Arizonans experienced 98,778 car crashes-- that's an average of 271 vehicle accidents every day. Head-on collisions, side-impact collisions, and rear-end collisions are just a few of the types of crashes that are generally caused by someone not paying enough attention to the road.
It's unsettling to think about being the victim of someone's reckless driving. However, there is comfort in knowing that if you've been injured in a wreck, you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim. Keep reading for your quick guide about personal injury cases involving car accidents.
Factors That Determine a Claim
As a victim of a car accident, you should know what elements influence the damages you may be entitled to. Below are several considerations your attorney will take into consideration:
If There Are Any Negligent Parties Involved in Your Accident
Negligent driving is when a driver is careless and their behavior jeopardizes the safety of others on the road. Some examples of negligent driving include operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, not complying with traffic laws, signs, or signals, distracted driving, fatigued driving, speeding, and tailgating.
The Cost of Medical Care You Received
It's vital that you treat your injuries in a timely fashion. Your personal injury attorney will need documentation of your medical care and bills, as they will work to ensure that your compensation covers these costs.
In line with looking at your medical bills, your personal injury attorney will look at other sources of financial loss you experience due to your injuries. If you have to take time off of work to recover, or if your injuries cause you to lose your job altogether, you are entitled to compensation that makes up for this lack of income.
The Severity of the Injuries Incurred
Many car accident victims aren't sure if the injuries they incurred from an accident rise to the level of compensation eligibility. However, any pain, impairment, disfigurement, long-term medical condition, or fatality resulting from an accident should be brought to the attention of an attorney.
Be sure to record any harm you received from the accident. Common injuries include whiplash, spinal cord damage, bruising, and head trauma.
What to Do After a Car Accident
While getting into an accident is overwhelming and scary, there are some key actions you can take that will strengthen the personal injury claim you may make in the future.
Call the Police
It's imperative that the police are notified and come to the scene of the wreck. Even if the other parties involved in the accident are cooperative and provide you with their contact or insurance information, it is still necessary for the police to have a record of what happened. People can change their stories later on, so it is best practice to get the police involved to have an official account of what occurred.
Yes, this is a stressful situation, which can often fuel emotional responses such as anger. However, It is vital to remain composed, even if you are deeply upset by what happened. You want to appear as a rational person.
You should also be consistent about your account of what happened, and be firm about the injuries you have incurred. Be clear about what happened from your perspective and how you've been affected.
Consult an Attorney
Get in touch with a personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible. Cases need a solid foundation to be successful, so the sooner you get in touch with an attorney, the sooner steps can be taken to build your case and strengthen your claim.
The right law firm will look at your case and determine what your claim may need to be successful, such as hiring an investigator or sending a letter to preserve evidence. They can also help you figure out how you will pay for your medical care while the case is ongoing. The attorney you choose will guide you through the entire process, so getting in contact with one soon after the incident will serve you best in the long run.
Take Pictures and Document Everything!
When an accident happens, it is extremely helpful to have pictures of the incident. If it's possible, take as many pictures as you can of both the accident and any injuries you have as a result.
Keep track of anything you receive from your insurance company, the other party's insurance company, and any medical documentation you receive from treating injuries (i.e. bills, treatment plans, medical prescriptions, and so on).
Be sure to document your injuries thoroughly. Make a list of your injuries, take pictures of them throughout the healing process, and keep a brief journal about them. It's helpful to jot down how pain is affecting your livelihood, how your recovery is going, and what advice you receive from medical professionals.
Seek Medical Treatment and Use Your Own Health Insurance
Do not delay seeking medical treatment. No matter the severity, get your injuries looked at in a timely fashion-- insurance companies will take note of any delays in treatment.
When you do seek treatment, use your own health insurance. Do not provide the hospital with the other party's insurance information. Their insurance will not pay as you go, and it's best if the hospital only has your insurance information.
Make a Claim With Your Own Auto Insurance Company
Insurance companies require you to make a claim as soon as possible. Be sure to submit a claim to your own vehicle insurance within 24 hours of the accident.
What Not to Do After an Accident
There are a few things you should not do after a car accident to avoid weakening your personal injury claim.
Do Not Give the Hospital your Auto Insurance
The reasons for this are complex, but in short, the hospital operates in its own interest. This can harm the amount of compensation you receive for your injuries. It's best to provide your hospital with your medical insurance only; your attorney will decide what other information to provide the hospital and other medical providers.
Do Not Give a Statement to the At-Fault Insurance Company
Instead of giving the other party's insurance company a recount of what you experienced in the accident, tell them you are either hiring an attorney or contemplating hiring an attorney. Get the name of the adjusting agent, the claim number, and the adjuster's contact information.
Do Not Post About the Accident on Social Media
It's important to control how information circulates after the accident. If you post on social media, what you share online could be admissible in court. Images or statements in such a post can be misinterpreted by a jury, or contradict your claim. Therefore, it's best to keep your experience private and discuss what happened privately with family and friends.
If You Need Representation in Northern Arizona, Get Connected with Glazer, Hammond & Ruben, PLLC for Your Personal Injury Claim
An experienced personal injury attorney is vital for getting you the most compensation possible after a car accident. Keith Hammond is an accomplished attorney in Northern Arizona; with over 30 years of experience and a well-known reputation, Keith has the know-how to expertly handle your case.
If you've been injured in a car accident in Northern Arizona, don't wait around or suffer in silence. Reach out to Glazer, Hammond & Ruben, PLLC and take the next step in your personal injury case.