Legal Guide for Car Accident Victims
Despite the frequency of car accidents, most people remain ignorant about how to take care of themselves after becoming involved in one. Victims of car accidents have the added challenges of dealing with physical and financial hardships, as well as having to contend with people who try to take advantage in order gain an upper hand. By providing people with information about how to protect themselves, you give them the power to advocate for their own well-being. So what do car accident victims need to know? We’ve outlined the answers down below.
Who Can Gather Evidence on My Behalf if I Am Unable To?
If you were rushed to the hospital for emergency treatment, there may not have been time for you gather proof about what happened. In addition to photographs and video of the area where you were injured, along with the other motorist’s insurance details, useful evidence might include other items such as broken glass or other debris found at the wreck. Either you or the responding officer may have asked friends or family to visit the accident site for evidence, and a copy of the report will contain whatever information was collected. If not, then your lawyer from Thompson Law can begin investigations and gathering of evidence as soon as they take on your case.
How Should I Deal With an Insurance Adjuster
If the accident was reported to your insurance company, then an adjuster will contact you. They typically call within a few days of an incident, to ask the victim for their version of events. When speaking with an adjuster, you must be careful not to make statements that can be misinterpreted and used against you. No matter how friendly an insurance adjuster is, his or her goal is not to find out what happened on the claim and make you whole again—but to pay as little as possible. Because of this, your lawyer may recommend that you let him handle this phone call for you.
How Do I Know When to Settle a Case?
Insurance companies know that their payouts on claims are usually greater than what they expect to receive from customers, so they try hard to keep the amounts paid out at a minimum. Always remember, these companies are still in the business of making money, and thus want to pay as little compensation to victims as possible.
Once you receive an offer of settlement from an insurance company, don’t automatically accept it. Make sure to try to negotiate for a better outcome. The insurance companies want their customers to think that they have no choice but to accept the offers made by them, when in fact it is entirely possible for claimants not only to reject those offers but also file counterclaims. Victims also have the right to negotiate for compensation that covers their current and future damages and losses.
What Do Accident Victims Tend to Forget?
Be mindful of the power that social media has after a car accident. When you report an injury and file a claim for compensation, people may watch your case closely to try to reduce or deny the amount of money they might have otherwise paid out. You may be tempted to share the accident with your friends and family, as social media is a common form of communication. However, your lawyer from Thompson Law would suggest it may not be the best idea.