7 Tips to Ensure a Fair Compensation After Getting Involved in a Car Accident
When you are involved in a car accident handling the aftermath can be quite vexing. It does not help that the other party’s insurance provider will be seeking to undercut you from the very beginning. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to protect yourself legally and financially. Here are some ideas on how you can secure fair compensation even as you process the accident.
1. Preserve Any Evidence
When you are involved in a car accident the first measure you need to take starts at the scene itself. It is advisable that you preserve as much evidence as you can to help make your case.
Take photos from all angles using your cellphone or other device. Some of the things you should take photos of include:
• Any visible injuries that may have been inflicted on you.
• The entire accident scene from various angles.
• Any and all damage to your vehicle plus the damage to the other party’s vehicle as well.
• Any and all damage to other property at the scene, for example, a fence, building, etc.
• Other items or conditions that you think may have contributed to the accident for example potholes, damaged road signs, non-functional traffic lights, fallen trees or debris and weather conditions that may be pertinent to the case.
As part of preserving evidence, you should try and get your own witness testimonies. A witness testimony should comprise of the name, contact information and a personal account of the accident. Be aware however that there will be attempts to discredit your witness and you need to be aware of how to mitigate this. Some areas that may lead to witness discrediting include:
a) Not being in full view of the accident.
b) Poor eyesight or memory problems.
c) They were distracted when the accident happened like walking the dog for example.
d) They were under the influence at the time of the accident.
2. Note Your Injuries and Medical Information
When you are involved in a car accident, and there is someone who is injured they need to be rushed to the hospital as a matter of first priority. Once you begin seeking medical attention you need to document the entire chain of evidence.
Noting the expenses incurred in pursuit of medical redress is critical because these are charges that will be borne by the party who will be deemed to have been at fault. An insurance company will use your medical documentation to determine the award due to you. Some of the things you need to document include:
• Any ambulance ride.
• Hospitalization of any kind directly arising from the accident.
• The total time you were away from work due to seeking medical attention arising from the accident.
• All medical bills you have incurred as a result of the accident.
3. Hire Legal Representation
When you are involved in a motor vehicle accident you will encounter an insurance adjuster who will be dispatched to assess your claim. While the accident may not be a typical occurrence to you, it is an everyday experience for them. Do not be tempted to go it alone in resolving the matter.
The insurance adjuster is a highly trained expert with proficient legal knowledge and they also possess excellent negotiation skills. As you engage with them and answer their questions you need similar legal skillset representing your case and watching out for your interest. Check out this website murphys-law.com.au/car-accident-lawyer-brisbane/ if you need a professional take care of your case and rebuff any wily attempts by the insurance adjuster to short change you on the claim.
4. Refrain from Talking to the Other Party’s Insurance Adjuster
In the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident, you ought to report it to your insurance provider as soon as you can. Furnish them with what you think happened and any witnesses accounts and other information you might have. Additionally, you should request them to open a claim so that your medical bills can be paid on time.
Whatever you do, don’t engage with the other party’s insurance adjuster. They will seek to get a statement from you (either recorded or written) and doing so will significantly impact your claim in a negative manner. Refer them to your attorney in case of any inquiry.
5. Don’t Sign Any Documentation for the Other Party’s Insurance adjuster
Along with not making any kind of statement to the other party’s insurance adjuster is ensuring that you do not under any circumstances sign documentation for them. The adjuster will typically try to get you to sign an authorization for your medical or employment records. Do not sign this as you will give them room to gain greater access than intended.
6. Do Not Rush to Settle
When you experience a car accident you may find yourself undergoing financial pressure. The temptation will be to settle quickly and that will always get you compensation that is below what is due you.
In particular financial pressure can arise from the medical needs you may face after the accident. This is one of the most vulnerable points that you must look to not rush and settle. Wait to settle on compensation once you achieve the Minimum Medical Improvement (MMI) level.
MMI is where the doctor has definitively concluded that your condition will not improve significantly with more medical attention. When you settle after MMI you have a better view of the medical costs that await you further down the road and that goes into determining what your settlement ought to be.
7. Make a Claim within Stipulated Time
When you experience personal injury after a motor vehicle accident you have a particular time window with which to lodge your claim. In legal parlance, this time window is called a ‘statute of limitations.’ In Australia, the statute of limitations for personal injury is three years after the accident.
Furthermore, there are different rules when it comes to children. The statute of limitations for children who may have been injured in the motor vehicle accident is three years from when the child turns 18 years or when they die, whichever comes first.
A motor vehicle accident is a jarring experience. You need to know the areas you ought to shield yourself from potential liability. It is advisable that you hire a Brisbane lawyer to help you better build a defence for a fair claim.