Car accidents can change your life in the blink of an eye, and you may feel their financial impact, especially, for years to come. That is why financial compensation for your injuries is so important. Unfortunately, that compensation is not always guaranteed. The amount of money you get from a car accident can depend on what actions you take in the moments after the impact spanning months, or even years, into the future.
The expenses after an accident pile up quickly because they can come from all sides. You could face a range of unexpected costs, from healthcare to lost wages to property damage. According to the National Safety Council, the average cost of even the most “minor” accident runs into the thousands of dollars, and an accident that leaves you disabled can reach $90,000 or more.
You should not have to shoulder these costs when the accident that left you injured resulted from someone else’s careless or reckless actions. To get the most money from that sort of a car accident, follow the basic guidelines below. To learn more about how these tips can apply to your specific case, contact an experienced car accident injury attorney right away.
At the Accident Scene
It is virtually always in your best interest to get medical treatment as soon as a paramedic offers it. Brushing aside aches and pains will only harm your ability to seek compensation for them later-on. If the medical professionals say they want to take a look at you, then let them. In the stressful, adrenaline-filled moments immediately after a car accident, many injuries can go unnoticed unless you let the experts look you over. The records generated from this examination could prove crucial to building a case for maximum compensation down the road.
Nevada state law requires you to stay at the scene of any accident that results in bodily harm or death, and the failure to do so could lead to felony charges. Call 911 to make sure police and medical first responders come to the scene. Not only does this ensure you have access to important medical care, it also helps to ensure that a police officer writes an accident report, which is an important first (but not necessarily definitive) record of how the accident happened. Answer the officer’s questions, but do not offer opinions about whose fault the accident was. Also, be careful not to make offhand statements (such as “I’m so sorry” or “I should have seen him coming”) that someone could use to pin the blame on you.
Often the first piece of official documentation of the event, the police report can be a key piece of evidence in your case. But even though departments train officers to analyze the scene of the accident, they probably arrived after the crash and will base their analysis on interviews and observations.
Alert the officer to important facts, like injuries that resulted from the crash. Police can’t always tell when you’re hurt, and not all ailments are immediately visible. And don’t hesitate to check back in with them over time. You might suddenly become aware of more aches and pains as the adrenaline wears off, which could mask serious injuries long after the accident.
Do not rely on the police to get all of the details right, however. The evidence of the accident won’t be there forever, so the more you can document at the scene, the better. Use your cell phone camera to take stills or video of the scene. Get close-ups and wide shots. Capture license plates and other identifying information on vehicles. Note any skid marks, damaged guardrails, and other road features. Photograph the surroundings, including road signs, lighting, and any buildings that may have video equipment.
Work With Your Doctor
Whether or not you receive care from first responders, always do go to the doctor as soon as possible after you leave the accident scene for a full examination. It’s harder to prove damages without a medical record to back it up. To further help your case, describe the accident to your physicians and ask that they take it into account in examining you. This helps to ensure that your medical records will reflect any connection between the crash and any injuries or conditions your doctor identifies.
Keep all follow-up appointments and follow your doctor’s treatment plan. Do not skip medications or therapy sessions. Slacking off in your medical care could open the door to accusations that your injuries are not as bad as you claim, and that you do not deserve the money you claim. Follow your treatment plan until you have reached a “full” recovery.
Keep Thorough Records
Keep track of every expense you incur because of an accident, and keep every piece of paper in any way related to those expenses, your injuries, or medical care, or your insurance coverage. Be detailed. Keep the receipts for the gas it takes you to get to the doctor. Save invoices from in-home care providers. Make sure you know the details of your past costs and the plans for upcoming needs.
Keep in mind, too, that you may also have the legal right to obtain compensation for “non-economic” costs of your auto accident injury, such as “pain and suffering” and loss of life enjoyment. Writing your thoughts about your injury and recovery in a journal can be a good way to track the impact an accident has on your life.
Get Experienced Legal Help
Do not wait to seek help from an experienced auto accident injury attorney. The sooner you begin working with a lawyer who represents clients in car accident cases, the better your chances of finding important evidence to support your case, and of protecting yourself against unscrupulous insurance companies who may try to trick you into accepting a lowball settlement offer.
Plus, working with a seasoned lawyer takes some of the burden off of your shoulders, giving you the time and space to focus on your physical recovery. Contact an experienced auto accident injury lawyer today to get started.
Benson & Bingham
626 S 10th St
Las Vegas, NV 89101