If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, you most likely have mounting doctor bills and may be unable to work. While some car accidents are not hard to resolve, others can take years to settle. Fortunately, the law gives accident victims a way to seek compensation for accident related injuries, lost wages, and medical bills. Below are 10 tips for preparing for your car accident claim or lawsuit that may help you acquire a fair monetary settlement for your injuries.
Hire An Experienced Lawyer
Personal injury law can be a daunting process, one that is difficult to navigate successfully. You may have a better chance of obtaining a settlement for your injuries if you have an experienced personal injury lawyer Milwaukee WI trusts working for you. You can find a lawyer by speaking with friends and family members who have used one before. There are also referral services online that can recommend lawyers in your area. Before hiring a lawyer, it is important to be sure you are completely comfortable with your choice and can communicate with him or her effectively.
Get Witness Contact Information
Eyewitnesses to your accident can help you prove who was at fault, so it is important to obtain their contact information at the scene if possible. Once you have their name and phone number, you can forward it to your lawyer so he or she can obtain their statement.
Gather Supporting Documents
While some car accident cases are easy to resolve, most require some proof of your injuries and expenses. Gather all of the documents related to your accident such as doctor bills, prescription medication lists, police reports, and documentation from the insurance company.
The old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words” is also true in most instances and accident cases are no different. By taking pictures at the scene of your vehicle, the at-fault vehicle, and your injuries you may be able to prove just how seriously you were hurt and who was at fault.
Forward Insurance Information to Your Lawyer
If the at-fault driver’s insurance company sends you written correspondence such as refusals to pay or a settlement offer, be sure to immediately forward them to your lawyer. Your lawyer needs all of the information at hand in order to negotiate a fair settlement or move on with your lawsuit.
Never Admit Guilt
In many instances, accident victims are overcome with the emotion and stress of an accident related lawsuit and make the mistake of providing too much information to the opposing attorney. It is key that you never admit guilt to the other driver’s attorney or insurance company before your lawsuit is filed or during the legal process. Anything you say can be used against you in court and can damage your case.
Keep Track of Your Car Expenses
If your vehicle is inoperable after a car accident, it is key to keep all receipts of repairs or costs for alternate modes of transportation. This way your attorney can accurately determine the sum total of your vehicle related expenses.
Provide Pay Stubs
If you are unable to work, provide your lawyer with a copy of a recent pay stub so he or she can calculate your lost wages. This is especially important if you are disabled because of the accident and will not return to work. Your lawyer can seek compensation for future lost wages if you are disabled.
Keep Your Medical Records
Be sure to obtain a copy of your medical records related to the accident, so you can provide them to your attorney if necessary. In many car accident cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will argue that your injuries were pre-existing and not the result of the accident. They may also try to argue that your injuries are not serious, which makes your medical records an invaluable tool for proving your case.
Be An Active Participant
While your personal injury lawyer is working for you, it will help him or her immensely if you are an active participant in your case. This is true from the moment you hire them until the settlement process or trial is concluded.
Car accident cases can be daunting, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. By filing a lawsuit, you may be able to obtain a settlement to help you move toward a brighter future.
Thanks to our friend and contributors from Hickey & Turim, S.C. for their insight into preparing for a car accident claim.