Cases involving motor vehicle accidents are the most common type of personal injury claim. Injuries sustained in these crashes can be life-altering. If you or a loved one has been hurt, it’s important to do everything you can to maximize the compensation you may be entitled to recover. The auto accident lawyers at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad understand the physical, emotional, and financial costs of being injured in a crash. They advise clients to take certain steps to protect their rights and maximize their claims.
Gather Evidence At The Scene Of The Accident
After a collision, it’s critical to call 911 or local law enforcement. Police reports are valuable pieces of evidence that can help prove your claim. If you are able, take photos of the scene, your injuries, damage to vehicles, traffic signals, and anything else that may be relevant. Exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver, and make sure to get their driver’s license and plate numbers. Gather statements and contact information from any witnesses as well. If possible, write down everything you remember about what happened while it’s fresh in your mind.
Seek Medical Attention As Soon As Possible
Going to the ER or doctor immediately after a motor vehicle accident not only ensures you get the medical care you need, it documents your injuries as well. Some symptoms of serious injury may not appear until hours, days, or even weeks later. Medical professionals can examine you and order diagnostic tests that may detect and demonstrate the extent of your injuries. Evidence of treatment and medical records are essential to help you maximize your claim.
Continue Recommended Medical Treatment
Keep all medical appointments and follow your doctor’s orders. If you fail to make your doctor visits, the insurance company may use missed medical appointments to assert that your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim. To maximize compensation, you need to demonstrate that you followed your treatment plan as directed.
For example, someone who has broken their leg in an auto accident may need surgery and months of physical therapy. This type of therapy can be excruciatingly painful, so they decide to quit. The insurance company jumps on the injured party’s failure to continue therapy as an excuse to minimize their injuries and undermine their claims. Failing to complete treatment may affect the amount of compensation the injured party receives or could even jeopardize their claim altogether. That’s why it’s critical to go to every doctor’s appointment, lab test, and therapy session until a medical professional has cleared you to stop.
Keep A Record Of Your Recovery
Keep a daily journal that documents how you’re feeling physically and emotionally. Make sure to write about how your injuries have affected your life. This type of diary can be useful when determining how much you receive for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other non-economic damages. Putting a number on these damages can be a highly subjective process. The more evidence you have about how your injuries have impacted you, the better your chances of receiving maximum compensation.
Save All Bills And Receipts
Save every accident-related bill and receipt, from medical bills to receipts for medications and transportation to appointments. To recover these expenses, you’ll need to show proof of what they cost, so make a file and save everything that shows your accident-related expenses.
Don’t Talk About Your Accident
The only person you should speak to about the accident or your injuries is your personal injury attorney. Insurance companies investigate claims and may attempt to speak with your friends, family members, and coworkers. It’s also important to refer any inquiries from insurance adjusters, attorneys, or insurance company representatives to your auto accident lawyer. The last thing you want is to say something that might give them cause to minimize or dismiss your claim.
Stay Off Social Media
In a similar vein, it’s best to deactivate your social media accounts and refrain from posting anything until your case is completed. Investigators will try to find anything they can to reduce the value of your claim. Comments and photos that may seem innocuous to you could provide fodder to cut the value of your claim. If you must post something, make sure to get the go-ahead from your attorney first.
Contact An Auto Accident Attorney
For more than 30 years, the car accident lawyers at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad have helped injured victims throughout eastern Pennsylvania recover the maximum compensation they need to move on with their lives. Contact us online or call our Bethlehem office at 610-867-2900 to schedule a free consultation today.