Whether you’re filing an auto accident injury claim through an insurance company or filing a personal injury lawsuit, you’ll almost certainly have to do something to recover funds after you’ve been hurt in a car crash. You shouldn’t feel in any way hesitant about trying to maximize that payout; car accident settlements are about getting you the money you need to cover your medical bills and other accident-associated expenses, and you don’t want to be dealing with a financial crisis on top of the pain or stress you may already be experiencing. With that in mind, here are five things you can do that will increase the likelihood of your getting better car accident compensation:
- Call the Police Immediately
One of the strongest pieces of evidence you can bring to settlement negotiations is a police statement agreeing that the other party was at fault for the accident. For that reason, you should want to call the police after an accident that isn’t your fault (if someone is hurt, you’re required to by law anyway).
- Document the Accident Scene
Do everything you can to gather information at the scene, even if the police are also documenting it. Take photos of the cars and the surrounding area, since road conditions may have factored into the accident. Pictures can be very compelling if it comes down to arguing your case in front of a jury.
- Keep Track of Any Witnesses
If anyone witnessed your accident, get their names and contact information so you can bring them in to corroborate what happened during the accident.
- Get and Document Treatment
One of the biggest factors used to calculate car accident settlements is how much medical treatment costs. So get treatment starting as soon as possible after the accident, and then be methodical about documenting all that treatment. Go beyond saving your medical bills by keeping a diary detailing your symptoms and various medical interventions.
- Be Willing to Hold Out Longer
One of the biggest tactics the other party will use to try to avoid paying you what you deserve is trying to get you to agree to a settlement prematurely, while you’re still emotionally shaken. If you have a solid case and can back it up with evidence, don’t be afraid to hold out a little longer. It’s a tricky balance to strike — and a qualified accident injury attorney can help you decide when it’s time to settle and when it’s time to fight — but often a little patience and perseverance will go a long way.
Do you have any more information to share on how to increase car accident settlements? Join the discussion in the comments.