You can file a personal injury claim after you were injured in an accident caused by someone else. You might recover compensation for your medical treatment and other expenses.
However, insurance companies often look for ways to avoid paying claims. They want to find a reason to offer a low settlement or deny the claim altogether to save money. They might obtain evidence to disprove your version of events or show you’re at fault for the accident.
You should take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from the insurance company during your claim. Below are some tips you can use to protect your rights and improve your chance of receiving a full and fair settlement.
Report What Happened Immediately
You should report the accident while at the scene. If your injury is too severe, seek medical care and report what happened as soon as possible.
You should request a copy of the accident report for physical documentation of the incident. It is one of many types of evidence you can use to prove someone else is responsible for your injury.
Take Detailed Notes About the Accident
You should jot down all the information you can think of about the accident while you remember everything. Be sure to take note of where it happened, what the weather was like, and the road conditions. Include details about the at-fault party and what you saw them doing moments before the incident.
Write detailed notes about your injury and treatment. You should include the names of your doctors and the dates of each appointment. You can also explain the physical or mental limitations you have experienced since the accident. For example, you might not be able to participate in recreational sports anymore because of a spinal cord injury.
Go to the hospital, an urgent care facility, or your doctor after you leave the accident scene. You should begin treating your injuries immediately.
Your doctor can diagnose your injury and might recommend a treatment plan. You should attend all necessary appointments until you heal or your medical providers release you from their care. Insurance carriers often use gaps in treatment as evidence of a non-existent or non-serious injury.
Keep Copies of Everything
Maintain records of everything associated with your personal injury claim. That might include copies of your billing statements, hospital records, surgical reports, and imaging test results. You can also keep track of out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident, such as transportation, household assistance, and other costs.
Although your personal injury attorney can gather evidence for your case, maintaining your own documentation is helpful. Sometimes, accident victims forget about a doctor they saw because it was only one appointment. Having copies of all your medical records ensures you don’t leave out vital information.
Avoid Discussing the Incident with Others
Many people depend on social media to keep in touch with friends and family. If you’re an avid social media user, you likely post about your life daily. However, your posts can damage the outcome of your personal injury case.
You should avoid social media altogether during your ongoing insurance claim. The insurance company might review your public accounts for evidence they can use against you. They can argue against a settlement if your posts indicate you focus more on your online presence than your recovery.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
You might assume an insurance claim is simple to handle alone. However, choosing not to seek legal representation can backfire. You need an experienced lawyer to assist you with the claims process. Without one, you can face a denied claim or obtain less money than you deserve.
Don’t Talk to the Insurance Adjuster
The at-fault party’s insurance carrier will likely contact you to discuss your claim. It’s crucial not to speak with them. Although it might seem like an innocent conversation, the adjuster is probably fishing for information they can use against you.
Once you retain legal representation, all communication can go through your lawyer. They can handle conversations with the adjuster about the accident, your injury, and other information.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Today
At Crantford Meehan, we have over 50 years of combined experience handling personal injury cases. We believe in representing South Carolina clients injured by the wrongdoing of others. We focus our efforts on every case we take to try to reach the best possible result. You will receive dependable legal services from a legal team who cares.