Every year, about 6 million car accidents occur in America, and some of those are cause for auto accident injury claims; illegal driving practices such as using a cell phone or driving drunk count as negligence. Given the prevalence of unsafe driving, it should be no surprise that the majority of personal injury lawsuits in the United States are filed in response to car accidents.
Auto accident injury lawyers help their clients prepare for negotiations or (if necessary) court, reviewing evidence and helping to prevent costly errors. But there are some aspects of a case auto accident injury attorneys can’t control. Here are five ways that you can ensure you get the fair compensation you need to cover medical costs, lost wages and other expenses associated with being injured in a car accident:
- Call the Police
You should call the police after any accident, but this is especially important if you know or suspect that you’ve been injured — even to a minor degree. The report the police officer makes, including his or her assessment of which driver was at fault, will be an important part of building and legitimizing a personal injury case.
- Document the Scene
If you’re able, document as much as you can about the accident. Take photos of both cars and the surrounding environment using your phone (it’s also a good idea to keep a disposable camera in your glove compartment in case your cell dies). Also take note of how many people were involved, their information, what cars were involved and how badly they were damaged.
- Stay Consistent
If you’re injured in an accident, you’ll be asked to relay what happened to multiple people: cops, medical professionals, insurance company investigators and auto accident injury lawyers. All stories vary slightly each time they’re told — even true ones — so there’s no need to stress out if you can’t remember exactly what you said the last time. But try to keep your accounts consistent, resisting the urge to exaggerate.
- Be Timely
If you suspect you might be injured, don’t wait around for weeks waiting to see if your pains go away on their own. Seek medical treatment right away (from an M.D. if possible, since other kinds of practitioners are taken less seriously in the legal system), and contact a legal professional as soon as you know whether you’ll need to file a suit to cover your costs.
- Keep Medical Records
Keep copies of anything relating to your injury. This includes medical files, prescriptions and bills from doctors and insurance companies. Not only will they help prove that you were injured in the first place, the severity of your injuries and cost of treatment will be huge factors in determining a fair settlement that can meet your needs.
Have you worked with auto accident injury lawyers in the past? Do you have any advice for strengthening a personal injury case? Share your perspective in the comments.