Ways to Maximize Your Car Accident Settlement
Car accidents are expensive, and you likely won’t realize the full financial impact of a crash for months or years. Despite this, insurance companies are determined to pay accident victims as little as they possibly can. How can you fight back and get what you deserve?
At Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne, we advocate aggressively for each and every client. If you’ve been hurt in a crash and you want to hold the insurance company accountable, call us at 251-336-3685 to set up a consultation.
Report the Accident to the Police
Make sure you report the crash to the police if you want fair compensation. The other driver may not want to call them, but that’s a red flag—it often means that they want to settle the crash outside of insurance to avoid their rates increasing. The result is usually that the victim is poorly compensated for their losses. Call the police at the scene of the crash and ensure that they create a report for it. Get a copy of the report as soon as you can.
Spend Some Time Taking Pictures
Evidence is king in a personal injury claim, and there is plenty of it available after a car accident. Your time is limited, however—a lot of the evidence available to you will be gone hours after a crash. Before you leave the scene, spend a few minutes taking pictures of the crash scene and your injuries.
Take photos of the scene from multiple angles, making sure to include license plates, street names, and other identifying information. If possible, you may also want to get video footage to provide a full picture of what happened. Once you get home, make copies of the photo files and upload them to a cloud-based storage system for safety.
Write Down What Happened
The details of the accident will slip away faster than you expect, but those same details are an important part of your personal injury claim. At your earliest convenience, sit down and write about what happened.
Stick to the objective facts and avoid including emotion or speculation in what you write down. Write down exactly what happened prior to, during, and after the accident. Include any observations that may be relevant. If there were any eyewitnesses, ask them to write down a retelling of the crash as well. It could be useful to your attorney.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
People often wait too long to see a doctor after a crash, which puts their personal injury claim in danger. The longer it takes you to get medical care, the easier it is for the other party’s insurance company to claim that your injuries were caused by something else. Whether you go to an urgent care center or emergency room, report any injuries you’ve noticed and any symptoms you may be having. Keep copies of any documentation you receive and any copays or other costs you incur.
Talk to an Attorney Before Talking to the Insurance Company
Hiring a personal injury lawyer is one of the most important parts of maximizing your injury settlement. Insurance companies are in the business of parting with as little money as they can, and laypeople do not know how to get around that. An attorney does, though. The sooner you can connect with an attorney, the sooner they can take over communication with the other party’s insurance provider.
Ideally, you’ll talk to a lawyer before you have any communication with the other driver’s insurance. This prevents you from unintentionally saying anything that will hurt your claim—believe us, the other driver’s insurance adjuster will try to get you to say something that they can use against you. Look for an attorney that has handled claims similar to yours before.
Maximize Your Settlement With the Help of Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne
The team at Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne holds negligent drivers and their insurance companies accountable. Let us use our years of experience and knowledge to help you as you seek compensation. Call our Fairhope office at 251-928-1915, call our Bay Minette office at 251-336-3685, or get in touch with our team online to set up a consultation now.