Being involved in a car accident is something nobody wants to go through. The damage to your vehicle and emotional turmoil you experience are hard to deal with.
If you happened to be injured in your accident, that is a whole other battle. Your body needs to take time to heal, sometimes requiring time away from work and other responsibilities. Claiming your injury can also be difficult, as it is not always a cut and dry process.
Consider the following 4 factors that could potentially affect your car accident injury claim.
- Who Caused the Accident
Regardless of your state’s policies, it is important to determine who was at fault for the car accident.
If it was the other driver’s fault, strong evidence can benefit your claim. Eye witness accounts, official accident reports, pictures of the scene, and surveillance footage can all provide solid backing for your claim.
If you were at fault for the accident, your settlement amount might be lowered. In some states, the amount can also depend on the determined percentage of your negligence.
- Your Version of What Happened
When you are involved in an accident and give a statement, you should do your best to report exactly what you think happened.
Later on, you will also have to give a statement to your insurance company. They will compare it with statements you gave to police officers and/or health care providers. If there are inconsistencies across your statements and outside evidence, insurers will not be able to give you a sufficient settlement.
It might be a good idea to contact an attorney such as one of Tampa’s skilled personal injury lawyers. Those who have worked with insurance companies will know how to claim the appropriate compensation. They will help you clarify your statements and make sure the insurance companies know your side of the story.
- How You Proceeded After the Accident
If you were involved in a car accident, it is never a bad idea to immediately see a doctor. Even if you feel fine, injuries could end up revealing themselves later.
If you were noticeably injured, it is important that you seek medical care as soon as possible. Getting help right away will not only start the healing process sooner, but also benefit your claim. Insurance companies need to see that your injury impacted your life and that you took the necessary steps. Having a doctor examine your injuries sooner rather than later will help them link your injuries to the crash for insurance purposes.
If you do not seek help immediately, insurers might take that to mean that your injuries are not as severe as you claim. Especially if you have prior medical problems, they might say that your injury was not caused by the accident if you do not see a doctor right away. It is also important that you follow your doctor’s treatment plan and not make your injury worse.
It is vital to be checked out by a doctor following an accident. Sometimes adrenaline can disguise injuries, and sometimes injuries may seem less severe than they are. Feeling ‘just a little sore’ after an accident could be a symptom of multiple other injuries, and there’s no way to be sure without the help of a physician. These records will also help you pursue your personal injury claim should it be necessary.
- The Severity of Your Injuries
If your injuries are considered major, then you will likely be entitled to more compensation. Types of injuries that fall into this category include head/neck, brain, spinal cord, leg, and arm injuries or burns. Typically, if your injury leads to lifelong suffering or results in serious lifestyle changes, you will receive a higher claim.
If you suffered less severe injuries, you may not get as much compensation. Bruises, cuts, whiplash, and broken bones are all considered temporary injuries that will heal in a relatively shorter amount of time. Injuries that do not require you to miss work or caused temporary suffering will result in lower claims.
Regardless of your injuries, it is important to follow the right steps in order to get a sufficient claim. Take direct action after the accident, enlist an attorney, and be honest about what happened to ease your path to recovery.