You’ve been hurt in a car accident and you’re ready to file a personal injury claim—how do you make the most of it? At this point, you likely know that insurance companies do everything they can to prevent victims from getting a fair settlement, and you want to fight back.
There’s a lot you can do to maximize your settlement value, and it all starts with talking to an attorney. Call the team at Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell at our Chatom office at 251-336-3411 or our Bay Minette office at 251-336-3697.
Get Evidence at the Scene
If you are able to keep your presence of mind at the scene of the crash, you definitely want to gather the evidence before you leave. It can be hard to do this, so don’t worry if you didn’t get pictures or anything else from the scene—you can still make the most of your claim with the other tips below. However, evidence from the scene can be very helpful, so do everything in your power to get it.
What type of evidence should you get before you leave? Photographs and video footage are among the best types of evidence available. You want proof of the damage that occurred, where the accident happened, and the final resting place of the vehicles.
Crash investigators can get a lot of information from this, including whether or not either party took evasive action. Try to take photos from multiple angles, including details like road signs. You can also get contact information for any eyewitnesses, information regarding the police report, and insurance information for the other driver.
Avoid Talking to the Other Party’s Insurance
This is incredibly important. The other party’s insurance company will probably reach out to you in the days after the accident; but remember – they are not on your side. They may sound nice or even sympathetic about your injuries, but they aren’t interested in doing what’s right for you.
The insurer wants to get any information they can use to diminish your claim’s value and prevent you from getting fair compensation. Anything you tell them will be used only for that purpose. If they reach out to you, refer them to your attorney and leave it at that.
Keep a Personal Injury Journal
Insurance companies always want to claim that your injuries aren’t as bad as you say they are. A personal injury journal provides evidence of how your injuries impact your daily life and your quality of life. Your attorney can give you more specific information about what to include in your personal injury journal, but you may want to include:
- Your pain level each day
- Every medical appointment you attend and the outcome of each one
- Tasks you are unable to do or need help with because of your injury
- Time spent away from work because of your injury
- Any extra expenses you incur as a result of your injury
Over time, your personal injury journal will show progress in your injuries and paint a picture of how your daily life has changed. This is incredibly important if you want fair compensation, as it catches details that you may not otherwise think about.
For example, you might notice that you need help picking your kids up from school at least three times per week because of your pain levels. That’s an extra cost and inconvenience that you should be fairly compensated for.
Talk to an Attorney As Soon As Possible
Hiring an attorney is one of the best ways to strengthen your personal injury claim and force the insurance company to negotiate with you fairly. Insurance companies are very good at tricking consumers and victims. However, the tricks they use on consumers just don’t work on attorneys. When you work with an experienced personal injury attorney, you can feel confident that they will act in your best interests and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Reach Out to Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell Now
The team at Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell is committed to helping victims like you fight for fair and full compensation. If you’re ready to discuss your claim and plan your next steps, set up a consultation now. Just call us at our Chatom office at 251-336-3411 or our Bay Minette office at 251-336-3697 or send us a message online to have one of your personal injury attorneys reach out to you.