The most dangerous thing we do on a daily basis is drive a car. Approximately three million individuals are hurt in car accidents in the United States each year. There’s a strong possibility you’ll get in an accident at some point in your life, no matter how careful and protective you are behind the wheel. These wrecks involve financial consequences such as medical bills, future treatments, lost wages, and property damage. Many victims have thoughts and worries about how to pay for their increasing medical bills and financial losses after the shock from the accident passes. If you were involved in a wreck, you may be wondering how to get the most money from a car accident in Houston.
When another person causes an automobile accident, victims are entitled to monetary compensation under Texas law. Settlements and damages granted by the court can vary greatly. Some factors that determine the financial outcome of a vehicle accident claim, such as the severity of the injuries, are beyond the victims’ control.
Other decisions made by car accident victims in the minutes, days, and weeks following a collision can increase or decrease the value of their claims. Unfortunately, simple errors can have a substantial influence on your ability to recover the maximum amount of compensation for your losses. You’ll have a higher chance of earning the maximum amount if you start creating a good case from the outset.
Here’s how to maximize the amount of damages you are awarded for your wreck.
Car Accident? What to Do Afterward
You won’t know whether you’ll need to file a lawsuit until after an accident. The amount of money you get paid is determined by a variety of circumstances, some of which are beyond your control. What you do after your car accident injuries is critical to the amount of damages you receive.
You may start maximizing compensation in your personal injury case right away by following these tips:
Stay At the Scene of the Car Accident
Your basic human urge of flight may be triggered after a vehicle collision. Although you may believe that driving away is the quickest method to receive rapid medical help, it is never a wise choice.
If you are involved in an accident, you must stop and remain at the scene. Call the police if physical injuries, death, or substantial vehicle damage resulted from the accident. Basic contact and vehicle registration information must be shared with other drivers and responding police officers.
Serious criminal or civil consequences are consequences that arise when motorists flee the scene. Pull over to the side of the road out of traffic, if your vehicle is driveable but came to a halt in an unsafe spot on the road.
Call the Police
It is critical to call the police and file a driver’s accident report if you are hurt in an accident caused by someone else. The accident report will be very helpful in determining who was at fault. Do not confess wrongdoing or place blame on others when dealing with the police.
Gather As Much Evidence As Possible at the Scene
Establishing fault is the cornerstone of a successful personal injury claim. The insurance company for the other motorist’s driver may try to discredit your personal injury claim by claiming that you were partially to blame for the crash. This is known as proportionate responsibility in Texas. This means that your damages can be reduced if you are found to be at fault for part of the accident.
Gathering evidence at the scene if you are physically able, helps strengthen your case. You should write down or record everything you can remember. Memories are not reliable as time passes.
Before the vehicles involved in the accident are moved, take photos. Pay attention to the locations where contact was made and damage occurred. Be sure to get clear images of your vehicle damage before repairs are made. Also, take pictures of the accident scene itself – shots of the road, skid marks or debris left behind, weather or other conditions that may have contributed to the wreck, applicable traffic signs, and any additional property damage.
Take pictures of any bodily injuries visible at the scene of the crash. Be sure to continue documenting your injuries.
Collect contact information from other drivers and witnesses, including names and phone numbers, as well as the driver’s license number, details about the vehicle, the driver’s insurance carrier, and license plate tag for other drivers involved in the collision.
Make sure you document any statements from the other driver that admit fault. And finally, look for red-light cameras, street cameras, or security cameras that may have captured the accident. Note their location in case the insurance company tries to deny liability.
Seek Medical Treatment
Car accident victims generally experience a burst of adrenaline after an accident which may keep them from feeling pain. Plus, some injuries do not show symptoms for days or weeks. Even if you are not in pain right after the injury, you should seek medical help as soon as possible.
The burden of proof lies with the injured party in personal injury proceedings. It is harder to prove that your injuries are the result of the accident, and your claim may be harmed if you don’t see a medical provider in a timely manner.
Track Your Medical Bills and Expenses
You need to know how much money you lost due to the incident, for an accurate assessment of your claim’s worth. Keep a detailed record of all of your expenses. Include the amount of time you missed work due to your injuries. Be sure to note any sick or vacation time used and hours missed that caused lost earnings. This really depends on the type of work you do. If you work in an office, you may be able to continue working. However, if you sustain injuries and your job requires heavy lifting and physical labor, you may be unable to assume your regular job duties for a while.
Track all healthcare expenses, including costs for an ambulance, an emergency room visit, medical equipment, and any surgeries even if your medical insurance covers a percentage of the cost. Long hospital stays or residence in a rehabilitation facility, the cost of a care provider, transportation to and from appointments, and the expense of modifications to your home must be accounted for as well.
File A Claim With Your Car Insurance Company
It’s common for injured victims to experience strong emotional reactions right after a car collision. Because motor vehicle accidents are high-stress situations, your insurance company should not be the first call you make.
Once you’ve filed a police report, gathered data at the scene, and seen a medical provider for treatment, contact your insurance provider. You want to be level-headed and clear when explaining the incident. If you need one, speak to your agent about getting a rental car. Let your insurance provider know of any injuries right away. Keep in mind that you should not tell an insurance representative that you are unhurt after an accident. Be sure to seek medical attention first.
Hire a Lawyer
Contacting a Houston personal injury attorney as soon as possible is the most important step you take after a car accident to maximize your settlement amount. Many people assume they can handle their personal injury cases on their own.
However, you should get legal counsel for an assessment of your claim if:
You Suffered Injuries in the Accident
You may make a claim against the party or entity that caused your accident if the cost of your medical costs and lost wages exceeds the coverage of your personal injury protection policy. An experienced attorney assists you in determining the full worth of your claim.
There Is a Question Regarding Fault
Multiple parties may be liable in some accidents. Drivers are ultimately responsible for their actions behind the wheel, such as driving an unsafe vehicle, drinking and driving, or using a cell phone while driving. In addition, other circumstances, like road or weather conditions and mechanical failures may have contributed to the accident.
If there is any doubt regarding who caused your accident, an attorney helps gather evidence and craft a claim against all parties involved. Even if the police record incorrectly claims that you caused the collision, the Houston car accident lawyers at Reich & Binstock assist you in establishing who was at fault.
You Received a Fast Settlement Offer From the Insurance Company
The insurance company for the at-fault driver may contact you shortly after the collision with a settlement amount. Instead of providing you with the funds needed to cover your medical bills, the insurance company’s financial exposure is likely reduced by the settlement.
Many accident victims discover that having an attorney on their side boosts the amount of compensation granted by the insurance company. A personal injury lawyer ensures you receive adequate compensation for your vehicle accident.
Never Accept a Settlement Offer Without Speaking With Your Attorney First
Never take a settlement offer from a possible at-fault party without first consulting an attorney. The goal of these parties is to pay out the least amount of money possible.
We recognize automobile accident victims are under financial pressure to take the money. Make sure you aren’t being taken advantage of before accepting a settlement and relinquishing your rights. An experienced automobile accident lawyer can assist you in avoiding such unethical behavior and get you more money.
Allowing the claims procedure to run its course helps you get the most out of your settlement. At Reich & Binstock we understand that when bills are piling up and you are unable to work, this is easier said than done. Prepare yourself for a lengthy procedure and leave it to your car accident case lawyer to protect your legal rights. The insurance company won’t give up a large sum of money without a battle. Letting the process run its course often results in higher automobile accident compensation.
Don’t Speak to Others About Your Accident
Insurance companies and defense attorneys try to interview the accident victim as well as the victim’s friends, family, and coworkers. As a victim, you should always consult with your attorney before speaking with detectives. However, you should not speak with anyone else who might be contacted by investigators. Staying silent is the best way to protect yourself and them.
Don’t Post on Social Media
The other driver’s insurance company and insurance adjusters scour the web for incriminating things you’ve posted. They do this to reduce the value of your car accident claim. So, for the time being, avoid social media. If you really must post something, consult with your attorney beforehand.
Hire a Skilled Car Accident Attorney
It’s a good idea to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your case. That’s even if you had a minor accident and don’t think you need a lawyer. Often what appears to be a simple case, becomes more complicated with time.
You will have the benefit of someone who is familiar with car accident injury cases and all of the legal planning and preparation that goes into them if you hire a car accident attorney. To help you get a fair settlement for your injuries, a car accident attorney will gather all of the information, prepare your case, and speak with the insurance company.
You have rights if you were hurt in an automobile accident caused by someone else’s negligence. We work on a contingency fee basis at Reich & Binstock. That means you won’t be charged unless we win your case. Our Houston car accident lawyers work tirelessly to help you get the just compensation you deserve. To get your free case review, call 713-622-7271 or fill out our online form.