9 Ways to Win Your Car Accident Case
1. Get Medical Attention Right Away
Insurance companies flag claims when people wait more than a few days before they go to the doctor. While no medical evidence exists to treat these claims differently, insurance companies know that jurors may question the treatment. Many folks try to wait and see if they will get better. If you are hurting, then go see a doctor. You will feel better faster and have an independent record/evidence of your injuries.
2. Tell Your Doctor About Everything That Hurts
I’ve had numerous cases where insurance companies point out that my injured client didn’t mention a second injury for many days or weeks later. Doctors will tell you that people focus on the injury that hurts the worst before focusing on other injuries. Once the worst injury heals, then it reveals pain in another part of the body. Also, some injuries can cause additional problems when an injured person compensates for the original injury.
3. Take Pictures of Everything
Start taking pictures from the moment of the collision. Take pictures of the scene. Take pictures of every vehicle in the collision. Take pictures of the damage. Take some close up pictures. Take some pictures from farther away. Take pictures of your injuries. Take pictures of your recovery. Take pictures of the bad times. Take pictures of successes in treatment.
If you have the ability, also take and keep video. If pictures are worth 1,000 words, then video is worth 1,000 pictures.
4. Keep a Journal and Stay Organized
Keep a journal or at least notations on your daily planner about your medical treatment. Write down your doctors appointments and what the doctors said. Write down your experience with your treatment. Write down your pain level and write down anything you could not do because of your injuries.
Making and keeping proper documentation will be indispensable to presenting your case to the insurance company. You would be surprised how much you will forget about your treatment even in a small amount of time.
5. Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Do what your doctors tell you to do. If your doctor tells you to followup with him or her in two weeks, then mark it on your calendar and do it. If your doctor tells you to do home exercises, then do them. If you do not believe your doctor’s orders are benefiting you, then discuss it with your doctor, but don’t ignore it. The insurance companies or defense lawyers will argue that the reason you never got better is because you did not follow your doctors order’s. So, do what your doctor tells you to do.
6. Organize Your Paperwork
Keep all of your auto accident related paperwork in one location. This could include, the report given to you by the investigating officer, medical records, medical bills, explanation of benefits from your health insurance company, information from your auto insurance company, and information from the other car’s insurance company.
7. Always Tell the Truth
The truth means the 100%, honest to God truth. But, you would be surprised how this comes up. Most people don’t set out to tell a lie. In fact, most people begin by telling the 100% truth. What happens is that the insurance company’s representatives or the defense lawyer ask you a question. However, they ask the question in a manner that implies they don’t believe you.
You feel defensive. How can this person question me when the other person is 100% at fault for hurting me? You feel you need to justify your actions. Unfortunately, the other side has you pinned and you “exaggerate,” just a little bit. The problem is that the other side can prove what you said is not 100% the truth and that means bad things for your case. Always tell tell the truth—100%.
8. Choose Your Words Wisely
Assume that any and every conversation with an insurance adjuster in being recorded. If you aren’t fine, then don’t say you are fine when the adjuster asks you how you are today. Don’t even say it when answering the telephone (sounds innocent right?). Consider this conversation:
Injured Person: Hello
Adjuster: Mr. Injured Person, my name is Mean Adjuster, how are you today?
Injured Person: I’m good, how are you?
Take a guess when you will hear that conversation again—sneaky huh? Understand that the insurance adjusters generally want to pay you as little as possible.
9. Find Out If You Need a Lawyer
Some people say you need a lawyer anytime you are ever in an automobile accident. However, hundreds and thousands of people handle their own car accident settlements every year. To find out if you need a lawyer, read my guide. Note, if you or a loved one has been in a catastrophic collision, you may need immediate help. For example, you may need to keep the vehicle you were traveling in or hire an investigator for a more thorough investigation.