If you have been injured in an automobile accident, you may have a valid accident claim entitling you to receive compensation for medical bill expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, among other losses. Insurance companies will fight hard to minimize any payout, so any auto accident claims must be thoroughly supported with appropriate records and documentation. For those who have been injured in traffic accidents, close attention should be paid to all medical-related correspondence throughout the duration of the claim process.
Some Documentation Tips for Personal Injury Auto Accident Claims:
- Take pictures of the damage to your car. Take multiple shots from a variety of angles and distances in order to demonstrate the full extent of any property damage your vehicle suffered.
- Snap photos of the accident location. Focus on getting images of any traffic lights, stop signs, or even a lack thereof, in the surrounding area. This could be important evidence for your claim later on.
- Pay close attention to your injuries and the medical attention you receive. You are wise to keep a journal regarding this information: doctor’s visits, pain, time off of work, etc… Update this record as often as possible, ideally daily, detailing the extent of your pain. A thorough, detailed record of your daily pain and suffering may end up painting a more complete picture than the provider’s medical records on their own.
- Always file correspondence with your medical providers that pertains to your injury. Make a note of any visits, letters, e-mails, or phone calls.
- Be sure to keep all of your medical-related receipts, including co-pays, prescription expenses, special equipment needed (i.e. crutches, walkers, canes, wheelchairs…), and the cost of special foods for any dietary restrictions you may have.
- Maintain a record of travel expenses that may accumulate as you commute to and from your medical appointments for treatment, monitoring, physical therapy, and so on.
- Pay close attention to the number of work days you miss due to the injury, and the corresponding loss of income. On days that you did work, did you have any restrictions? Were you able to perform all of your job activities to the best of your abilities?
Following the above tips will help your chances of maximizing recovery for your auto accident injuries. The documentation you keep will be instrumental in supporting your claim and proving all you endured post-accident. When it comes to negotiating with the at-fault driver’s insurance, hire an attorney who has experience. Do not be eager to settle, no matter how quickly the claims adjuster seeks to resolve your case. A fast check may be tempting, but once accepted, you will have no further recourse if you experience persistent or chronic pain going forward.
Insurance companies may tell you they need a recorded statement from you detailing the extent of your injuries in order to process the claim. This is not required and may be used against you later on to try and reduce your settlement. Questions regarding the extent of your injuries can catch you off guard, and may be difficult to answer without having sought a professional medical opinion, or having waited to see the types and severity of injuries that may manifest later on. Speaking with an insurance company about your injuries shortly after an accident is doing yourself a disservice and could ultimately lead to your claim being denied, or settled for a lesser amount than would fully compensate you.
When dealing with the opposing driver’s insurance company, you have the right to contact a lawyer, and have that lawyer present when answering questions or dealing with the claims process. Do not sell yourself short following injury in an automobile accident, do everything you can to help your chances of recovery in an auto accident lawsuit.
The personal injury claims process can be overwhelming at times, but hiring a knowledgeable auto accident attorney can help alleviate some of the stress. Attorneys understand the laws, the procedures, and their experience can work to your advantage. A lawyer can help with documenting the expenses, so you as the client can just focus on getting back on your feet. The attorneys and legal staff of d’Oliveira & Associates in Woonsocket, RI will charge no legal fees until you receive a settlement or award, so contact our office today at 1-800-992-6878, or fill out an online contact form for a free legal consultation.d’Oliveira & Associates
Woonsocket, RI 02895
Phone: (401) 762-4006