Being in a car accident is a horrible experience; one that can leave you scarred for life.
Even if you get out of it with mild physical injuries, it can still prove to be very serious trauma that can cause you psychological problems for the rest of your life. After finding yourself in this type of a life-threatening situation, you have the right to be compensated for all the difficulties someone else’s negligence has caused you. However, dealing with insurance companies and trying to get a fair settlement is not an easy task.
That’s why it would be a good idea to hire a lawyer, and have someone who knows how to handle this type of case. Let’s see what’s needed to win a personal injury lawsuit.
Finding professional help
First things first, find a good attorney who already has experience with these types of cases. As stated by a car accident lawyer in Montgomery, Alabama, hiring a professional will allow you to focus on dealing with your injuries and getting better. The professional will know how to approach this whole process and do everything to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
When picking the person who will handle your case, don’t rush. It’s important to find the one you feel understands you and what you’ve been through, and who will be at your disposal for whatever question you might have. Schedule a meeting with them, explain the situation, and ask everything you want to know. If you think that this collaboration will be productive, you can hire them.
They know all the stages of this process and will be able to explain to you what you should expect. Also, be aware that these procedures can last a long time. So, make sure you are prepared for that, and be patient.
Filing a claim
Before you file a lawsuit, you are going to file a claim to the driver’s insurance company. The truth is that the majority of these cases are settled outside of the courtroom, but there is still the possibility you will have to step in front of the judge.
After you file a claim, you or your attorney will be contacted by the insurance adjusters who are responsible to handle these situations. They revise the case, and try to settle with you for as little as possible, and as quickly as possible.
If you have someone professional handling this procedure, never talk to the adjusters alone. They will do everything possible to get you to take their offer. So, in case they contact you, make sure you refer them to your lawyer.
Your attorney will have the task to collect evidence that backs up your claim. In certain instances, this can be rather easy, like if the defendant has made some traffic law violation. However, your medical record, as well as testimonies from eyewitnesses is going to be required, and they will make your case stronger.
If you’re not seriously injured, you can start gathering proof of wrongdoing while still on the crash scene. Simply take photos with your phone or ask someone else to do it for you. You might even want to talk with bystanders, and ask for their contact information in case you need them to be a witness. And, you can even write down the details you remember about what happened while everything is still fresh in your memory.
Assessing the damage
Aside from medical records, you can also keep a journal and note how you feel and how the recovery is going day by day. Also, physiological trauma is as serious as the physical, so don’t think you don’t have the right to compensation if you’re facing something like this. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is far from unusual for car accident survivors. Anxiety, flashbacks, and mood changes, among others, can appear after some time, and don’t be quick to dismiss them but look for help from a professional.
Generally, how much you can request in a settlement will depend on the seriousness of your injuries. People with more severe health problems will be able to ask for greater amounts as they will have higher medical expenses and might not be able to go back to work. Your lawyer will be able to determine how much is appropriate to request based on your state and the evidence he/she gathered.
Car accidents are not unusual, unfortunately. That’s why it’s important to know what are your rights and obligations if you ever find yourself in one.