Being involved in a car accident can change your life drastically. One moment you’re driving on the highway focused on your destination. The next moment, you’re in shock, stopped on the side of the road. You are in pain and frazzled by the crash. Most importantly, you must take immediate steps to safeguard your health. You must ensure that you are safe and free from any physical harm. If you suffer injuries that require immediate medical attention, you should call 911.
But if you deem yourself physically able, you should take the necessary steps to protect your rights. For example, you should take photos of the scene and property damage. If you begin feeling pain even a few days after the wreck, you should contact an attorney to help you navigate through the legal process of making a claim for your damages. But before you speak to your lawyer, you can take some key steps to help lay the foundation for your case. By doing so, you may protect your ability to recover damages for the losses you’ve incurred. You can help work toward settling your Sugar Land car accident case from the moment the crash happens.
To settle your car accident case effectively, you may do several things immediately after the accident to improve your likelihood of receiving a proper settlement.
You should immediately call the police after an accident. As you wait for their arrival, you can also take it upon yourself to collect information about the accident. For example, you can take photos of the scene, your injuries if any, the other driver’s contact information, and their insurance company.
Once the police arrive, explain to them what happened and request for medical evaluation. You do not necessarily have to go to the hospital immediately to recover for your injuries. After you return home, request for any medical reports and police reports to present to the Defendant’s insurance company. The police especially play a critical role in determining fault for the accident.
It’s very common for insurance adjusters to contact you after an accident. They normally have an initial settlement offer that may seem like a reasonable offer. Although you may be happy to see that they are ready and willing to compensate you, you should always remember that their interests are that of the insurance company. This means that they will offer the lowest amount that they believe you will accept. They may even make it seem like they are bending over backward to get you such a high offer. But most likely, the offer will not be enough to cover the real value of your pain and suffering. It is advisable that communication should be done through your local attorney.
If you do decide to represent yourself against the insurance company, understand that you will need to prove your injuries by providing your medical records to the insurance company. If you plan to continue with medical treatment, it is advisable to wait until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement before attempting to settle your case. In Sugar Land and all of Texas, you have up to two years to resolve your injury claim before you need to file a lawsuit to preserve your claim.
Not all car accidents require the help of an attorney. However, if you suffered significant injuries or your car was totaled, it is in your best interest that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney. The lawyer can be vital in your claims as he or she can help you navigate through the complex legal processes and put the proper pressure on the insurance company.
What’s more, having an attorney allows you to focus on other things such as your medical treatment without halting the movement toward settlement.
Before going to court, your car accident attorney can try to come to an agreement with the insurance company on the value of your claims with your approval. In some cases, he or she will base his or her argument on the economic damages you suffered. For example, if all your economic damages amount to $10,000, your lawyer will likely demand at least this amount. However, the amount should be increased to cover your non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and permanent impairment.
If successful, the insurance company will offer you the amount of compensation, and the case will be settled. However, should the negotiations fail, you will likely need to pursue your claim in court. All evidence will be brought before the jury for determination. The jury’s verdict will be final absent any appeals.
Settling a Sugar Land car accident case can be mind-boggling at times. Apart from the hard evidence that you will be required to show your damages, you will also be expected to prove that the other driver was driving negligently. Our lawyers at Lone Star Injury Attorneys have decades of experience negotiating personal injury claims. Should we fail to reach an amicable solution with the insurance company, our lawyers are equipped to present your case to a jury. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.