If you have sustained an injury, here are some secrets that can help you get a fair treatment:
1. Conduct complete investigation
You should conduct a thorough investigation by getting statements from different witnesses, medical reports, and police reports. In fact, you should hire a private investigator and an accident reconstruction expert to help you collect any information related to the accident. Since your insurance company will still collect relevant information against you from the scene, you will be disadvantaged if you fail to do a thorough investigation.
2. Get photographs of all important elements in your case
Remember to get photographs of your car, the car that hit you, the accident scene, injuries sustained, etc. Photographs gives a clear image of what happened, injuries you sustained and offers a platform to have ideas of how the accident happened. You need to take as many photographs as possible for your attorney to choose what he or she sees fit to use in the case.
3. Avoid releasing your medical record to other party’s insurance company
You should never release your medical information to any other insurance company because they can use it against you! Your medical report is only entitled to your insurance company and you should not share the information with anyone else because you will be limiting your chances of getting compensated.
4. Get the insurance company to set up a high reserve account
Normally, after an accident, your insurance company establishes a reserve account which is supposed to pay for all your claims. You should understand that the money your insurance company puts in the reserve account is based on the facts they’ve collected after your accident. Therefore, you should pay close attention to the amount they allocate to the reserve account. If your insurance company reserves a small amount of money, it will pressure your adjuster to settle your claim and this will put more pressure on you and you might end up being under-compensated. However, if they have allocated enough or more money to the account, you don’t have much trouble getting compensated.
5. Inform your adjuster about the seriousness of your injuries
You need to keep the adjuster informed about your current condition of your injuries to help him or her increase the reserve amount depending on your current health conditions. Hence, if your condition has got worse or you’ve developed another problem as a result of the injuries, you are required to keep the adjuster informed to update the account. If you fail to inform the adjuster, you might end up having less amount in the reserve account and you will be on the losing end after all because the supervisor and the adjuster will work against you to avoid paying you more money!
6. Don’t let your adjuster pressure you while settling your injury case
Insurance adjusters are cunning, and they use all kinds of methods to make you settle for less amount. They can use intimidation, mount pressure on you to admit that the accident was your fault or partly your fault so that they do not settle your claim. On the other hand, the adjuster may be polite or kind to earn your trust so that he or she can trick you into signing a statement or record a statement which may be used against you in a trial. You are advised not to succumb to this pressure because you have your rights and you need a fair hearing. You should understand that, the longer you case remains open, the higher the chances of getting compensated because the insurance company puts pressure on the supervisor and the adjuster to settle the claim. You, however, need a lawyer to advise you on what you should do because you will get a lot of offers during the process. You need to make rational decisions to avoid losing your claim or getting a claim which is less than what you should get.
7. Keep a daily diary of your injuries
In case your case is not settled before a trial, you will need to explain to the jury what you have been going through because of the injuries sustained. You need to have a day to day diary of the injuries to show how many days, weeks or months you were in pain, how long you have been seeking medical attention, how long you’ve experienced headaches, muscle spasms etc. All this information will be accurate and tallying with your medical records. Therefore, your answers will not be vague helping you to back up your claims and maintain your credibility throughout the case.
8. Know all your damages
Include all the damages you incurred during the injury. These damages may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of income due to time off work
- Cost of medical treatment
- Loss of business
- Cost of a rental car
- Loss of consortium
- The cost of hiring a housekeeper or an in-home nurse
- Cost of fixing your car
- Cost of hiring a taxi to seek medical help
- Cost of hiring a psychologist or a medical counselor to help you with stress
- Any other damage incurred as a result of the injury
9. Keep all bills and receipts related to your accident
If you are not able to provide your bills and receipts, it may not be easy for you to prove you used the amount stated. You should keep all the bills and receipts as a proof of payment whether hospital bills, car rental, car fixing, pharmacy bills etc.
10. Know all your injuries
You need to seek medical help so that you can know all your injuries. It is not easy to tell whether you are injured unless you get professional help. In fact, some injuries may not show for week or months only to be seen after you’ve ruled them out. Therefore, don’t rush to rule out injuries to avoid limiting your claim. Suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is also an injury and without professional help, you may not be able to tell whether you are suffering from PTSD.
11. Know the sources of your insurance coverage
Most victims do not know where they can collect their insurance coverage from. They hence end up getting claims from only one insurance company. You may need an expert to help you determine whether you can collect insurance coverage from more than one policy.
12. Stay under your doctor’s care until he or she releases you
Don’t cease getting medical attention if your doctor still insists you should go. He or she is an expert and he knows the risks you may be facing from the injuries. In addition, your insurance company may argue that your injuries may have healed sooner if you continually sought medical help. If you cannot be able to continue paying your medical bills, a personal injury lawyer may help you know the options you have to get medical help.
13. File your lawsuit right away
If you want to get your claim, you need to file your lawsuit as soon as your doctor releases you from your treatment. You will not only pressure the insurance company but also show them that you are serious and they are approaching a court case for your car accident claims. Therefore, don’t waste time at all to stand a chance of getting your claim.
14. Seek help from a qualified lawyer
Since you may not be having necessary skills and experience, you need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney to evaluate your case and advise you accordingly. By just looking at the police reports, medical bills, doctor’s report among other information, the lawyer can the value your injuries and give you an estimate of your case. He will also advise you on the best course of action, where to start and what to do.
15. If you decide to hire a lawyer, choose a trial attorney who is not afraid to go to court
Insurance companies usually keep tabs on the lawyers and they know which lawyers can go all the way to the court and those that prefer settling outside the court. The choice of the lawyer can determine whether you will get your claim and the amount you will get as your claim. When you’re in an injury lawsuit, courts tend to side with the victim and since insurance companies are aware of this, they prefer settling outside the court. Therefore, if they can intimidate the lawyer you’ve hired, you will end up getting under-compensated. You need to do a thorough research on the best auto accident lawyers in Las Vegas, NV you are about to hire, his or her success rate, qualifications, skills, experience among other factors.
Law Office of Rodney K. Okano
6069 S Fort Apache Rd #100,
Las Vegas, NV 89148, USA
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