A Quick Guide on How to Claim a Compensation For a Car Accident
When you get into a car accident that you believe isn’t your fault, you’re left feeling a lack of justice about what has just happened to you.
15:41 29 November 2019
After all, why should you endure covering any losses resulting from another driver’s negligence? It’s even worse if you, or any of your loved ones, were left injured in the accident.
These are the times when you need to fight for your rights by filing a claim against the negligent driver to get fair compensation. However, in order for your claim to succeed, there are actions you need to take way before filing the official claim.Your process starts as soon as the accident happens. Here’s what you need to do.
Contact the Police
The presence of police officers at the scene of the accident will offer a lot of benefits. For starters, they’ll assess the damage and fill in all the details in their report. This report is usually required by insurance companies to support your claim, which can otherwise be denied. In addition to filing the report, they’ll be able to take any quick actions to maintain the safety of all individuals. This can include managing any fuel or oil leaks, calling help to tend to the injured passengers, or help you deal with the driver who caused the accident.
File an Accident Report
While a police report should provide sufficient official evidence of the accident, some states may require reporting the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), too. Filing a report to the DMV becomes your responsibility in case the police were unable to file it, or in case many vehicles have been involved in the accident. Laws vary depending on the state, but an accident report has time limits that can’t be exceeded. Failure to report the accident within the timeframe can result in paying fines or having your driver’s license suspended.
Call a Lawyer
In order to take every step needed to build a strong claim, consulting an experienced lawyer is advised. Lawyers specializing in personal injury and property damage following a car crash will advise you on the procedures you need to take to make sure that your rights are preserved. Their guidance will start at the scene of the accident, where they’ll advise you on what to say, warn you against certain actions that at-fault drivers might do to throw the blame on you, and direct you toward gathering the evidence that your claim needs. You’ll find their help invaluable after the accident as well, and they’ll guide you in calculating your compensation and fight alongside you until you get it.
Your lawyer will guide you through the following steps:
You’ll need to record all the evidence that you can find at the scene. This starts from taking pictures of the damage and injuries, to exchanging information with other drivers, collecting witness statements, and documenting your own report of the accident.
Calculating Special Damages
Special damages include all of the losses and financial costs you’ve endured, and will continue to endure, as a result of the accident. This includes property damage, medical bills, prescription costs, wages lost to injury, loss of earning potential, and any other tangible costs.
Calculating General Damage
General damage is calculated by estimating the pain and suffering you’ve gone through into a certain monetary value. This is often tricky to calculate, and the rules vary depending on the state. But it’s also something that insurance companies will try to deny you, so you’ll need all the help you can get.
Setting up a Claim
Even before filing the official claim, your lawyer will contact the insurer of the negligent driver to alert them about filing an official claim. This will prompt them into taking it seriously and acting rapidly in settling the claim before it turns into a lawsuit.
Once the claim is filed, negotiation with the insurer or adjustor of the negligent party will start. It’s important to know that they’ll try their best to reach a quick settlement, one that oftentimes doesn’t cover the full costs of the accident. Take your time, be patient, and don’t settle for less than you deserve.
The process of claiming compensation following car accidents starts as soon as it takes place. You should be quick to act. Once you check on the safety of everyone, make sure that you contact the police to file a report; sometimes you’ll need to file a report to the DMV as well. By contacting your lawyer, you’ll be sure to perform all the necessary steps needed before negotiating with the negligent party to reach a fair compensation.