When we get behind the wheel of a car, we know that an accident can happen but we never expect it. You may not even hear or see the other car before it hits you. In fact, the last thing you remember may be driving along just like normal, heading to the store or to work. You may not even know there has been an accident until you wake up in the hospital.
You may have many questions after your accident but not even know where to begin. You may still be struggling to recover from your injuries or to make arrangements for your work. Trying to navigate personal injury laws may seem too complex or overwhelming in your state.
Here are a few things to know to help you make sense of it all after being injured in an accident:
Don’t Give a Recorded Statement
After you have been in an accident, the responsible insurance company will call to ask you about what happened. They will likely ask you if they can record the call. Never agree to give a recorded statement. The insurance company is looking for any information to try to deny your claim or to reduce the settlement it must give you. Giving a recorded statement will give them the ammunition they need to find evidence against you.
Don’t Take the Settlement You are Offered
The insurance company may offer you a settlement after gathering the information about the accident. This settlement will almost certainly be less than what you could get for your injuries and the losses you have suffered. The insurance company’s goal is to save as much money as possible to protect its profits. It will offer you as little as it feels it can get away with paying you.
Consider Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
You may have a legal case if you can show that the accident was not your fault and you suffered injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence. This can be as simple as showing someone hit you because they were speeding or ran a red light.
A personal injury lawyer can guide you through the legal process and give you advice about how to handle the insurance company. A lawyer can also fight to get you more compensation than you would have gotten negotiating with the insurance company on your own.
What You Can Get Compensation For
You may be able to get compensation for the medical bills you have paid already, as well as those you are expected to have. For example, if you suffered serious back injuries in your accident, you may have to get multiple surgeries and undergo extensive occupational therapy.
You may also be able to get compensation for the time you have missed from work, as well as the time you are expected to lose. In some cases, your injuries may prohibit you from working in the same capacity. For example, you may lose your ability to walk or may not be able to use your hand. You may even be able to get compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced.
The time after your accident can be confusing and overwhelming. Working with a personal injury lawyer can help you make sense of it all and move forward in a way that will protect your legal rights.
By Derrick Manning