People injured in a car accident usually want to know how much their case is worth. Unfortunately, there is no such things as a “one size fits all” or a magic injury calculator that can give you an accurate amount. There are just too many different facts and variables that make each case different. While there may not be an accurate magic injury calculator, there ARE 7 Easy things you can do to help the value of your case! Lets go over these 7 Easy Steps.
Step One: Take Photos!
- The Car Wreck
- If you are able to (without injuring yourself further), take photographs of the scene, damage to the vehicles involved in the wreck, any skid marks or anything else that may have contributed to the car wreck.
- Your Injuries
- At the Emergency Room or Hospital immediately following the collision? Take photographs of any visible injuries while you are there.
- It may take a few days for injuries to appear visible, such as large bruises or contusions caused by a seat belt, burn marks from an airbag, scrapes, glass shrapnel, or newly prescribed braces or casts.
- Take photographs or video of your healing journey. Are you struggling with normal daily activities? It may seem odd but ask a friend or loved one to video it.
- Take photos while you are at Physical Therapy, getting a cast removed or any other medical treatment that may showcase the severity of your injuries caused by the collision.
Step Two: Get Witness Information!
- If there are witnesses to your collision, make sure you get their full name and phone number.
- Never assume that Law Enforcement will add witness contact information to the police report.
- If you are unable to get witness information due to your injuries, if there is an able-bodied friend or loved one riding with you, ask them to collect the witness information.
Step Three: Get Medical Treatment!
- If you wait longer than 72 hours to seek medical treatment, you could be decreasing the value of your case!
- If you are unable to get in to see your Primary Care Physician within the first 72 hours following the car wreck – go to the Emergency Room or an Urgent Care for an initial medical appointment for your injuries.
Step Four: Hire a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney
- This may be the most important one – to learn more on why you need a lawyer for your personal injury claim, check out our blog on the topic by clicking here.
- There are many Personal Injury and Car Wreck Lawyers to choose from.
- Make sure the attorney you choose is in good standing with your State Bar
- Make sure you research Attorney’s and Law Firm’s to make sure they are qualified to handle car wreck cases.
- You will want to choose an Attorney or Law Firm whose main area of practice is Personal Injury and Car Wreck Law.
- Make sure the attorney or Law Firm you choose has a winning track record for car wreck cases. Ask to see a list of their verdicts and settlements.
- Check online reviews and ask friends and neighbors.
- Choose a local or Regional Attorney or Law Firm who practice in your area. Not only are you more likely to get a more personal touch, but many times, local attorneys and Law Firms may be more familiar with the area and jurisdiction.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident in Auburn, Opelika, East Alabama or West Georgia, Call Trip Walton, “the Fighter” and let him and his team of experienced Top Personal Injury Lawyers and Support Staff Fight for You! Trip Walton and his team have more than $100 Million in verdicts and settlements making Walton Law Firm the most successful Personal Injury Law Firm in our area. Schedule your consultation today!
Step Five: Continue Your Medical Treatment!
- Not continuing your medical treatment is what we refer to in the Personal Injury Law Firm Industry as “Gaps in Medical Treatment”. This is never a good thing for the value of your case.
- If a Medical Professional has advised, you continue treatment or to follow up with a specialized doctor such as an orthopedic doctor or advised you to go to Physical Therapy… then make sure that you do that in a timely manner.
- Do not wait months between medical treatment.
Step Six: But Wait… Do Not Over Treat!
- Insurance companies invest large sums of money investigating and studying injury claims. They hire nurses and doctors to determine whether medical treatment an injured patient receives is “reasonable and necessary”.
- We see it time and time again. Someone has been injured in a car accident at no fault of their own and they started out with a pretty decent value for their case. However, months down the road it is determined that the person injured has been treating for longer and more frequently than they should have. Insurance companies will use this information against the injured party and could allege the injured party is attempting to inflate the value of their claim, casting doubt on the injured person’s credibility.
- Please keep in mind, many auto insurance companies and adjusters don’t view Chiropractor treatment on the same level as other medical treatment. Due to this, if most of the treatment a patient has is Chiropractic care, many adjusters will set the value of your case lower than it should be.
Step Seven: Do Not Speak to the Insurance Company without speaking to your Attorney First!
- Once you sign a contract with an Attorney, they will send the car insurance company a letter of representation letting the auto insurance company know that you are being represented by legal counsel and all communication will need to be directed through your attorney and or their staff.
- However, before you sign a contract with an Attorney, you may start the property damage claim process on your own. In this case, many times, car insurance companies will attempt to contact you to get “your side of the story” about what happened in the car wreck.
- It is best to either not speak to them at all without representation or
- Answer all questions with “yes” or “no” or “do not recall”. Never go into detail.
- They will ask you if there were any injuries sustained in the collision. If there was an injury, simply state “yes”. Do not go into detail until you have had the opportunity to review your case with a qualified personal injury or car wreck attorney, like Trip Walton and his team at Walton Law Firm.
If you follow these easy 7 steps, you are on the right track to getting a better car wreck settlement!
**Every case is different. Values of cases are determined by (but not limited to) severity of injury and medical treatment, facts and circumstances surrounding the collision, insurance coverage available, state the collision occurred in, and court district or venue the collision occurred. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to car wreck cases, claims, settlements, lawsuits, trials, or verdicts. To properly evaluate the value of a car wreck settlement or claim, it is important to discuss your motor vehicle collision and injuries with a qualified local Personal Injury Attorney.**