How to handle a road traffic accident injury claim

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Date: 27 February 2020

A recovery vehicle removes a car after a road traffic accident

There are risks, benefits and pitfalls to handling your own road accident claims. If you want to avoid some of the common pitfalls most people encounter while filing for their own accident claim then this article provides some useful tips to help you allow the way. We also highlight some of the factors that should help you determine whether you need the services of a professional lawyer or claims specialist.

How to determine whether you need a lawyer

If you have the time and patience (and the accident claim is not too complex), you may be able to tackle the bureaucracies that come with handling an accident claim yourself. However, you will need to gather as much evidence as you can to ensure you arrive at a fair settlement.  Your negotiating skills and knowledge of the law will help you get a fair deal as well as avoid some pitfalls.

If, for any reason, you are unsure about what to do, then you should hire a lawyer to do the job for you.  It's not essential to hire a lawyer; however, consultations are often free and can do your cause a whole lot of good. There is a large number of accident claims specialists that can handle the claim for you - some offering 'no-win, no-fee' terms.

A personal injury law firm can help champion your accident claim. They can offer valuable advice on the proper course of action to take and can explain your legal rights. A personal injury lawyer can negotiate a fair settlement to your claim as well as negotiate any repairs or car replacements.  The job of a personal injury lawyer is to champion your case and ensure you get all the money you deserve.

What are the pitfalls of not hiring a lawyer? If the claim is anything other than straightforward, you may end up messing up the case making it harder to process any claim that you rightfully deserve.

What to do when handling an injury claim

  1. Immediately get treatment - The first line of action in an accident is to get medical treatment.  Report all symptoms to your doctor including all injuries and any areas where you are experiencing pain. Make sure you do not exaggerate your condition and but equally you should never underplay any injuries. Keep copies of all medical appointments, letters and treatment plans and any bills you incur as you go. Your recovery is paramount, so ensure you attend all medical appointments.
  2. Investigation - Once you have recovered, it's time to collect as much evidence as you can. Gather all your medical records and bills, police reports, eye witness accounts and anything related to the accident. Rest assured, the other party's insurance company will collect as much evidence they can lay their hands on to use against you.
  3. Take as many photographs relating to the accident as you can - You shouldn't have your car repaired until you have taken as many photographs as you can.  You should have photographs of your damaged car, the car that hit you and the accident scene. This may be difficult to get though, especially if you were injured in the process. You many also have dashcam footage that can be used as evidence.
  4. Avoid releasing your medical records to the other party - Releasing your medical records to the other party's insurance company is a no-no. Don't do it.  Many accident victims fall into this trap and are unjustly taken advantage of.  Don't even release it to your own insurance company. Remember though, in some types of claim the medical records may be important.
  5. Don't reveal too much to the adjuster - Try your best not to reveal too much to the adjuster. Keep them informed but never tell them all there is to know. The gravity of your injuries will play an important role in what you should and should not reveal.
  6. Don't be pressured to settling the case - Most insurance adjusters are in a hurry to settle cases. Insurance companies will want you to settle things quickly in the hopes that they can cajole you into accepting less than you deserve.  Insurance adjusters are well-trained and will use a variety of tactics to get you to settle for less. It is at this point that you need the negotiating prowess of a dedicated personal injury lawyer.

Copyright 2020. Featured post made possible by Arash Law - San Diego Personal Injury Law Firm

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