Over five million car crashes occur every year in the United States. That works out to over 14,000 per day . Granted, a lot of these wrecks are low-speed collisions which appear to cause little or no damage. However, appearances can be deceiving. If you’ve been to a body shop lately, you know how expensive repairs can be, even if they don’t look bad. Furthermore, even low-speed collisions often cause whiplash and other serious head injuries. A minor shake could cause a serious injury.
Mostly because they sustain disorienting head injuries, many car crash victims aren’t thinking clearly after accidents. So, many victims unintentionally do, or don’t do, things that hurt their claims later. That’s understandable. I often say and do the wrong things, head injury or not. Victims who stick to a basic do/don’t list have a much better chance of obtaining maximum compensation for their serious injuries.
This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Victims need this compensation to pay medical bills, property damage bills, and other accident-related expenses. Furthermore, many victims miss several weeks, or more likely several months, of work.
Even if a third party, like a health insurance company, pays most or all of these expenses, a tortfeasor (negligent driver) should pay for these losses. If health insurance companies pay, we all pay, in the form of higher insurance premiums. That ain’t right.
On a related note, victims deserve this compensation, so they can move forward with life. Quite frankly, these victims need money to pick up the pieces of their lives.
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If possible, victims should take pictures of damage, get the names and contact information for witnesses, make a note of nearby surveillance cameras, and otherwise collect evidence. These things often aren’t possible. Seriously injured victims are in no position to do any of these things.
However, all victims can see doctors, even if they don’t “feel” injured. Adrenaline usually masks pain. So, victims don’t know how badly they’re hurt until doctors evaluate them. This doctor probably shouldn’t be a family doctor. Many car crash injuries, like whiplash, are difficult to diagnose.
If you don’t know where to go, an attorney can refer you to a well-qualified doctor. Usually, this doctor charges nothing upfront.
Speaking of an attorney, victims should contact lawyers ASAP. We all know how hard it is to win a game if you must play from behind. So, the sooner you reach out to a lawyer, the better.
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In general, don’t say anything to anyone if you can avoid it. That includes posting items on social media.
Specifically, don’t give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company. Telephone adjusters might come across as affable types, like Jake from State Farm. However, these individuals are trained to pry incriminating statements from victims. That’s one reason these conversations are recorded “for quality and training purposes.”
Additionally, don’t say “I’m sorry” to the other driver. We usually apologize to express sympathy. But a lawyer knows how to twist a friendly apology into a liability admission. Don’t give an insurance company lawyer that chance.
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