Car accidents may be simple or complex, depending on the circumstances of the case. Once you are involved in one, there are some tips that may help you quickly resolve the matter. Otherwise, the case will drag on into a "he said, she said" case with no evidence to support either side.
The Basic and Necessary Information
Even though you were involved in the accident with another driver, you usually do not contact the other driver directly. Instead, you typically contact either your car insurance company or the other driver’s car insurance company. Before you contact anyone, however, you should get the following information:
- The name of the other driver
- The name of that driver's insurance company and his policy number
- License plate numbers from the cars involved
- Photographs of the accident scene and vehicles
- The names and contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident
- A copy of the police record, if the police were called
Dealing with insurance companies is a frustrating process. Their goal is to limit your settlement amounts and to prevent any lawsuits. Furthermore, they will only give you damages if there is evidence of the damages and an establishment of who was at fault.
Injuries to the Car
There are two types of damages that you may collect from a car accident: injuries to your car and injuries to yourself. Generally, injuries to your car are easier to prove. These include:
- Vehicle damage
- Damage to any personal property inside the car at the time
- Car rental for a replacement vehicle for the time your vehicle is being fixed
- Any out-of-pocket expenses pertaining to your car, such as a tow truck or a taxi to return home from the accident scene
Injuries to the Person
Personal injuries are more difficult to settle upon, especially if the injuries are more serious with future pain and suffering. Typically, current medical expenses are easily calculated as there are hospital bills. However, damages for any future pain and suffering, physical therapy, loss of earning capacity, and lost wages are highly contested. Thus, negotiating a favorable settlement for your physical injuries will take a lot more time and energy.
Consulting an Attorney
If you are uncertain about the true value of your car accident, it is best to consult a personal injury lawyer. The lawyer will help you figure out the monetary amount of damages that you are entitled to, and even help you negotiate with the insurance companies.