Motor vehicle accidents occur commonly on the roads, so it is important to know what to do if you find yourself in one. Motor vehicle accidents happen due to a number of reasons and can involve cars, buses, motorcycles and trucks. It is important to take the appropriate steps towards a motor vehicle accident claim immediately after the incident has occurred.
Read on for a guide to car accident claims.
Collect evidence from the car accident scene
The best way to gather accurate evidence for your motor vehicle accident claim is to start as soon as the incident occurs. This means taking photographs of each vehicle involved and their damaged areas. Be sure to take close up and far away shots as you never know which might be useful or relevant in your car accident claim.
Take down the contact details of any drivers involved in the accident, including their license plate number and insurance details, as you will need these for your car accident claim. If there were any pedestrians or drivers nearby that witnessed the accident, be sure to take down their contact details as well. You may need them to provide a witness statement, if any issues as to liability arise.
You may also want to take note of the weather and road conditions at the time of the accident. These details may come in handy when determining how the accident occurred and who was at fault
Seek medical assistance immediately
It is important to seek medical assistance if you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, even if your injuries do not seem severe. Delaying medical attention can result in injuries worsening which can have severe consequences. Further, if you do not visit a doctor soon after your accident, it may give rise to issues of whether your injuries are attributable to the accident, which can be detrimental to a person injury claim. Get an expert medical opinion regarding your injuries immediately after your accident. Pay attention to what your doctor says and be sure to ask if your injury will be limiting you from any activities, such as working, and how long your recovery time is expected to be.
Consult with a compensation lawyer
The key to getting successful compensation is to have a lawyer handle your car accident claim from the beginning. Make sure you choose an experienced lawyer who has dealt with car accident claims in the past. Be sure to ask key questions about the likelihood of your success and what evidence you need to provide, so that you can begin building your claim right away.
Collect evidence of financial loss
If you are claiming for injury after a car accident, you will need evidence that your injuries had a significant impact on your life. Many people file a personal injury claim in order to receive compensation for the financial losses they suffer as a result of their car accident injuries. If you are claiming for financial loss, here are some things you may want to include in your claim:
- Documents outlining medical expenses (e.g. medical reports, prescriptions, hospital bills)
- Payslips or bank statements proving loss of earnings
- Cost of travel (to receive medical care)
- Cost of hiring services to complete tasks you cannot do with your injuries (e.g. cleaning or cooking)
If your injuries affect your future income, you can also claim for this. Your compensation amount will reflect your past and future financial losses, so be sure to provide as much evidence in support of these losses as possible.
Collect evidence of pain and suffering
It can be difficult for courts to decide on a monetary amount that fairly compensates the victim for their pain and suffering from their injuries. Usually, they will assess to what degree your car accident injuries have impacted your enjoyment of life, and how previous cases of similar circumstances have been handled.
If you believe your injuries have resulted in psychological damage to you, then you should speak with a mental health professional. You can also include reports of your psychological health when claiming for injury after a car accident so that you have a stronger claim.
Be aware of time limits
Strict time limits apply to filing personal injury claim documentation, so be sure to check with your compensation lawyer about these dates. If you are claiming for injury after a car accident, you have three years from when the accident occurred to file your claim. If you do not file your claim within this time frame, you may be able to receive an exemption, but only under reasonable circumstances.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident and would like more information on how to make a successful claim, contact Schreuders today.