5 Things to Know When You File a Car Accident Claim

A car accident can happen in the blink of an eye. Do you know what you are entitled to if you decide to proceed with a claim? It is so important to understand your rights, in case you are involved in an accident and need to file a claim.

pain and suffering

1. If you are hurt in an auto accident and it was not your fault, you may be entitled to file a claim for pain and suffering. You are not suing anyone– You are simply putting in a claim. [More than likely you will be able to settle the claim without suing anyone.]

2. If you hire a personal injury attorney, their fee is a “Contingent Fee”.  Which means that it is dependent on getting you an award or settlement.  The usual amount of the fee is 1/3 of the total settlement.

3. If you have a lawyer already handling your claim and you do not like how the claim is being handled, you can switch lawyers at any time without consequence.  You will have to pay your new lawyer the same 1/3 Contingent Fee.  From that 1/3 fee, he/she will compensate your prior attorney for time spent on your case.

4. Be very careful what you say to every single health care provider you see for treatment throughout the claim.  This starts with the EMT, emergency room nurses, doctors, and all subsequent providers. The insurance company will eventually review these records and they are able to use anything you said in those records [potentially against you!]

car accident photos (1)

5. Take photos of everything you can at the accident scene: the other car, the other driver, damage to your car and the other car, road conditions, landmarks in the area, and any skid marks.  Having practiced personal injury law for over 24 years, I know firsthand that people’s stories change, and that not everyone tells the truth once they leave the scene of an accident.  A picture does not lie, in addition to being worth 1,000 words. 

If you have any additional questions about these tips or would like to hear more, I am happy to be a resource, as these types of claims can often be confusing and complex. Please share with family and friends!

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