When you want to know how to file a personal injury claim, it’s clear that you’ve been in an accident. Whether it’s a car accident or a brain injury claim, there’s a lot to consider. The questions come your way quickly, especially when you have to deal with insurance companies.
How do I file a claim for my accident? What information do I need to prepare? How long does it take to get help?
Oftentimes, these questions overwhelm people so much that they give up. They just want to crawl into bed and forget about it. As personal injury attorneys, we understand. We work with so many people in situations like this. More importantly, we guide them through it.
Below are a few important things to remember about personal injury claims. When you want to file a claim, there are certain “do’s” and “don’ts” to consider. To start, one of the most important don’ts: Don’t give a recorded statement to an insurance company!
What to Know When You Want to File a Personal Injury Claim
After you reach out to our personal injury lawyers, you don’t need to know how to file a personal injury claim. We handle everything about your claim. Our goal is to ensure your experience is stress-free. You need to focus on recovery while we fight for the compensation you deserve.
When you hire Universal Law Group, we collect information and guide you through the process. From then, you have an advocate on your side committed to fighting for your rights.
However, before you reach that point, there are important steps to take. Here are a few things to expect at different phases of your claim. Some are common mistakes to avoid. Others help to strengthen your claim.
How to File a Personal Injury Claim: Things to Do
One of the most important things to do when it comes to filing a personal injury claim is to gather information. Most importantly, get detailed information from the person responsible for the accident. This includes their name, phone number, license plate number, address, and car insurance information.
Call the Police
When you want to know how to file a personal injury claim, evidence is essential. Once the police arrive on the scene, they talk to those involved in the accident as well as witnesses. After they assess the situation, they create a police report.
The police report helps your lawyer establish fault and strengthen your case. Never settle for an exchange of information alone. This delays decisions on liability and leads to a debate between your word and their word.
Even when the damage seems minor, it’s important to call the police. A collision report strengthens your case. Moreover, there’s no such thing as “too much evidence” in an accident claim.
Document the Scene
Take as many pictures as possible to document the scene of your accident. From nearby signs and property damage to injuries and vehicles, pictures help us and the court understand what happened.
It’s also good to document the other driver’s license plate, driver’s license, and insurance card. Again, there’s no such thing as too much evidence.
Seek Medical Treatment
In addition to treating your injuries, medical documentation goes a long way when it comes to how to file a personal injury claim. In certain cases, it takes time for symptoms to show up. At that point, it’s more difficult to connect your injuries to the case. That leaves you coping with an issue and the bill that comes with it.
Get medical care as soon as possible. With swift treatment, you have medical records to show skeptical insurance representatives that the injury is real.
Follow your treatment plan. Whatever your doctor recommends, stick to that schedule. Attend any follow-up appointments or physical therapy.
Everyone has responsibilities. However, it’s essential that you don’t neglect your health.
Contact an Attorney
As we said earlier, you don’t need to know how to file a personal injury claim when you hire a lawyer. The sooner your start your claim, the better. With a dedicated personal injury lawyer on your side, you have an advocate to bear the weight of the legal process.
Our team handles the stress of the claims process. Moreover, we can connect you with medical care when you need it. While you recover, we fight for the compensation you deserve.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Let your insurance company know about the accident. Following the initial contact, we handle communication with them. Additionally, we handle communication with the other person’s insurance company.
From basic information to negotiations on your settlement, we have your back.
Have you missed work due to the accident? That counts towards lost wages. Have you made your doctor appointments? That’s important as medical expenses.
As your personal injury lawyer, our team fights for the compensation you deserve. Part of this means knowing your present and future expenses. When you lose your vehicle, this includes rentals and rideshares.
How to File a Personal Injury Claim: What to Avoid
Don’t Leave the Scene
The only reason to leave the scene is when you leave in an emergency vehicle. Regardless of fault, it is illegal to flee the scene in most states when someone sustains an injury or there is property damage.
Additionally, you don’t know about either until you speak to the others involved. If you are able, stay present at the scene and collect yourself.
Stay Out of Harm’s Way
After an auto accident, move your vehicle into a safe area. For other types of accidents, ensure you and others are safe before anything else. Safety is essential at all times.
When you pull a vehicle over to the side of the road, you protect other drivers and avoid a pile-up.
Don’t Get Heated
Accidents lead to frustration. Moreover, it’s a reasonable frustration. However, it’s essential to stay calm and keep a level head. When you argue, it’s easy to let an unclear statement slip.
Additionally, it’s important not to add assault to your list of problems. Collect yourself and call the police.
Don’t Accept Cash from the Liable
At times, people who cause an accident try to bribe victims to dodge lawsuits or insurance claims. While tempting, the sum likely doesn’t cover your costs. It can take days for injuries to show symptoms.
For instance, soft tissue injuries start following an accident but take time to show physically. Oftentimes, these carry extensive medical bills. Follow the appropriate path and report the accident.
Avoid Losing Track of Your Vehicle
When tow trucks show up, have them tow your vehicle home. Tow-yard fees stack up quickly. Be sure to take it out ASAP. Moreover, maintain a record of any costs for reimbursement.
Don’t Give a Recorded Statement
This is especially true when you don’t have a personal injury lawyer already. Insurance companies take recorded statements and use them against you. This is probably the most important piece of advice in this post.
Don’t give a recorded statement to the liable party’s insurance company!
Avoid Discussing Injuries and Treatment
This is a similar piece of advice. Insurance companies use all kinds of tricks to trip you up. They twist your words or try to downplay how severe your injuries are.
All of this is an attempt to reduce your settlement. If you want to know how to file a personal injury claim, it’s important to understand their real intention.
Don’t Post About Your Accident Online
It’s a sneaky tactic, but insurance companies comb through your online presence. They search out anything that might help their case. For instance, perhaps you post a picture of your car after the wreck.
If the caption says something like, “Glad I’m okay,” they use it to invalidate your injury claim. For them, why would you say you’re “okay” if you aren’t?
Avoid Direct Communication with Insurance Companies
Once you hire a personal injury lawyer, let us handle communications. If the company reaches out to you, direct them to your lawyer.
It’s vital to remember that the insurance company is not on your side. Even when they try to sound nice and accommodating, their goal is to lower your settlement.
An extension of this: Don’t sign anything from them without your attorney.
Don’t Accept the Initial Offer
Don’t agree to a settlement or accept a check without your lawyer. When insurance companies make an initial offer, it likely doesn’t take all your costs into account.
Even when an offer sounds good, there are likely tens of thousands of dollars missing from the settlement. Schedule a free consultation with a personal injury firm so that you understand how to file a personal injury claim.
From there, let them handle the negotiations. It’s hard to understand what you deserve. However, our attorneys understand your worth.
Never Downplay Your Injuries
Your doctor and lawyer both need to understand your pain. Be honest about your injuries. This gives us an idea of how the accident impacts your daily life. Perhaps you took time to recover and took it easy.
However, once you return to work, you might experience pain.
- Can you work?
- Are you able to enjoy your hobbies?
- Can you play with your kids or spend time with your family?
- Did your range of motion or physical capabilities change?
It’s important to consider these questions and be upfront with your doctor and lawyer about these limitations.
Once You Know How to File a Personal Injury Claim, Know Your Worth
When people don’t deal with insurance representatives on a regular basis, they don’t always understand their rights. If you don’t know how to file a personal injury claim, a lawyer helps you understand your rights.
Moreover, we fight for a fair future. Our team acts as your advocates to ensure you gain the compensation necessary for your future. Let us focus on your case while you focus on recovery.
Did you sustain an injury in an accident? Contact our personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation. You don’t pay us unless and until we win your case!