If you’ve suffered injuries in a New York car accident, you’re already dealing with worries and frustrations over mounting medical bills and lost income. Not to mention, the injustice at your life being thrown off course because of an accident that was not your fault. Worrying about your claim and ability to recover compensation for your losses can make a stressful situation even more difficult. However, what you do in the aftermath of an accident can play a large role in the strength of your claim and your ability to receive the maximum compensation. In today’s blog, we review 5 tips to get the best car accident settlement in New York.
#1: Follow the Doctor’s Orders
Seeking medical care is an important first step after a vehicle accident. Not only does medical care start the healing process but it also creates documentation and other evidence to prove the severity of your injuries. Some injuries, like whiplash, have symptoms that may appear in the days following a crash. As soon as you notice, you should seek medical care.
This same advice applies as you go through the recovery process. Continue with all medical care recommended by your healthcare provider. If your doctor prescribes medication or rehabilitative therapies, make sure you fill and take all medications as prescribed and go to all appointments. Missed appointments and failure to comply with medical advice opens the door for the insurance company to say that you may not be injured to the extent you claim.
#2: Use Your Words Wisely
Even the most seemingly innocuous statement can come back to haunt your case and derail your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve. One of the first things an insurance adjuster will ask you is to provide a recorded statement. You do not have to immediately agree to give a recorded statement and can consult a New York car accident lawyer before doing so.
Anything you say during a recorded statement could later come back to serve as evidence of partial liability or some other reason for the insurance company to deny your claim. Always avoid giving a statement, especially if you are taking medication for your injuries, which could affect your state of mind and how you choose to answer any questions.
When you are seeking medical treatment, make sure to be very specific with your healthcare providers about your injuries. For instance, give the nurses and doctors details of your injuries, your pain level and how the pain affects you, even if at first it is mild. If you are reporting injuries after the immediate impact of the crash, make sure to mention that the injuries are a result of the accident and did not appear out of the blue.
#3: Take Pictures and Keep a Journal
The car accident claims process can be long and memories fade. If you’re able, take pictures of any evidence you may have following the accident, that includes pictures of property damage but also take pictures of details like the clothing you were wearing or shoes you had on. It is also important to take pictures of your injuries every few days until they are healed. These photographs can serve as evidence and will bolster your claim.
In addition to the pictures, keep an accident journal to document the aftermath of the accident. Try to write down the level of pain you’re experiencing, any appointments you went to that day, and other details related to the healing process and accident. Several months down the road, you may not remember these details and the journal will prove invaluable.
#4: Stay Off Social Media
During a settlement negotiation or trial if the case goes to court, anything posted on social media can be used as evidence. Insurance investigators will check your social media accounts and your relatives and friends to see if there is any evidence that could contradict the injuries you claimed to have suffered. For instance, if you claim you suffered a knee injury due to a car accident but then post about a five-mile run, the insurance adjuster could use that against you. The best course of action is to refrain from social media use, especially any public social media accounts, while you are going through the claims process.
#5: Don’t Fall Prey to the First Offer
Insurance adjusters know that injured victims are worried and uncertain in the aftermath of a car accident. It’s common for insurance companies to pressure or persuade you into accepting a settlement quickly after the accident. While it may be tempting, you won’t know what all of your losses will be until you better understand the full extent of your injuries and your medical prognosis.
Once you accept a settlement offer, you cannot go back and reopen your claim. You should never accept an offer without discussing your case with an experienced car accident lawyer. An attorney will help you understand the unique factors in your case, build your case and work to maximize the compensation amount for your losses.
Help You With Your New York Car Accident Settlement
When you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, your entire focus revolves around recovery and getting back on your feet. If the insurance company is denying or devaluing your claim, contact our top rated New York car accident attorneys for a free legal review of your case.
When you hire a New York car accident lawyer from our team at Brandon J. Broderick, you pay nothing upfront. We work on contingent fees that are only collected if we win your case. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.
Without a legal claim, the insurance company can offer you a lowball offer that barely covers any of your needs and may even refuse to cover some of the damages. You may be left having to pay for the costs of your injuries on your own. Contact us today and let us turn your setback into a comeback.