If you’re wondering how to get the most money for a car accident, you were likely in an accident with another driver where that driver was at fault.
When you go to court, you will sue the other driver, but it is that driver’s insurance carrier that will end up paying your settlement. Naturally, insurance companies may try to pay out as little as possible, which is why it’s a good idea to research how to get the most money for a car accident.
This article will provide some general advice and tips, but there are no one-size-fits-all solutions that will work for every case. The best way to maximize your settlement is to seek the help of a personal injury lawyer. You can get an estimate of what your case may be worth and a free consultation by filling out the form below.
In this article:
- Tips On How To Get The Most Money For A Car Accident
- What To Do After An Accident
- How Accident Settlements Are Determined
Tips On How To Get The Most Money For A Car Accident
Immediately after an accident, your first instinct should be to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you. Only once you determine all passengers are safe should you think about the steps to take to help increase the strength of your claim.
In general, there are two things that you need to do to get the most money for a car accident: establish the fault of the other driver and document your own damages. This documentation mainly comes in the form of receipts for medical bills and repair bills, but it’s wise to collect and save any documents that can prove pain and suffering and can show a jury how your life has been impacted as a result of the accident and injuries.
The tips below can help establish fault, document your suffering, and increase your settlement:
- Contact the police/file a police report: The police report will be essential in establishing fault.
- Remain at the scene: Leaving the scene will look bad on the police report and could hurt your case.
- Document the accident: Take photos from as many angles as possible.
Collect contact information from witnesses: Anyone that may have witnessed the accident can be a useful resource.
- Do not admit fault: Any fault you admit will hurt your case.
- Keep important documents: Save any and all medical records, medical bills, and repair bills.
Contact your insurer early: Report the accident to your auto insurance company right away.
- Keep a journal: Make notes about your life and injuries after the accident, making sure to document any pain or inconvenience.
- Visit your doctor regularly: Make sure that your doctor documents your pain and symptoms.
- Don’t stop treatment: Complete all treatments and doctor appointments until your car accident injuries are completely healed.
- Hire an attorney: It’s easier to get a bigger settlement if you have an experienced attorney representing you in court.
What To Do After An Accident
Accidents are stressful experiences that can leave drivers shaken up and without a clear picture of what to do next. If you’ve been in an accident and are thinking ahead to a lawsuit, here are important steps you can take to ensure your safety and think about how to get the most money for a car accident:
- Check on the health of yourself and your passengers, and determine whether anyone will need to visit an emergency room.
- Check on the other party if it is safe to do so.
- Call 911 if anyone needs emergency medical treatment.
- Call your local law enforcement’s non-emergency line to file an accident report if no ambulance is necessary.
- Exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver.
- Document the accident by taking a lot of pictures from many angles.
- Collect bystander or witness contact information.
- Do not admit any fault to other drivers or police.
- Contact a car accident lawyer.
If you are seriously injured, it will be difficult if not impossible to complete some of these steps at the scene of the accident. Your first priority should always be your own safety and the safety of those around you. No amount of money is worth someone’s life.
How Accident Settlements Are Determined
In many cases, suing after a car accident is not necessary. First, try filing a car accident claim with the other driver’s insurance company. If the company gives a lowball offer or does not offer any compensation, contact an accident attorney to negotiate. If negotiations fail, then you should sue in court.
If your car is damaged but you are not hurt, the insurance company will likely agree to pay the entire cost of repairs. In this scenario, there is no reason to sue or try to get more money, as you probably won’t have grounds for a solid case.
If it does come to a lawsuit, the party at fault will usually be responsible for paying settlements, but this may vary by state. In some states, partial fault will result in partial settlement, and in others, there is no settlement unless one party is completely at fault.
You have some time to consider whether or not you want to file a lawsuit after an accident. However, how long after an accident you can sue is determined by where you live. Every state has a statute of limitations between one and six years, after which you will not be eligible to sue.
Injured parties are usually entitled to:
- Full reimbursement of all medical bills
- Full reimbursement of repair bills for damaged property
- Money to compensate for lost wages
- Compensation for pain and suffering
Medical bills, lost wages, and repair bills are easy to add up. It is more difficult to determine how to calculate pain and suffering. If you’re wondering what your pain and suffering may be worth, use the tool below to get an estimate and get in touch with an attorney who can help with your car accident case.
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