Five things you must do after being injured in a car accident
Millions of people are involved in car accidents each year in the United States. If you’ve never been in a car accident, continue driving safely and keep it that way. If you have been in a car accident, you probably know how much of a nightmare the aftermath can be. Beyond the obvious injuries and damage to your vehicle, it’s complicated to go through the process of entering an insurance claim, receiving the treatment you need, and dealing with any associated emotional distress.
Auto accident attorneys at Miller Stern Lawyers, LLC, will tell you that even if you put in a claim with an insurance company, those insurance adjusters aren’t fighting for you. They’re hoping to reach a settlement that pays you something while not breaking the company’s bank. Meanwhile, Miller Stern has the best interests of their injured clients at heart.
“The goal is not about trial or settlement. It’s about getting the best possible result for that set of facts,” says Kevin Stern, Esq. with Miller Stern. “Whatever the case is, if it warrants going to trial to get a better result, that’s what we have to do. If we’re sitting on a good result, and we know it’s the best we can do and we can settle it to bring finality to the case, then we’ll do it.”
Here are five things you must do after a car accident to get your case started.
Get treatment. Prioritize all of your treatment after an accident. If you delay treatment, you could risk long-term damage to your health as well as the likelihood of getting your claims paid because the length of time between the incident and the injury is arguable by the defendant. In Maryland, the actual time you have to file a civil lawsuit for an auto accident is three years, but that is different from filing a claim with insurance companies, who usually require you to report your injuries and initial treatment costs within days or weeks of the incident.
Make your claims. There are two types of compensation you can pursue: economic and non-economic. Current and future medical bills, lost wages, and funeral expenses would fall under the economic umbrella, while pain and suffering is a more subjective claim that belongs in the non-economic realm. There is a cap on pain and suffering damages in Maryland, but that is sitting at almost $900,000, which is still a significant amount of compensation you can claim if you need it. Maryland also is a state that abides by the contributory negligence rule, which says a person is barred from any compensation if it can be proven they contributed to their own injury by at least 1%. This is easy for a defendant to articulate because drinking and driving, speeding, and running red lights are involved in many crashes. Remember this before you start making claims and pursuing a lawsuit against someone.
Keep records. Insurance companies, attorneys, and any other interested parties are going to want to see the records of anything and everything that happened in the accident and afterward. That means photos of the accidents, summaries of treatment, treatment costs, and names of healthcare providers.
Consult a lawyer. If all of this sounds like a lot to handle, it is. You’ve just been injured in a crash, so your primary concern should be your physical and mental health. The auto accident lawyers at Miller Stern are experienced in filing cases, tracking information, and hiring experts to support your side of the story. Allow them to do the heavy lifting and the complicated paperwork while you focus on getting healthy again. Communicate with your lawyer often to update them on everything that is happening, and they will reciprocate by updating you on case proceedings and suggesting care you might need now or in the future.
Review every offer. Be honest with yourself and your lawyer about what you need physically and mentally. Insurance adjusters will try to settle cases early and often, which rarely benefits the injured party in an auto accident case. Your lawyer will present you with every offer they receive, but you are free to discuss, evaluate, and reject as many times as it takes to receive the compensation you deserve. Serious auto accident cases often take an average of one year to resolve, so don’t feel like you should accept the first money that hits the table. Keep in mind that once you settle your case, you will be required to sign a release form that will extinguish your chances of receiving any future compensation.
A small percentage of cases can be handled alone, but those cases usually involve very minor vehicle damage and no injuries. Even if you feel like your case doesn’t require a lawyer’s assistance, it is best to call anyway to discuss the details and have them decline your case.
Miller Stern Lawyers, LLC, have helped clients receive millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements. Miller Stern is a contingency-based firm, which means they only get paid when you get paid. If you’ve been injured in a car accident and need help receiving compensation, don’t hesitate to call 410-LAW-FIRM or visit millersternlawyers.com today.
Contact Dan or Kevin at Miller Stern Lawyers, LLC for a FREE CONSULTATION to find out your options.