Most car accident victims know that they need to seek emergency medical attention after their incident without a second thought, but they may not be sure what to do when they get sent home with their hospital bills in hand. Some hospitals may try to demand full payment or even ask for a payment agreement before you leave the hospital, meaning that your trip to the emergency room will likely cause you to worry about who is going to pay for an accident that wasn’t your fault?
The costs of your medical treatment can be quite expensive. Even if you have health insurance, you may have co-pays or other non-covered costs that nay add up to a significant amount of debt.
Fortunately, car accident injury victims have options. They can work with a Charlotte car accident lawyer to identify all at-fault parties related to their accident and file a claim for the full value of all their losses. These losses may not only include the money spent on your medical bills, but also any missed income, any out of pocket expenditures, damage to property, and potentially non-economic losses, such as the pain and suffering they’ve experienced.
Filing an injury claim is not always easy. It requires familiarity with the law and the types of evidence needed to increase your claim’s strength. You may also require the input of medical and economic experts in order to fully grasp exactly how much your losses, referred to in legal terms as “damages,” are worth.
Injury victims can take the following steps after their car accident to begin filing a claim and to give their claim the maximum chances of successfully obtaining all of the compensation they deserve.
Step 1: Save All of Your Medical Billing Information and Other Documentation
You want to account for every penny of expenses related to your accident. Having actual copies of your medical bills on hand can mean a world of difference for getting your injury claim off on the right foot. You should make sure to save your discharge papers and any receipts or bills that you may receive while you are at the hospital.
While you can always request a duplicate of these documents later, having this info handy will be beneficial as you begin to document your injury and accident case.
Step 2: Obey All Doctor’s Orders, Especially for Follow-Up Visits
Following your doctor’s orders indicates that their diagnosis of your injuries was correct and that you want to heal as quickly as possible.
On the other hand, ignoring doctor’s orders can be used as evidence by insurers that you are not as injured as you claim to be. For instance, if you did not go to your follow-up visit as recommended, then perhaps your injury was not as serious as initially thought?
If you are uncomfortable with any recommendations the doctor offers, then you may have that noted on your records before you are discharged so that a suitable alternative remedy can be found. If, for example, you do not wish to use opioid drugs to treat your pain, note that on your medical report and receive a recommendation for using a non-narcotic method to manage pain. Otherwise, your insurer may note that you did not fill your prescription and, thus, you may not have actually felt pain from your injuries.
Attend all follow-up visits on time, and be sure to describe your current symptoms in detail. The pain you experience and your inability to have full functional control of your body during recovery can contribute a significant portion to your final compensation amount. Having a medical professional document that, for instance, your back hurts every morning or that you have trouble leaning over can mean all the difference in the world when trying to prove pain and suffering later on.
Step 3: Don’t Discuss Your Accident, Injuries, or Situation in General Publicly
Statements that you make can be used as evidence against your claim and or civil lawsuit. While casual talk about an accident may seem innocent, there’s no way to be sure that it won’t find its way back to haunt you later. This danger is especially true when it comes to discussing your case on social media, where a near-permanent record is made of everything.
Casually posting online about your injury or situation should also be avoided. Something as normal as posting pictures from a vacation can, again, be used as evidence that your injuries did not affect your life significantly. We tell all of our injury clients to avoid social media, especially when it comes to anything related to your accident or injury!
Step 4: Be Careful When Discussing Your Claim with Insurers
Our firm does not recommend speaking to any insurance company representatives without first speaking to a qualified injury law firm! That being said, if you make the decision to file your claim(s) on your own, be mindful that your conversation is very likely being recorded and that speaking to the insurance company about the facts of how your accident happened and your injuries is opening the door for the insurance company to use your words against you to devalue your claim or reject it in its entirety. Once you have said something to harm your case, even an experienced lawyer may not be able to undo the damage.
Your best option for handling insurers is to speak to an experienced Charlotte, North Carolina car accident lawyer about possible representation which may include negotiating a settlement on your behalf or fighting against the insurance company in court. Your attorney’s experience in these matters can allow you to focus on your injuries and getting well while they use their best strategies for dealing with insurers and working to get you the compensation that you deserve!
Step 5: Seek Out an Experienced Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer
Car accident injury cases are often complex. Some cases may involve multiple defendants or insurers — especially if one of the vehicles involved in the accident was a semi-truck / tractor-trailer or other big truck or commercial vehicle. Determining who is liable for your injuries and how-to best file a claim to give it the maximum chances of success often requires the services of an attorney who has handled cases like yours before.
The car accident lawyer in North or South Carolina who represents your case can provide invaluable legal guidance, reducing your stress and the amount of work you have to do. They can file all the needed paperwork and speak with insurers on your behalf.
Most importantly, they can estimate the full value of your claim, so they can know how much to seek in order to compensate you for all of your losses. If no fair settlement offer can be reached, then your attorney may likely advance your claim to a lawsuit or the litigation phase, pursuing justice through the court system to help you seek the damages and justice you deserve.
Having a lawyer file your claim soon after your accident (as opposed to much later or own your own) can give you the opportunity to fully document your injury case under the guidance of a professional that knows what it takes to deal with the insurance companies. Waiting too long can mean valuable evidence was lost or that insurers and other parties have had more time to develop a strategy that protects them from liability.
You can speak with an experienced Charlotte car accident lawyer for free during your initial consultation, so there’s no cost for you when it comes to learning more about your legal options. Schedule your free, no-obligation initial case review now when you call Auger & Auger now at (706) 364-3361 or contact us online.