If you’re injured in a vehicular accident, no matter how small or severe, the next step after seeking medical attention is to file an injury claim. It can be an intimidating and confusing process, but it’s an important one that you should be prepared to do. You deserve just compensation because, aside from the physical injuries sustained after the accident, you may also be suffering from the emotional trauma that can cause you to lose regular income due to your inability to report to work. Luckily, with help from lawyers like Viviene Sandhu, filing an injury claim is not as daunting as it seems. Follow these steps for a smooth and hassle-free experience.
1. Get Medical Attention
This is the first thing you should do before you file any claims: take care of yourself. Get to the hospital right away to receive a diagnosis and all the necessary treatments. Getting proper medical attention will not only prevent your injuries from becoming worse, but it will also generate documentation that insurance companies can look at to ensure your claim’s credibility.
2. Classify Your Injury
You can consider this second step as an important detail of the first. Some injuries are worth more than others and getting your injury classified properly will ensure that you can claim just compensation. As a guide, some classifications of injuries include soft tissue damage, hard injury, whiplash and head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and permanent injuries with residual effects. Of all of these, only soft tissue damage can be easily settled without the help of an attorney. Do note, however, that there are more types of injuries than there are mentioned here. Make sure that your doctor is as detailed as possible in specifying the details of your injury, the treatments needed, and the short- and long-term effects.
3. File Your Claim
A vehicular accident injury claim is filed with the driver’s insurance company, whether you were injured while driving your vehicle or walking when the accident occurred. After filing, you will be interfacing with an adjuster from the insurance company. This is where your lawyer plays a key role. Don’t be shy or afraid to ask questions regarding any forms or further requirements being asked from you. You don’t want to make any mistakes and give the insurance company the chance to deny your claim or limit its value.
Make sure that while the process is ongoing, ensuring that all the documents related to your injury and medical treatments are up to date and accessible. Assume that all paperwork is necessary and must be kept. Even the most superfluous piece of receipt may affect your claim. If you can, take photos of the accident, any property damage, and your injuries. You may not be able to do this immediately if you’re seriously injured, so be prepared to ask for help from the authorities and the hospital staff. In addition, you should also keep in touch with the insurance company to apprise them of all the latest developments.
4. Document All Costs and Losses
Documentation is crucial in getting the best settlement for your vehicular accident injury claim. Primarily, you will need a complete medical report. This should include the date when you got injured, the details of the diagnosis, what and how long any treatments will last, and all prescribed medications
Other important information is ongoing maintenance medications and injuries and/or disabilities that can manifest in the future. Ask the doctor to be as detailed as possible, including how severe the injuries are and if the injuries will leave severe scarring. It’s also important to note the possible side effects of treatments. Finally, keep track of all the expenses related to your injury, including your medicines, consultation fees, and laboratory costs. You should also include the cost of transportation to and from the doctor.
You should also indicate the cost of emotional distress. Don’t dismiss it as merely “psychological,” as it can cause devastating effects like eating problems, excessive stress, and other mental conditions. The cost of treatments and therapy sessions for emotional distress should be included in your claim. Finally, you should also include any lost time and income opportunities. Some examples can be missing out on important family occasions or failing to meet with a potential business partner. If you’re employed, you can ask your employer to provide a statement about losing vacation time or being unable to attend a career-boosting event.
There are other details that your lawyer can help you deal with and understand better, like the time limits for your claim or posting about your accident on social media. They can also advise you about the different nuances when filing a claim. All things considered, however, these four steps are what you should focus your attention on when you file your vehicular injury claim.