A car accident can leave you scared and confused. Injuries may cause pain, and the situation might feel overwhelming.

Contacting an experienced car accident lawyer is one of the best things you can do after a car accident. An attorney who handles car accident cases will fight for the compensation you deserve so you can focus on your health and well-being.

With the help of your lawyer, here are the steps to maximize your recovery after a car accident.

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Get Medical Treatment

Your health should be the top priority after an accident. Even if you feel okay at first, get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. Many car accident injuries may not have obvious symptoms right away, and only a medical professional can properly assess your condition.

Follow your doctor’s treatment plan closely, attend all follow-up appointments, and save copies of your medical records and bills. This documents your injuries and creates a clear link between the crash and the harm you suffered. It’s essential evidence for an insurance claim or car accident lawsuit. Don’t delay or skip treatment – the insurance company can argue that you aren’t really hurt.

Let Your Lawyer Talk to the Insurance Companies

After an accident, insurance adjusters from the other driver’s insurance company will likely contact you. They want to take your statement about what happened and may pressure you to accept a quick settlement. Do not talk to them. They can twist innocent comments to pin blame on you or downplay your injuries.

Insurance companies are not on your side, even your own insurer. Their goal is to pay out as little as possible. Let them know you’ve retained a car accident lawyer and direct all communication to your attorney.

Your lawyer will handle discussions with insurers and make sure your rights are protected. Never accept a settlement without consulting your lawyer first.

Understand Your Legal Rights

After a car accident, you may recover compensation for:

Medical Bills

Woman on phone next to damaged car after an accident, seeking assistance.

After a car accident, medical bills can pile up quickly. You may need to pay for an ambulance ride, emergency room visit, hospital stay, surgeries, medications, and doctor appointments. Even with health insurance, the co-pays and deductibles can create a big financial burden.

A car accident lawyer will fight to get you compensation for all of your medical expenses related to the crash. They’ll ensure the insurance company doesn’t avoid paying by questioning whether treatment is necessary.

Future Medical Treatment

Some car accident injuries require long-term care. You may need physical therapy, follow-up surgeries, pain management, mental health treatment, or even in-home nursing care. The costs can stretch into the future for many months or years.

Your car accident settlement or verdict must include money for your future medical needs. An experienced car accident lawyer will work with your doctors to get a clear picture of the care you’ll require and demand full compensation.

Lost Wages

Missing work after a car accident can be tough on your finances. You may have used up your sick time and vacation days, or you might not get paid at all when you can’t work.

Your car accident lawyer will demand the negligent driver pay you back for all the paychecks you have missed. They’ll document your time off work and the earnings you lost. If you can’t return to your previous job because of your injuries, your lawyer will fight to recover your lost future income.

Reduced Earning Capacity

Some car accident injuries can permanently impact your ability to work. You may be unable to do the same physically demanding tasks or put in the long hours you used to. This can reduce the amount of money you can earn. If the crash hurts your earning potential, you deserve compensation.

An experienced car accident attorney will gather evidence, such as expert testimony from vocational specialists and economists, to show the dollar value of your reduced earning capacity.

Pain and Suffering

Not all car accident damages are financial. The physical pain and negative emotions you experience are also very real harms. While putting a dollar figure on pain and suffering is not easy, the law says you should receive compensation.

The more severe your injuries and the bigger the impact on your life, the higher the amount you can receive for pain and suffering. A skilled car accident lawyer knows how to document your hardships and demand maximum compensation.

Emotional Distress

It’s common to suffer emotional trauma after a bad car accident. You may have nightmares, anxiety, fear of riding in vehicles, mood swings, sleep problems, and other distressing symptoms. Some people develop depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Money can’t make the emotional pain go away. But it can ease your financial worries and pay for mental health treatment to help you recover. Your lawyer will fight to get you compensation for the emotional distress the accident caused.

Scarring and Disfigurement

Car accident injuries like deep cuts, burns, and amputation can cause permanent scarring and disfigurement. These emotionally painful, visible reminders of the trauma can make you feel self-conscious and avoid social situations.

Scars in noticeable areas like the face and hands can damage your personal and professional life. Reconstructive plastic surgery and scar revision procedures cost thousands of dollars. A car accident lawyer will demand compensation for the cosmetic damage, emotional toll, and medical costs of scars and disfigurement.

Disability or Loss of a Limb

A severe car accident can leave you disabled. Paralysis, brain damage, and amputation are catastrophic, life-changing injuries. Your home may need modifications for wheelchair access. You may require daily personal care assistance.

Ongoing expenses for electric wheelchairs and adapted vehicles can overwhelm many people.

You need a car accident lawyer who will fight for every penny of compensation you deserve. Your settlement should pay for your injury-related needs so you can move forward with financial stability.

Other Accident-Related Expenses

Distraught man holding head in hands next to a car with side damage.

Many other costs can arise after a car accident. The crash may have totaled your vehicle, and you might need to buy a new one or pay for a rental car. You may also have to hire someone to help with childcare and chores while you recover. Medications, mobility devices like crutches and braces, bandages, and other medical supplies can add up fast.

Save your receipts for all the out-of-pocket expenses the crash caused you. Your car accident lawyer will work tirelessly to make sure you recover compensation for every cent the accident has cost you.

Obtaining full and fair compensation is not easy. Insurance companies have teams of adjusters, investigators, and attorneys fighting to pay crash victims as little as possible. They may dispute the extent of your injuries, argue that the accident wasn’t their policyholder’s fault, or pressure you into accepting a lowball settlement.

A skilled car accident lawyer evens the playing field. Your attorney will build a strong case, negotiate aggressively with insurers, and take them to court if necessary to get you the money you deserve.

Gather Evidence

Evidence is the foundation of any successful car accident case. Keep copies of all medical records and bills related to your injuries. Document missed work and lost income. Note changes in your day-to-day abilities and activities.

Your lawyer can also help gather additional evidence like:

  • Cell phone records if the other driver was texting
  • Surveillance camera footage of the crash
  • Accident reconstruction analysis
  • Toxicology reports if drunk driving was involved
  • The other driver’s history of reckless driving
  • Trucking company records if a big rig hit you

The more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be. Your attorney knows what proof is needed to show the other driver’s negligence caused the crash and your injuries.

What if the Insurance Company Blames Me for the Accident?

Insurance companies often try to wrongly pin fault on accident victims to avoid paying claims. They may say you broke the speed limit, claim you failed to yield, or argue that you could have avoided the crash.

If the insurance company unfairly blames you, a skilled car accident lawyer can fight back against these accusations.

Your attorney will use evidence to build a case showing the other driver’s negligence, such as:

  • Speeding
  • Texting while driving
  • Failing to obey traffic signals
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Making an unsafe lane change
  • Tailgating
  • Failing to yield
  • Reckless or aggressive maneuvers

Maximizing Your Compensation

Getting full compensation for your injuries is not easy. Insurance companies will use many tactics to minimize payouts.

Common ploys include:

  • Lowball Settlements: Offering a fast, lowball settlement before you know the full extent of your injuries. Never accept without talking to a lawyer.
  • Recorded Statements: Asking you to give a recorded statement. They’re hoping you’ll say something that hurts your case.
  • Medical History Requests: Requesting blanket access to your medical history. They want to blame your injuries on pre-existing conditions.
  • Disputing Claims: Disputing or denying valid claims. They’ll nitpick medical records to cast doubt on the extent of your injuries.
  • Delaying Tactics: Dragging out the claims process. They know financial pressure may force you to accept less.

A good car accident attorney knows the insurance companies’ tricks.

Your lawyer will:

  • Thoroughly investigate your accident to prove it was the other driver’s fault.
  • Gather extensive evidence of your injuries and damages.
  • Handle all communication and negotiation with insurers.
  • Aggressively advocate for your interests in settlement talks.
  • Have a strong track record of success in taking cases to trial.
  • Work on a contingency fee basis, so you pay no upfront costs.

Moving Your Case Forward

The steps in a car accident case can vary. Much depends on the specific circumstances of your accident, the extent of your injuries, and whether the insurance company is negotiating in good faith.

In general, your attorney will:

  • Meet with you to discuss what happened and explain your legal rights and options.
  • Investigate the accident and gather evidence like photos, police reports, and medical records.
  • Identify all potential sources of compensation, such as the other driver’s insurance and your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
  • File claims with the appropriate insurers.
  • Thoroughly document your injuries and damages.
  • Handle all communications and negotiate with the insurance companies
  • Attempt to reach a fair settlement through talks with insurers.
  • If a fair agreement can’t be reached, file a car accident lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.
  • Build your strongest possible case and present a compelling argument for damages at trial.
  • Collect your settlement or verdict money and resolve any liens against your recovery.

While you may want a fast resolution, it’s important not to rush. Once you accept a settlement, your case is over – even if you later discover your injuries cost you far more than you initially thought. Your lawyer will advise you when the time is right to wrap up your claim.

Choosing the Right Car Accident Lawyer

Your choice of car accident attorney is one of the most important decisions you will make.

When meeting with potential lawyers, ask:

  • How many car accident cases have you handled?
  • What results have you achieved for clients in cases like mine?
  • What is your approach to dealing with insurance companies?
  • Who will work on my case?
  • How will you update me on the status of my claim?
  • What are your fees and costs?

You want a lawyer with deep experience in car accident cases who knows the tactics insurance companies use to avoid paying claims. Look for someone with a strong track record of verdicts and settlements. Make sure you feel comfortable with your attorney and their communication style.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today

A car accident can cause pain, mounting medical bills, and lost income from missed work.

The insurance companies are not on your side. Their goal is to pay you as little as possible.

A knowledgeable car accident attorney levels the playing field. From proving the other driver was at fault to documenting your injuries and damages, your lawyer will fight for every dollar you deserve. Most work on a contingency fee basis, so there’s no cost to get started, and the initial consultation is free.

If you suffered an injury in a crash, don’t struggle alone. Protect your health and your legal rights by contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer for your free case review today.

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