The aftermath of a car accident can be stressful and overwhelming for all the parties involved, especially when dealing with injuries. In such instances, it’d be helpful to know and understand what constitutes a valid injury claim to help seek compensation. Whether you were driving, a passenger, or a pedestrian injured in a car accident, and it’s not your fault, you may be eligible to file for a claim.
However, note that the injury claim process can be complex and demanding. From gathering the necessary evidence to support your claim to facing legal hurdles, there are various challenges that may arise. While that’s the case, you can be compensated with a significant amount. For example, in 2021, motor-vehicle injury costs in the USA were estimated at USD$ 498.3 billion. But with such numbers at stake, navigating the accident claim process with a lot of care and confidence becomes crucial.
Read on as this article discusses the details of an injury claim and what it should constitute:
The core of your claim
When filing an injury claim, several factors form the core of your claim: negligence, injury, and damage. Here’s a closer look:
Car accidents are part of life. However, when a car accident is because of negligence and leaves you injured, then understanding this legal concept becomes a must-do. Negligence, in essence, boils down to someone failing to act with the reasonable care expected in each situation, resulting in harm. In a car accident context, it simply means the other driver didn’t drive responsibly, causing your injury.
When building a claim around negligence, you must prove four main points: duty, breach, causation, and damage. In such cases, you can work with personal injury lawyers such as Lawrenceville auto injury lawyer to prove the driver has a duty to care for others, that they violated their duty, there’s a direct link between the driver’s breach and your injuries, and that you suffered actual damage.
For example, a driver who’s texting while driving can rear-end your vehicle. They breached their duty by not focusing on the road, causing the collision (causation) and resulting in your whiplash (injuries). You now have documented medical expenses (damages) to support your claim.
Understanding the spectrum of the injury you sustained is important in building a winning claim and ensuring that you receive the necessary compensation and care. Physical injuries include whiplash, a common neck injury arising from the sudden jolt of a collision. They also include broken bones, head injuries, and soft tissue injuries.
But you may also suffer emotional and psychological injuries like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that leads to anxiety, nightmares, and flashbacks associated with the accident. Many accident survivors also develop a fear of driving again, which may impact their mobility and independence.
Regardless of the type of injury, you should have proper medical documentation for your accident claim. This includes doctor’s reports, X-rays, MRIs, and any other relevant medical records. These documents serve as concrete evidence of your injuries and their link to the accident, strengthening your claim and ensuring fair compensation.
Damages represent the compensatory measures awarded to an injured party to cover the losses they’ve incurred as a result of the accident. It includes lost opportunities, financial burdens, and other non-economic strains that you incur after the accident.
Damages are mostly categorized into two groups: economic and non-economical. Economic damages consist of medical expenses such as hospital bills, doctor visits, and medication. Additionally, lost wages, the cost you incur when repairing your vehicles, and other out-of-pocket expenses. Meanwhile, non-economic damages include intangible losses you’ve suffered, often associated with the emotional and psychological impact of the accident. For instance, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, or emotional distress can all limit your ability to lead a normal life.
Therefore, it’s important to document everything, keep receipts, invoices, and other records of your expenses to help you build a strong case.
Building a strong claim
After understanding the nature and the core of what forms a valid injury claim, it’s now time to learn how you can make your claim strong and increase the chances of compensation. It includes the following steps:
This seemingly simple step plays a very crucial role in ensuring that you get the best compensation for your claim. This is because they act as proof of what happened and can also help speed up the process.
First, start with taking photos of the scene. Take pictures of everything you can, including the damage on the car, skid marks on the road, road signs, and the surrounding environment. Secondly, ensure you collect all witness statements on the site, as they can provide first-hand information on what happened during the accident. Their statements can corroborate your account and provide an objective perspective. Briefly write down their recollections while their memory is fresh, including their name, address, and a concise description of what they saw.
Finally, obtain a copy of the official police report filed at the scene. This document typically includes details about the accident, the parties involved, any observations made by the officer, and a preliminary assessment of the situation. Even if the police report doesn’t explicitly favor your case, it can still provide valuable information and reference points.
Getting legal counsel
Getting legal services is sometimes your best shot for fair compensation. After all, the other driver will likely get a lawyer, and so should you. Personal injury lawyers always possess the knowledge and expertise to navigate the complexities that come with car accident claims. They can:
- Assess your case: A lawyer will help you identify potentially crucial details you might overlook and assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
- Develop a strategic approach: They can also formulate a winning legal strategy tailored to your specific case, the evidence available, and other details. This will maximize your chances of success.
- Anticipate potential challenges: Such claims often come with challenges that can affect your compensation. A good attorney will identify roadblocks that could arise and proactively prepare counterarguments or solutions.
Investing in a legal counsel ensures you regain control of the situation and the case. Remember, if you’re injured and emotionally distressed, you might not be in the best position to negotiate or defend your rights. So, let someone do it on your behalf. And they should be qualified.
The aftermath of a car accident is a very stressful period. You have to deal with injuries, psychological distress, and filing injury claims. But most importantly, you need to be compensated rightfully for any injury and damage you face. So how do you manage it? By following this guide, you can get all the details on how you can validate your car accident injury claim. From understanding negligence to getting an attorney, each step focuses on what needs to be done after an accident.