- Accidents can cause both economic and non-economic losses to the victim
- Accident victims can recover their losses by filing a personal injury claim
- Insurance companies will try to lowball victims, so hiring a lawyer is mandatory
Losses of an Accident Victim
Accident victims will sustain various economic and non-economic losses. These losses can make the victim’s life a tough one. This is especially true if the victim is the sole breadwinner in the family. Following are some of the losses an accident victim will sustain:
- Medical bills
- Property repair expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Filing a personal injury claim is the only way to recover the losses you incurred due to the accident. However, filing and winning a personal injury claim is not as simple as it sounds.
You need to take some actions to make your claim stick.
Personal Injury Law
The person who files the claim is known as the plaintiff. In personal injury law, the plaintiff bears the burden of proof. It means they have to prove the elements of personal injury law, which are:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty of care
You can recover your financial losses only if you prove the above.
Things You Need to Do to Recover Your Financial Losses
There is a lot you need to do before filing a personal injury claim. The actions you take following the accident will have a huge impact on your case. The following are some of the actions you need to take to recover your losses:
Seek Medical Attention
The most basic thing you need to do immediately after the accident is to see a doctor. This is important for multiple reasons. First, you can find hidden injuries that don’t show symptoms, along with treating your existing injuries.
The second reason why seeing a doctor is important is that otherwise, the insurance company will either claim that your injuries are not severe or that you intentionally made them worse by not seeing a doctor. This can hurt your case.
File a Police Report
A police report can help prove your case. The police report will consist of information like the date and time of the accident, statements from both parties, witness statements, etc.
The above information plays a vital role in proving the elements of personal injury law.
Usually, the lawyer will take care of collecting evidence with the help of private investigators. But you can help. You can collect easy-to-collect evidence.
Take photos and videos of the accident scene, your injuries, and damages to your property. Collect the contact information of the people who witnessed the accident. Also, you can document the expenses you incur as a result of the accident.
Hire a Lawyer
You may think you don’t need a lawyer since you read about personal injury law on the internet. But in reality, you will be eaten alive by insurance companies if you don’t have a lawyer by your side.
Insurance companies are for-profit organizations that will go to any extent to lowball you. You need a lawyer to protect yourself from the insurance companies.
Calculate Your Losses and Draft a Demand Letter
The most important part of a personal injury claim. You need to calculate your exact losses to claim compensation. Calculating losses is easy if you have documented all the expenses you incurred as a result of the accident.
You can just add your losses together to know your financial losses.
After calculating the losses, you need to draft a demand letter. In this demand letter, you need to state how much you are seeking as compensation. This letter will be sent to the insurance company, which they will probably reject.
The Negotiation Phase
The insurance company will try their best to reduce your compensation. Negotiate with them and try to achieve a positive outcome. Your lawyer will submit the necessary evidence and try to explain to the insurance company why you deserve the compensation.
Remember, if the insurance companies do not agree to award fair compensation, you always have the option of going to court. However, the court process is much more complex, long, and tiring than the out-of-court claim process. So hire an experienced lawyer.