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Personal Injury: 6 Things You Must Consider After an Accident

Posted by Trent Kelly on June 9, 2022
Personal Injury: 6 Things You Must Consider After an Accident

Here are 6 things you must consider after a personal injury accident so you’ll be able to recover from your losses faster and get the compensation you deserve.

1. Medical Treatment

Always seek treatment and follow the medical protocol given to you by your doctors. Whiplash is one type of injury, for instance, that gets progressively worse over weeks, months, or years. If you were rear-ended, your neck may not feel injured at all until hours or days after the accident. If a paramedic gave you a neck collar to wear, keep it on. Once you start to feel the whiplash, that neck collar will be your best friend.

2. Document and Record Everything

Even with so many security cameras around today, a lot of car accidents are still not captured on camera. Documenting everything begins with calling 9-1-1 at the scene of the accident to start establishing a timeline. Have someone take pictures and videos of everything (the location, the people, the lighting, the weather, everything). Even though the police and others may take their own photos, it is invaluable to have your own set, as well as to ensure that the things important to your case are documented. Never assume the police photos show what you need them to. Calls and texts after the accident can also establish a more detailed timeline.

3. Determine If You Need an Austin Personal Injury Lawyer

People with little to no experience dealing with insurance settlements or car accident cases tend to be pushed around and taken for granted by insurance companies, which deal with this situation on a professional level all day long. Contacting a lawyer for help is free, and you have nothing to lose.

What can a car accident lawyer do for you? Here is a general overview of the type of work you might expect from a personal injury attorney who is representing you in your car accident case.

Prior to Filing Your Case

  • Your lawyer will educate you about your rights and what to expect during the case (like explaining who should be paying for what)
  • An attorney will get together the necessary paperwork and evidence to support your claim
  • You can expect a personal injury lawyer to also write a letter to your insurance company explaining your settlement demands

After Filing Your Case

  • If the insurance company does not agree to your proposed settlement, your attorney will file a legal suit against them. The attorney will take care of everything so you can focus on healing and recovery. No more phone calls to and from the insurance company’s claims department to deal with!
  • After being served with your lawsuit, the insurance company may choose to settle, ask for a mediation session, or take the fight to court. Meanwhile, your legal team will be investigating, contacting witnesses, gathering physical evidence, and researching.
  • If you go to trial (or a similar process called “binding arbitration”), car accident specialists, medical professionals, and other expert witnesses will be contacted and asked to appear in your hearings.

Once Your Personal Injury Case is Settled

  • The law firm representing you will be sent your settlement check—it will not go directly to you. Typically, your lawyer will distribute the check as spelled out in the judgment (paying off your medical expenses, paying themselves for their services, etc.). The rest of the check will then be sent to you to compensate for your future medical bills and your pain and suffering.
  • Most likely, your insurance company will require you to sign a Release of Liability stating that you can not bring any further claims against them regarding this car accident. Ensure that your attorney carefully reviews this document before you sign it.

5. Educate Yourself About How Hiring a Lawyer Can Impact Your Case

91% of accident victims who have legal representation received a settlement. Accident victims who don’t have legal representation only receive a settlement only about 50% of the time. If you have an accident attorney, you can expect a higher settlement offer than you might receive on your own. This is only one of the many ways a lawyer can impact your claim.

6. Avoid Common Mistakes When Hiring a Lawyer

If you’ve decided that hiring a personal injury lawyer is the right move for you, here are some questions you’ll want to ask of the lawyers you meet with to figure out who is the best match for you.

  • Do you think it’s likely that my case will go to trial?
  • Do you mostly handle car accident cases?
  • Is it likely that I’ll have to testify?
  • How much money do you think my claim is worth?
  • Based on your experience, how long do you imagine it’ll take to get my settlement?
  • What are my chances of winning? Do I have a strong case?
  • Do you recommend that I speak with the insurance companies directly?
  • Will you personally be handling my case? Or will I be working with someone else at your firm?
  • How long should I expect to wait to get my phone calls to you returned?
  • Can you specify exactly what your strategy is for getting me compensation? What do you intend to include in my case?
  • If the insurance company calls me, should I answer?
  • From the time a settlement is reached until I get my money, how long will that take?
  • What do you charge?
  • How long have you been handling car accident cases? How many cases like mine have you worked on?
  • Are you a member of any professional organizations?
  • What is your average settlement for a car accident case like mine?

Finally, here are some things to avoid when hiring an Austin auto accident lawyer. Don’t simply hire the first lawyer that returns your phone call. There are plenty of qualified lawyers out there—take the time to interview them and hire the best person for the job.

Another common mistake people make is to pay for an initial consultation. Some lawyers will ask you to pay $100-$200 to come in and have your case evaluated. If you have no case, you just wasted money to add to your financial stress. A respected personal injury lawyer will be more than happy to meet with you for free to evaluate your rights.

Contact an Austin Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been injured, you should contact the Austin personal injury attorneys at TK Injury Lawyers as soon as possible. Call us today at (512) 582-2398 to schedule a free consultation.

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