The process of recovering from a car accident can take months, or even years, depending on the nature of the injuries. Of course, the medical bills begin to pile up immediately for the victims of the accident. It is often tempting to settle for much less than the injury deserves, especially if the other party offers a settlement quickly.
This is a difficult position for a victim recovering from injuries. The pressures to pay off the bill and move on from the accident can feel enormous, but rushing to conclusions about the mid-term and long-term effects of the injury is never wise.
For most victims, it takes time to understand fully how an injury affects them, which is why many insurers push to settle as quickly as possible. By settling quickly, the insurer can often avoid paying for long-term pain or treatment options, ultimately placing greater strain on the victim.
Before you accept any settlement offer, be sure to carefully document your injuries and the effects that they have on all areas of your life, to help build a strong claim that seeks the full compensation you deserve.
Gathering medical documentation
After any car accident, it is wise to go immediately to a doctor for a full medical examination. The reason is simple — you may have injuries that you cannot feel, at least not yet. Delayed pain injuries can even be fatal, if you have internal bleeding or damage to your organs. The sooner you go to a doctor after an accident, the better.
Not only can this help catch injuries you might otherwise miss, it also creates a significant amount of medical documentation, which strengthens your claim.
Writing down your experiences
As you work through your recovery, you will discover ways that your injuries affect you that you did not expect. It is wise to keep a journal of your pain, or of specific events having to do with your injuries, so that you do not forget.
Also, keeping a journal of your recovery shows how the injury affects you over time, which is a key part of determining compensation. Two people may experience whiplash that seems similar, but one may recover from the injury in a day or two, while the other may feel effects of the injury for weeks or even longer.
Documenting financial losses
Often, recovering from a serious injury requires a victim to take time off from a job to recover. If you're lucky, the job is still there for them when you return, but if you are unlucky, your income may dry up at the same time that you're accumulating significant medical expenses.
The liable party in the accident generally must compensate you not only for your medical expenses and suffering, but holds responsibility for your financial losses from the injury.
A strong personal injury claim assembles this evidence and clearly displays the full range of your losses due to the accident. With careful planning and thorough documentation, you can build a strong claim to protect your rights during recovery and keep you focused on the hard work of healing.