Car accident expenses can add up fast and quickly drain your finances. You may not have to let this happen to you if you file a car accident claim. Documentation of evidence can be one of the most effective ways to prove the damages you suffered. Exploring the steps for documenting car accident expenses and other ways to maximize compensation can help you recover from the accident. Feel free to ask a Kansas City car accident lawyer about what this process involves.
Documenting Your Car Accident Expenses
Many car accident expenses overlap with car accident damages. Car accident expenses include any financial losses you suffered as a result of the accident; car accident damages involve any type of harm you suffered from the accident. This harm can be financial and psychological.
Car accident expenses can be broken down into various categories that include physical injuries, vehicle damages, property damages, and other financial losses. Documenting each of these damages is important for obtaining compensation to cover the financial losses you suffered. The more you document, the greater your chances will be of maximum compensation.
Steps for Documenting Vehicle Damage
Steps for documenting vehicle damages include collecting evidence at the scene of the accident and repair shops afterward. An effective way to collect evidence at the scene of the accident is to take pictures or record video of vehicle damages. Be sure to include all sides of the vehicle and all damages, even smaller damages.
When your car is at the repair shop, some insurance companies will send someone to investigate the damages or talk with the mechanic. Collect evidence by obtaining copies of receipts and bills from the repair shop, tow companies, rental cars, and any other services used for car repair.
Steps for Documenting Personal Injury Expenses
Documenting personal injury expenses works in a similar way. This process also involves taking pictures and obtaining copies of receipts. Take pictures of any injuries you suffered as soon as possible before improvement starts happening. Obtain copies of medical records and receipts of any other medical costs like medications.
An effective way to document the severity of your injuries is a medical diary. This involves writing down and tracking your daily symptoms. Including details about pain, severity, what skills or activities are impaired, and duration of symptoms could strengthen your car accident claim.
Documenting Other Financial Losses
Other financial losses that can be documented include lost wages and property damages. Lost wages can be documented with copies of paystubs from missed work. Property damages may include damage to any belongings in your vehicle like your phone. These can be documented with pictures and written details.
How to Maximize Your Car Accident Compensation
Multiple ways are available for maximizing car accident compensation. The first way is to file your car accident claim, and see what compensation you're offered. Some auto insurance companies will offer fair compensation. Other auto insurance companies will attempt to offer you little to no compensation to save money on their end.
You do not have to settle for less compensation. Negotiating with the auto insurance company is an option. However, many insurance companies use confusing words to trick people into agreeing to unfair deals. This is when a car accident lawyer might be able to help. A lawyer can help you calculate how much compensation you could receive and can then take steps to defend your need for this amount.
Car accident lawyers are also trained to navigate legal jargon and loopholes. Having a lawyer negotiate on your behalf may increase your chances of the compensation you need. If the insurance company refuses to negotiate or agree, a lawyer can take the next step with arbitration, mediation, or sending in additional evidence of the accident.
Some lawyers work with a team of investigators who are prepared to collect additional evidence and information to strengthen your case. When the insurance company refuses to cooperate, the next step might take the form of a car accident lawsuit.
Filing a Lawsuit
Many people do not like the idea of filing a lawsuit. In some cases, receiving a fair settlement requires this step. Filing a car accident lawsuit can take longer, but the alternative might be a lack of financial help for the car accident damages you suffered. This may mean bills and financial strain.
The good news is that you likely already went through the first steps of filing a lawsuit already. If you have come this far, you have probably already collected car accident evidence and may have consulted with a lawyer. Once you have the evidence and information needed, your lawyer can help you file the initial complaint.
Once this is done, the other driver and insurance agent will have a deadline for responding. They may file motions that can delay the trial. Once a court date is set, preparing for trial is the next step. In some cases, a judge can enforce mediation to avoid going to trial. This can save a lot of time and money.
If the case goes to trial, be prepared to present evidence and undergo witness testimony. You might be asked questions by lawyers who represent the other driver or insurance company. Having your own witnesses to defend your claim can be beneficial in some cases. An experienced lawyer can help you select witnesses carefully along with:
- Preparing for trial
- Collecting more evidence
- Defending your claim
Remember, you do not have to accept a settlement you disagree with. Consider exploring options with your lawyer when you have doubts. Try contacting a Kansas City car accident lawyer if you have questions about how this process works. A lawyer can guide you on what legal options you have and how much you could be eligible for in terms of a settlement.