It’s an unfortunate fact of life that accidents happen to good people, and though there is a tendency to forgive and let live, often the results of those accidents can result in scars for life, and skyrocketing medical bills. That’s why finding a personal injury attorney Utah residents trust is so important. You can find the help you need at the Acadia Law Group. They would advise you to follow a number of steps after you are involved in an accident because these accidents can cause you major, life-changing pain, suffering, and medical bills.
Steps to consider after an accident
Call the police to the scene
Whether it’s an automobile accident or a cup of scolding hot coffee is poured on your lap by a server at a restaurant, calling the police is vital. You want an officer at the scene so that they can make a report about the incident, record an official statement, and gather evidence that can help to determine who was at fault.
Of course, you may need an ambulance as well. An ambulance should be called immediately after an accident if someone is hurt.
Obtain any vital information needed
Try to obtain the license and insurance information in a car accident. In other cases, try to obtain the official name of the business, their phone number, and their address.
Report the accident to your insurer
As soon as possible, report the accident to your insurer. But never divulge information to the other party’s insurer. Let either your insurance agent or your attorney handle it.
Take lots of photos
Photos taken post-accident are often the best evidence, so unless you are personally injured, try to take as many photos as possible with your cell phone.
Protect your legal rights
While often your insurance agent is your best advocate, there are many times when its necessary for you to select a personal injury attorney. Try to do this as soon as possible rather than waiting months later. Your claim may be rejected if it’s filed too late in the process.
Be very wary of social media
If you are claiming damage from an accident, and then post a picture on Facebook of you and your family on a skiing vacation, you can kiss your claim goodbye. Good attorneys scour social media.
Let your attorney determine the validity of your claim
Don’t just make the assumption that you know everything about your case. There are often many claims, such as emotional distress, that a personal injury attorney is used to dealing with, but you are not.
Don’t be too anxious to settle
Naturally, people want to settle an accident claim as soon as possible, but the legal process takes time. Never speak to the other parties insurance adjuster, and let your attorney advise you on the progress of the case.
Make a good impression
On the chance your claim actually goes to court, be as polite and respectable as possible. Get a haircut, wear a suit and tie, or for women, a conservative power business suit. Juries take your demeanor and appearance very carefully. No matter how much the other party was at fault, if you don’t play your part in court, you can be punished unfairly by members of the jury.
Processes such as rehabilitation
If you have to go through a major process like rehabilitation therapy, be sure and keep every medical bill for your attorney, as well as get a letter on the doctor’s stationery of the long term prognosis. This can help your attorney evaluate the personal damage you experienced over the course of your lifetime.
How much is the average settlement?
Of course, every case is different, but according to Nolo.com’s legal encyclopedia, settlement amounts for the average personal injury claim are from $3,000 to $25,000 for most accident claims. Many others settle for much higher amounts.
On the average, fifty percent of claims were settled in under eleven months, and those with a lawyer received a payout in 91 percent of cases; without an attorney was 51 percent.