What Can You Get From A Car Accident Claim?
The most basic answer is that you can get money from a car accident claim. But for what, you may ask? That's where this stops being so basic. There are lots of damages that you can get compensation for, and since each situation is different I can't possibly list everything that is available. What I can do is show you what the usual damages are and how to get the most money for them, as well as some of the less frequent (but still equally important) things you can be compensated for.
Ideally, you are seeking compensation from someone else or their insurance company. If you are going to ask for a lot from your own insurance company for your car accident claim, your rates are going to skyrocket. Remember to always keep your insurance company in the loop with everything that is going on, as well as your attorney (if you have one, and you probably should). If you are doing this without legal representation, be ready to take on a slew of paperwork and thick bureaucracy to get your claim completed. The most common compensation with car accident claims are auto expenses, lost wages, and medical expenses.
When preparing your car accident insurance claim, the auto expenses will add up very quickly. These expenses include the value of the car if totaled, fixing damage, towing, storage, and rental cars. If there are any out of pocket expenses be sure to keep any receipts and records, even if you aren't totally sure it can be claimed. It's much easier to throw a receipt away later than it is to try to dig up a copy of it in a pinch.
When getting estimates on damages be sure to get more than one opinion. The prices at mechanics and body shops vary depending on their quality. Do your best to find the highest quality shop to repair your car and write your estimate. You'll be able to use this higher dollar amount as negotiation later on with the insurance company.
Missing work isn't always a bad thing, but when you aren't getting any income it can be. Your lost wages also includes any overtime that you would normally get, any increase in pay that you would have received, and vacation time that would have been taken had you not been injured. All of these things should be accounted for in your car accident personal injury claim. Your boss or HR department will write a letter that states what your lost wages are and will usually submit it to your lawyer.
The rule of thumb with medical treatment after a car accident is to get everything treated now, or you'll have to deal with the pain and medical bills on your own insurance later on. Get second opinions if you feel that your doctor isn't treating everything that he or she needs to. Keep very tight records of everything that you receive from your doctors office. Missing records can jeopardize car accident claim compensation.
There are all sorts of other damages that can be filed on your car accident injury claim. Most of them are non-tangible damages that are hard to place a dollar amount on. These are damages like pain, suffering, and grieving. This is a crucial time to have legal help. They have experience dealing with these types of damages and can help put a dollar value on these for your case. If you are winging this on your own, come up with a number that you feel is fair then add 20% to account for the amount that it will be negotiated down by the other insurance company.
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