You know all too well how a car accident can change your life in a split second. What started as an ordinary drive ended in a crash. Now you’re injured, unable to work, and unsure if you’re up to dealing with the insurance company.
Kentucky law entitles you to compensation if another party is at fault for your car accident injuries. You want to maximize your settlement because once you accept an offer, you typically cannot pursue more money in the future. Your insurance payout must cover your past, current, and future accident-related expenses. Below are three actions you can take after a car accident to help maximize your settlement.
1. Attend All Your Medical Appointments
Serious car accident injuries often require long-term medical care. The weeks and months after your accident might feel like a series of endless doctor visits. It might be tempting to skip an appointment now and then. Or, maybe you’re struggling with transportation issues. Communicate with your care team if you face barriers to accessing your medical care. Some medical providers even offer transportation to and from medical appointments. The insurance company will distort your intent no matter your reason for missing doctor visits. Their attorneys will argue that you aren’t truly injured and are not serious about getting better.
2. Stay Off Social Media
Many people post details about their daily life online. But nothing good will come from discussing your accident or injuries on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites. The insurance company’s legal team will likely search your social media posts and could misinterpret even the most innocent comments and photographs.
3. Contact an Attorney Right Away
Many car accident victims delay contacting an attorney. There’s no advantage to waiting to see if the insurance company will “do the right thing” and adequately compensate you—because they won’t. Personal injury attorneys never forget that insurance companies are for-profit businesses with a bottom line to protect. They aim to settle your case as quickly as possible for as little compensation as possible. After you seek medical care, you should contact an attorney to preserve your legal rights. Another advantage of hiring a lawyer shortly after your car accident is that your lawyer can direct your personal injury protection (PIP) insurer to not pay any large medical bills, like your hospital bill. That way, your health insurer pays this large bill at a discounted rate, and it ultimately ends up maximizing the amount received in your pocket. If you have health insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare, you do not want the PIP insurer paying for large hospital bills.
What Does a Car Accident Settlement Pay For?
An adequate settlement covers your accident-related damages, which personal injury law classifies as either economic or non-economic.
- Economic damages have an associated price tag, such as medical bills, lost income, and property damage.
- Non-economic damages are the intangible effects of your accident, like pain and suffering and loss of companionship.
Insurance companies often downplay non-economic damages to save themselves money. They may also question your future medical expenses and lost wages. That’s why car accident attorneys frequently partner with medical, vocational, and economic experts to calculate future damages. You may need ongoing physical therapy or surgery several years from now, and you shouldn’t have to pay for it if someone else was at-fault for your crash.
What Does “At-Fault” Mean in a Car Accident?
All car accident claims center around negligence. Someone’s irresponsible actions hurt another person, making them “at fault.” Individuals can be legally responsible for car accident injuries, as can businesses and entities. Examples of negligence in the Louisville area include:
- A driver traveled the wrong way on I-64 and struck another vehicle.
- An intoxicated driver rear-ended another car while leaving Cardinal Stadium.
- The city failed to trim a tree that obstructed a traffic light, causing a crash.
An attorney can ensure you aren’t held responsible for a crash that was someone else’s fault. Car accident law firms can access resources that the average individual does not have access to. Attorneys can arrange for an accident re-creation and take legal action to interview witnesses.
How Much Are My Car Accident Injuries Worth?
Most car accident law firms, like Meagher Injury Lawyers, offer a free case review. That’s an opportunity for you to discuss how your injuries impact your life. While any car accident injury has the potential to be life-altering, catastrophic injuries that result in brain damage, paralysis, and the loss of a limb often have larger settlements.
It can be uncomfortable to place a monetary value on your or your loved one’s injuries. But insurance companies talk in dollar amounts, and this strategy enables fair compensation.
Are There Time Limits to Pursue a Car Accident Settlement in Louisville?
Another reason to contact an attorney immediately is to stay ahead of the state’s time limit to file a personal injury case. The Kentucky Motor Vehicle Reparations Act sets the statute of limitations for car accident injury cases at a minimum of two years following your car accident. Thus, out of caution, it’s always best to file a lawsuit within two years of the car accident if you are unable to settle your car accident case. The judge will likely dismiss your injury claim if you attempt to take legal action after the statute of limitations.
Maximize Your Car Accident Settlement—Contact a Lawyer Today
Unlike the insurance company, our attorneys have your best interests in mind. We see you as the injured individual you are, with severe injuries and mounting debt. Let us handle negotiations with the insurance company, so you can focus on getting better. Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation.