Getting injured in an auto accident can be an overwhelming time. Along with physical pain, confusion and worry can set it in. However, if you know the factors that contribute to your compensation, you can better your chances of bringing the other at-fault driver to justice:
Factors that Influence Personal Injury Compensation
- Police Report - When the accident occurs, you should immediately file a police report. This can be a strong piece of evidence if the case goes to trial or arbitration.
- Medical Attention - If you sought medical attention soon after the accident, this can be documented and presented in order to strengthen your case. It shows that the injury was serious enough to be attended to, especially if you are claiming large personal injury damages.
- Other Citations - The other driver could have been driving drunk or violated various laws, meaning that they would have received a ticket from law enforcement. You can request a copy of this for your records.
- Avoid Admitting Fault - When speaking with the other driver(s) at the scene and with law enforcement, never admit fault. Such a statement could be used against you as strong evidence that you caused the accident.
- Witnesses - If you see witnesses after the accident, ask them to give a statement and verify the events of the scene. Exchange contact information with them in order to call upon them later for testimony.
- Take Pictures - Photograph the surrounding area of the scene and any injuries to yourself or damage to your vehicle.
- Loss of Income - If you are unable to work due to the accident, you should note the number of days / hours you missed.
Types of Damages You Can be Awarded
The total cost of your injuries is what amounts to the damages you may receive. Not only are these damages a result of financial costs you endured, but also emotional costs. In terms of financial costs, you can seek compensation for medical bills, loss of income capacity, and loss of property, for example. Indirect or emotional damages include emotional stress, pain, suffering, loss of a limb, loss of fertility, and more. You may also be awarded "punitive" damages if it determined by a judge that the other driver was particularly reckless in their driving.
It is important to document the factors above to better your chances in a settlement, court, or arbitration scenario. You should consult a trusted professional auto accident attorney to guide you through this process. They can help you navigate the confusion to get the compensation you deserve.