If you are involved in a San Diego car accident caused by someone else's negligence and you sustain serious injuries, you will likely entitled to compensation. However, how much compensation you are entitled to may depend on many factors, some of which are within your control. The actions you take following an accident can impact the amount of compensation you actually recover for your accident. This guide explains general steps that an accident victim should take to protect their legal rights to fair compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
Step #1: Get Medical Treatment
If you are experiencing any amount of pain following an accident, seek medical treatment at your local emergency room or urgent care center. This is important not just for your health and well-being, but also for other reasons. Getting medical treatment on the same day as your accident documents your injuries and condition following an accident. This will be important when you file a claim for your injuries with the insurance company or companies. If you are not taken to a hospital by ambulance following your San Diego car accident, have someone drive you to the emergency room. It is always advisable to promptly seek medical care following any accident resulting in injuries.
Step #2 Complete Your Medical Treatment
If your doctor orders diagnostic tests such as an MRI, CT Scan, EEG or X-Ray, follow through and have the tests done as soon as possible. If your doctor recommends a course of physical therapy, acupuncture, or chiropractic care, follow through and get the recommended care. Following your doctor's orders is always advisable because it is beneficial to your health. It is also beneficial to the value of your personal injury claim, because it shows you are serious about treating your injuries. Insurance companies will likely offer you less compensation if your medical records reveal you did not follow your doctor's orders. Your insurance company will interpret your actions to mean that you were not seriously hurt in the accident.
Step #3 Talk to an Experienced Lawyer as Soon as Possible
If your injuries are serious, you need legal representation. Waiting a long time to speak to a San Diego personal injury lawyer can decrease the value of your claim. Find a lawyer in your area that has proven results in cases similar to your situation. It is important to remember that every situation is different, and no two cases are alike. Simply because someone with similar injuries to yours received a million dollar settlement does not mean you will have the same outcome. Talk to your lawyer about the merits of your case and how much you may reasonably recover in a settlement.