If you are involved in a car accident that is not your fault, you have a couple options available in able to recover the costs for medical treatment and damages to your vehicle.

You can either file an insurance claim on your own or hire a lawyer to help you deal with the paperwork and the insurance company.

If the accident was minor and you did not suffer any injuries, you could probably file a claim on your own. However, keep in mind that although you may feel ok right now, some injuries may not show symptoms until weeks or months after the accident. It’s important to see a doctor or chiropractor as soon as possible after the accident. Too often people do not seek treatment because they don’t feel serious pain.

Even if you are involved in a low-speed accident or a fender spender, you could still suffer from whiplash, especially if you were hit from behind.  It’s been said that most crashes that involve whiplash only take two-tenths of a second. In an auto accident, the vertebra in your spine push and scrape against each other, which causes headaches and neck pain.

Dealing With the Insurance Company

If the accident is not your fault, you may file a claim and collect monetary damages from the person who caused the accident. You will need to provide proof that the person was negligent. Photos from the accident scene, a police report, and eyewitness accounts will help prove your case to the insurance company. Your doctor or chiropractor can also release medical records to show what injuries you have suffered, if any, from the accident.

After all the necessary paperwork is provided to the insurance company, you will probably have to negotiate a settlement to help cover the costs of repairing your vehicle and any medical treatment.

When to Hire a Lawyer

If you have suffered major injuries or you don’t want the hassle of dealing with the insurance company, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer. A lawyer who specializes in car accident injuries can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and has a good idea of what your case is worth.

Remember that the insurance company will try to pay you the least amount possible. They are in the business of saving money, not paying out money.

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