·Notes – Take detailed and extensive notes on the incident: who was involved, what happened, when it happened, where it happened, etc.

·Evidence – You’ll need evidence to back up your account. Taking photographs or videos of any damage to your person or your property, or of persons, vehicles, animals, that were involved could be crucial to your case. If you have doctors or hospital visits, or your vehicle or other property requires repair, testimony from the person who performed the work could prove valuable as well.

What are some negotiation strategies for dealing with my insurance company?

The first step is, think twice before accepting the insurance company’s initial offer; its most likely on the low end of what you could potentially be offered.

Next, and this is very important, do NOT lie. Exaggeration or outright fabrication will not help you earn what you truly deserve if you are discovered.

You should also submit a formal demand letter. This document should include your account of the incident, what injuries you endured, what medical treatment you required, and any income you lost as a result of your injuries.

Do I need to hire a lawyer?

It would definitely be prudent to hire a personal injury lawyer. If you do decide to submit a formal demand letter, a lawyer can help you draft it and make sure all the relevant info included.

It would also be smart to have your attorney check over any documents the insurance company might ask you to sign. Documents like waivers, releases or acknowledgements of payment could greatly affect or even restrict your rights. A lawyer can help you understand what these documents mean and whether it’s in your best interest to sign them or renegotiate terms.