#1. Admitting guilt
In the aftermath of a frightening car accident, it can seem very natural to tell the other driver that you’re sorry when you’re checking on their health. Even if you do not mean this apology to be an admission of guilt, it can be used against you when you are trying to recover compensation for your injuries.
#2. Not taking pictures
Pictures you take of the scene and your injuries will become vital evidence in your claim. As soon as possible, take pictures of the scene of the accident, the position and damage to the vehicles, road conditions, and anything you think may have contributed to the accident. Be sure you document your injuries right away and as they heal to show the extent of the damages you suffered.
#3. Failing to notify the insurance company
You have a time limit for notifying the insurance company of an accident. Failing to notify your insurance carrier of an accident can prevent you from recovering compensation for your injuries. While it’s important to contact the insurance company as soon as possible, avoid giving any recorded or written statements until you speak with an attorney.
#4. Trusting the insurance company
Remember that the insurance company’s interests may not be the same as yours after a devastating accident. Insurance companies employ a team of attorneys and adjusters who will seek to prove you were not as injured as you say, that you were responsible for the accident, or that your damages are not what you claim. An auto accident injury attorney will protect your best interests while you work with the insurance company toward a fair settlement.
#5. Failing to seek immediate medical attention
Even if you think you are fine, it’s vital that you seek medical care as soon as possible after the injury. Your body will be in shock after the accident and it’s very possible to suffer injuries that do not display symptoms for hours or even days. Failing to seek medical treatment right away makes it more difficult to prove the severity of your injuries and that they are connected to the accident.
#6. Not gathering contact information
While on the scene of the accident, get contact information from the other driver as well as any witnesses. Witness statements can be a valuable source of evidence as to what caused the accident and the severity of your injuries.
#7. Not calling the police
If you are involved in an accident, it’s important to contact law enforcement right away to respond to the scene and complete a report on the accident. After investigating the scene, law enforcement may come to a conclusion about the cause of the accident and this can be included in the report. This professional judgment can be very strong evidence in an injury claim.
#8. Failing to follow doctor’s orders
Be sure you follow up with medical treatment to show a continuity of care and follow any recommendations and orders your doctor gives you. Gaps in medical treatment can create issues with your injury claim, as can failing to follow recommendations.
#9. Agreeing to a settlement
Any settlement offer you receive early in the process is virtually guaranteed to be a lowball offer. Do not accept any settlement until you discuss it with an attorney. An injury lawyer will work to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company to protect your rights.
#10. Not seeking assistance from an experienced car accident attorney
If your accident resulted in serious or long-lasting injuries, it’s essential to contact a qualified injury lawyer for assistance in obtaining a fair settlement. The more money at stake in a claim, the harder it will be for you to handle your injury claim on your own as the insurance company is unlikely to make a reasonable offer.
Avoiding these mistakes can help strengthen your injury claim after an accident. Be sure you contact an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible to begin building your case and protecting your rights.