When filing a claim after an auto accident, you cannot assume that it will settle quickly with no disputes. Settlement negotiations could be lengthy or your case may be decided at trial. So you want to do everything you can to make your case strong. Despite the stress of the crash and your injuries, you must avoid making mistakes that could hurt your case and reduce your attorney’s ability to settle your claim for the compensation you deserve.
What Are Mistakes People Commonly Make Following a Crash?
Many accident victims make mistakes—often innocently—that hurt their claims for compensation. You can learn from their errors and avoid doing the following:
- Not contacting the police. A police report will contain vital information regarding your crash, such as how it occurred, contact information for the driver and witnesses, and whether the negligent driver was issued a citation. You will need the report even if you only make a claim for property damage to your vehicle with your own insurance company.
- Not seeking prompt medical care. You want to see a doctor soon after the wreck whether or not you believe you suffered injuries. Some symptoms will take days or weeks to develop, and you want to document the injuries for your claim right away to avoid potential disputes regarding what caused them. In addition, seeing a doctor could stop a problem before it becomes more serious and maybe life-threatening.
- Admitting guilt. You want to be careful not to say something that is construed as admitting guilt. Even a simple comment like “I’m sorry” could come back to haunt you.
- Not obtaining contact information. You need to obtain the contact information for the driver, his insurance company, and any witnesses to the accident. You cannot rely on the police officer to interview all witnesses that could later be helpful to your case.
- Not taking pictures. Pictures are powerful evidence of the seriousness of your crash and how it occurred. If you were too injured to take pictures, you want to obtain copies from any passengers in your vehicle or witnesses who took them.
- Agreeing to give a recorded statement. A recorded statement is a tape-recorded question and answer session with the negligent driver’s insurance adjuster. You are not required to agree to give one and doing so could result in you inadvertently saying something that hurts your case.
- Signing a blanket medical authorization. You do not want to sign a medical authorization for the insurance company without seeking advice of an attorney. He can provide the necessary medical records for you and avoid giving the insurance company irrelevant and private medical information about you.
- Not hiring an experienced attorney. You need to hire an experienced car accident attorney soon after your accident. He can guide you through the process of filing your claim, help you not make mistakes, and negotiate your settlement for you.
If you were hurt in a car accident, let the experienced and trusted car accident attorneys at Tavss Fletcher investigate your accident, build a strong case, and negotiate your settlement for you. To begin the process, start an online chat to schedule a case evaluation.