If you’ve been in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, your life has undoubtedly gotten more complicated. You have to deal with the daily pain of the injuries caused by the accident. You also have to deal with the treatments for those injuries, as well as the limitations those injuries impose on your daily activities. On top of this, you are also probably unable to work. Bills are piling up and you wonder how they will be paid. In short, you are under an enormous amount of physical and mental stress.
The one light at the end of the tunnel is the fact that someone else is responsible for all of the physical and financial damages that you’re experiencing. Their insurer is responsible for compensating you for the losses that you’ve suffered as a result of the accident. This is why it is extremely important that any claim made against the other driver’s insurer be handled properly. To that end, in this article we’re going to look at some of the more common mistakes that are made when pursuing an accident claim.
Failing to obtain a police report regarding your accident is possibly the number one way to decrease your chances of obtaining the compensation that you deserve. If you’ve been in a car accident and the police are not on the scene, call 911 and state that you’ve been in a car accident and would like to have the police present. When the police arrive, they will begin investigating the accident. Answer any questions posed to you to the best of your ability. The information that is contained in this report has the potential to become invaluable evidence that supports your claim.
One of the most common mistakes made after being involved in a car accident is failing to seek medical attention. Even if you don’t feel as if you’re injured, it is better to be cautious and get yourself examined at an ER or by your own doctor. There’s a very good reason to do so. Many injuries that occur during an accident do not become apparent for hours, days, or weeks after the accident has occurred. Neck and back trauma are prime examples of this phenomenon. If you do have injuries that manifest later, your failure to seek immediate medical attention can be used against you. An insurer can attempt to claim that your injuries are not as severe as they seem or that they were not actually caused by the accident itself.
When you are being examined, you have an obligation to tell your doctor everything about how you are feeling. No detail is too small to be left out. After all, it isn’t your job to diagnose yourself. Let your doctor make a record of every symptom that you have and decide what needs treatment. The record that your doctor makes will be evidence that connects any injuries, current or future, to the accident itself. That evidence could very well help you obtain the compensation you deserve for the injuries you’ve suffered.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident you need to contact an attorney as quickly as possible. Insurance companies are in business to make profit. Yes, they spend millions on advertising that promotes their friendliness and neighborliness. However, at the end of the day, money is what matters to them most, not your well-being. An experienced personal injury attorney understands this. When you hire an attorney to represent you early on in the claim process, they will be able to advise you on how to behave as to maximize your chances of successfully settling your insurance claim. They will also work to insure that the amount of settlement is as large as it can possibly be under the circumstances. Without an attorney, you are at the mercy of the insurance company. In such a case, your interests will take a back seat to their bottom line.
Insurance adjusters and attorneys who work for insurance companies are not your friends. They will try to get you to believe that they have your best interests at heart. They will express sympathy about your situation and will tell you that they are there to help you in any way they can. The problem is, they are not.
All of the representatives of the insurance company that you deal with are paid by that company. Their livelihood depends on staying within their employer’s good graces. As such, they will do what they can within the limits of the law to reduce the amount of your claim as much as possible or, if they can, eliminate it altogether.
This is why it’s important that you do not divulge details regarding your accident or your condition to any representatives of the other driver’s insurer. Any information you give them will be used to attempt to reduce or eliminate your claim. If you are represented by an attorney, simply give any representative of the other driver’s insurer your attorney’s contact details and ask them to contact him or her. Then refuse to answer any further questions.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, your doctor has set out a plan of treatment that is designed to get you back to normal as quickly as possible. Your failure to follow your doctor’s plan of treatment is the best way for you to torpedo your chances to be adequately compensated for your injuries. When you skip doctors’ appointments and physical therapy appointments it creates a presumption that you are not as injured as you claim to be. The insurance company involved in your claim will eagerly take note of your failure to follow your doctor’s orders. They will then use your actions against you. They will point to any and all missed appointments as evidence that you aren’t actually injured, but are instead malingering.