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Car accidents can be traumatic mishaps, both physically and emotionally. Also, dealing with insurance companies and filing claims can be challenging. If the incident occurred due to someone else’s negligence, you may be wondering what’s the role of a personal injury lawyer in this situation. This article discusses the things you shouldn’t do when filing a car accident claim.
Not Seeking Immediate Medical Attention
In many instances, individuals feel fine after a collision, believing they haven’t sustained any injuries. However, certain issues (e.g. whiplash) may not show immediate symptoms. Instead, they can develop over time and worsen if left untreated. The sooner you get checked out by a healthcare professional, the quicker you can get treated and recover.
Delayed medical attention can create gaps in your medical records, which insurance companies may use to dispute your case’s validity. They could maintain that your injuries were sustained elsewhere, rather than during the car accident. Additionally, failure to document your injuries can result in lower compensation amounts or even the denial of any compensation.
Not Consulting With An Attorney
Some people think they can handle the claims process on their own, or do so in order to save money. However, evidence confirms that representing yourself can be a big mistake. An attorney can provide valuable insight into what your case is worth and how best to present it in court if needed. They can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries. They can also explain your rights and make sure that they’re protected at all times.
Attorneys are well-versed in state laws regarding car accidents. They can ensure that all necessary paperwork and evidence is filed correctly and on time. They also know how to negotiate with insurance companies and other parties, so that you get the best possible outcome. The people who consult the car accident attorneys at The Bourassa Law Group confirm folks’ need for professionals with proven track records, trial results, and experience. People want free consultations and case evaluations, and access to ‘no win non fee’ policies.
Not Notifying The Police Or Taking Contact Details
It’s advisable to call the police as soon as possible after an incident, even if it seems minor. If required, they can manage the accident scene and ensure everyone’s safety. If they attend, they’ll create an official report. Thanks to information gathered from the witnesses etc., this report could prove indispensable in determining fault and proving your case. Without their assistance, it may be more difficult to gather all that you need for your claim. This information is essential for insurance companies and lawyers to determine fault and liability in the accident. Without it, you may receive a lower settlement offer.
Be sure to collect names, phone numbers, addresses, license plate numbers, and insurance information from all parties involved. Additionally, take note of any witnesses who saw the accident occur. Their testimony can be valuable evidence – and they may even let you record their account of events onto your smartphone.
Admitting Fault Or Apologizing
If you do this at the accident scene, it can have a significant impact on the outcome of your claim. While it may seem like the right thing to do, it can be interpreted as an admission of liability. In turn, it makes you responsible for any damages incurred. Even if you believe you were at fault, there may be other factors at play. Perhaps the accident occurred on a private road that wasn’t well-maintained. There could have been overhanging trees, poor lighting, loose gravel, or potholes. These could all have a bearing on your car losing control of the road. It’s therefore best to let the insurance company handle the investigation.
You may receive a request from the other driver’s insurance company, asking for a statement regarding the accident. You should never do this without first consulting your lawyer. If you do produce a statement, don’t admit fault or apologize. Instead, state only the facts of what occurred, and avoid interpreting them in any way.
Becoming Aggressive And Apportioning The Blame
This can be unproductive and also harm your case. Insurance companies will be reviewing your behavior during this time, and how you handle the situation could impact the outcome of your claim.
Becoming aggressive towards the other party involved in the accident (or their insurance company) won’t help your case. In fact, it could make them less willing to cooperate with you or provide fair compensation. Instead, try to remain civil and communicate effectively with all parties involved – or better still, let your lawyer do it.
Failing To Gather All The Evidence
Without sufficient evidence, it’ll be harder to prove your case in court or negotiate a settlement with the other party’s insurance company. You should take photos of your injuries and the damage to both vehicles. Also obtain a copy of the police report, and documentation regarding any loss of earnings.
Seek copies of your medical records and collate all invoices, e.g. for hospital travel, surgery, prescription medication, physical or emotional therapy, etc. Your lawyer may also gain access to CCTV footage of the incident, or create an accident reconstruction. They may also seek professional witness statements to help support your claim.
Settling Too Quickly
Your insurance company may offer a lowball settlement in hopes that you’ll be keen to settle swiftly. However, you shouldn’t accept the money on the table without properly evaluating the damages. It’s important to assess all injuries, damages, and future medical expenses before accepting any settlement offers.
Your lawyer can tell you if the compensation amount is fair, or whether you should reject it. If neither party can come to an agreement, your lawyer can take it to court if necessary.
It’s also important not to discuss the matter on social media. If you avoid these common pitfalls, you’ll be more likely to succeed. You’ll gain justice, receive a fair payout and be able to pay all your expenses as a result.