Mistakes That Hurt Your Car Accident Claim
The outcome of a car accident is disorienting and confusing, and you may make mistakes that hurt your chances to receive fair compensation. You should know these mistakes beforehand so you can avoid costly errors in case of an accident. Below are things to avoid doing after an auto accident.
Fail to Collect Evidence
Your car accident claim needs strong evidence to establish fault, highlight the damages you suffered, and protect your legal rights. Smartphones have made it easier to photograph accident scenes, and you should take pictures at many different angles. Capture any skid marks and traffic devices like stop signs near the scene.
The next step is to take photographs of the involved vehicles, including close-up shots that show who was at fault. Take pictures of your injuries as well. The contact information of any witnesses helps your case, so ask for identifying information from drivers and pedestrians who saw any part of the incident.
Many accident victims assume their injuries aren’t bad and that time will soothe any soreness and pain they feel. However, you may have sustained severe injuries that don’t become apparent until you go home. For instance, a concussion may cause the confusion and disorientation you attribute to stress. Sometimes it takes weeks for symptoms to appear, and the soreness you feel now could be a sprain that keeps you from working.
Avoid saying you are fine when you are in shock, as underestimating your injuries makes it seem like you aren’t really hurt. Misjudging the severity of your injuries also complicates your recovery as it prolongs your treatment, keeps you out of work, and creates disputes with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
The ideal course of action is to get a physical assessment from a physician right away. If you wait long to get medical attention, the liable driver’s insurers may claim that your injuries didn’t occur from the accident. Also, let first responders know all your symptoms, regardless of how insignificant they seem.
Fail to Call Police
A police report is a fundamental document in auto accident claims. Some people don’t contact police if they deem an incident to be minor, but you never know what could develop later on. The police report includes an assessment of the crash scene, the extent of the damage, and information about all involved parties. This documentation is invaluable when you launch your claim for damages.
Many car accident victims make the error of admitting fault or apologizing at the accident scene. While saying sorry is often instinctive, the other driver’s insurer may use your admission against you. Keep in mind that insurers are in the business of denying claims, and they latch on to anything to avoid paying damages.
While you may think that you are at fault, the confusion following a car accident can make you misread the circumstances. So, don’t admit fault or apologize until you contact an attorney.
Not Hire an Attorney
While your insurance adjuster may advise you that you don’t need an attorney, you absolutely need one. After you hire an attorney, you accrue many benefits, such as a better settlement. Experienced attorneys know the various settlements attained for different insurance claims, and they easily determine how much compensation you deserve.
If you pursue the matter yourself, you will likely accept a low offer since you don’t know your claim’s worth. Also, attorneys understand local and federal laws and legal proceedings, so they can keep auto accident victims from making mistakes.
A car accident attorney ensures you don’t make mistakes at every step of your car accident claim. Contact us at Carl L. Britt Jr. Attorney at Law today to get the help you deserve.