9 Mistakes to Avoid after a Car Accident
1. Ignore your Injuries
Some injuries require emergency medical attention. However, some of us try to deal with the pain of certain injuries to avoid going to the doctor. After a car accident you may feel that injuries will get better after a few days. You may be right. However, if you are wrong, the insurance companies may question your injuries and refuse to pay you. If you are hurting, then go see a doctor. You will feel better faster and have an independent record/evidence of your injuries. How To See a Doctor Without Medical Insurance.
2. Don't Talk to your Doctor
If you don't tell your doctor what hurts, your doctor won't be able treat you. Additionally, the insurance companies will have no independent record of your injuries. That will cost you money. I've had numerous cases where insurance companies point out that my injured client didn’t mention a second injury for many days or weeks later. Doctors will tell you that people focus on the injury that hurts the worst before focusing on other injuries. Once the worst injury heals, then it reveals pain in another part of the body. Also, some injuries can cause additional problems when an injured person compensates for the original injury. Insurance Companies Will Get Your Records.
3. Don't Take Pictures
Pictures are worth a thousand words and videos are worth a thousand pictures. Pictures document the scene, property damage, and injuries. Presenting a case with pictures and video gives you a better advantage to explain how the collision occurred and the extent of your injuries. Without pictures, your memory will fade, and you will ultimately forget.
4. Don't Write Anything Down
If you don't write down everything related to your accident and medical treatment, you will forget it. This may mean that you forget to submit a medical bill to the insurance company. You may forget how much pain you were in. You may forget the everyday activities you could not do while you were getting better. The insurance company cannot pay something you forget to send to them. You Must Document Your Case.
5. Ignore your Doctor's Advice
When you don't follow your doctor's orders, you invite criticism by the insurance company or the defense lawyer. Questions such as “if you were really hurting, why wouldn't you go back to your doctor?” can tank your case. At best it lowers your pain and suffering claim and at worst means you might by lying. Additionally, if you have permanent pain, the insurance companies or defense lawyers will argue that the reason you never got better is because you did not follow your doctor's orders. So, do what your doctor tells you to do. Who Pays My Medical Bills?
6. Trash Your Paperwork
Throw away all your paperwork. This could include the report given to you by the investigating officer, medical records, medical bills, explanation of benefits from your health insurance company, information from your auto insurance company, and information from the other car's insurance company. Without your paperwork, it will be almost impossible to settle your car accident case.
This one will sneak up on you like a cold. What happens is that the insurance company's representatives or the defense lawyer ask you a question. However, they ask the question in a manner that implies they don't believe you—that you are lying.
You feel defensive. How can this person question me when the other person is 100% at fault for hurting me? You feel you need to justify your actions. Unfortunately, the other side has you pinned and you “exaggerate,” just a little bit. The problem is that the other side can prove what you said is not 100% the truth and that means bad things for your case. Always tell tell the truth—100%.
8. Don't Think About What You Say Before You Say It
Assume that any and every conversation with an insurance adjuster is being recorded. If you aren’t fine, then don't say you are fine when the adjuster asks you how you are today. Don't even say it when answering the telephone (sounds innocent right?). Consider this conversation:
Injured Person: Hello
Adjuster: Mr. Injured Person, my name is Mean Adjuster, how are you today?
Injured Person: I'm fine, how are you?
Take a guess when you will hear that conversation again—sneaky huh? Understand that the insurance adjusters generally want to pay you as little as possible.
9. Don't Find Out If You Need a Lawyer
Some people say you need a lawyer anytime you are ever in an automobile accident. However, hundreds and thousands of people handle their own car accident settlements every year. To find out when you need to call a lawyer, read my guide. Note, if you or a loved one has been in a catastrophic collision, you may need immediate help to secure the crashed vehicle or to conduct a more thorough investigation.
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If you have been injured and would like to talk to a personal injury lawyer, please call today at 888-510-9359 or contact me by clicking below. I will be happy to listen to your situation and offer advice and help. A lawyer can meet you in our convenient locations in Greenville, Fort Mill, or Rock Hill. Please know that there is no obligation on your part for this free consultation.