No one ever imagines they will end up in a car accident that will significantly impact their lives, but the fact is millions of Americans get in car accidents every year. While we hope you never find yourself in that situation, it is best to have a plan in the event of a car accident so you can get back to normal life as quickly as possible. If you’re in a car accident, do not make these 4 common mistakes people make after an accident.
1. Not Seeking Medical Attention Immediately
It is essential that you seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident. Many people will put off doctor’s visits because they assume they are fine or because they can’t afford the medical bills. Whatever the reason may be, you should go to a medical professional as soon as possible.
Not only will seeking treatment get you well on your way to recovery and ensure that you do not have any hidden injuries, but your medical records serve as the evidence you need to prove your case and receive your claim from the insurance company. If you don’t seek medical attention, you will not have the proof required to receive compensation for your injuries.
If you wait a few days before going to the doctor, the defendant will likely argue that your injuries were from something other than the accident because of the delay in treatment. Don’t make this mistake. Go to a medical professional immediately after the accident to ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to.
2. Giving a Recorded Statement
After the accident, the claims adjuster from the insurance company will likely contact you and ask if you can provide a recorded statement. This adjuster will try and tell you that it’s your opportunity to tell your side of the story, but these statements only ever help the insurance company, not you.
The insurance company will receive a transcript of your statement and start to pick it apart. They will take your words out of context and twist them into a different meaning. The insurance company uses this tactic so they can try and pay you less money than you deserve. Don’t fall for this. Speak to your attorney first before giving any statements to the insurance company.
3. Accepting a Low Ball Offer
It can be tempting when the insurance company comes back with their first settlement offer to immediately jump at it. That’s what they want you to do because they want to pay you as little as possible. Instead, you should hire an attorney who can tell you exactly what your case is worth so you don’t end up accepting a low-ball offer. Most people that accept this first offer find out later that they should have received much more money, but by that point, it’s too late to change anything.
4. Settling Your Case Before You Finish Your Medical Treatment
Oftentimes, when you’re nearing the end of treatment, claims adjusters will make a settlement at this point knowing that people are tired of the inconvenience and eager to put the accident behind them. You should never settle your claim until you have completed all of your medical treatment and have gotten an official release from your doctor.
If you accept a settlement before you finish treatment, any costs you incur after the settlement has been reached will not be taken into account. For example, if you’ve been going to physical therapy for a month, but the doctor decides it isn’t working and you need surgery, the cost of that surgery will not be taken into account in your settlement if you settle before the surgery occurs. Make sure you have the all-clear from your doctor before you accept an offer.
Receiving a claim is not as straightforward as you might think. If you keep in mind these four mistakes to avoid after an accident, you should be well on your way to receiving the settlement you deserve. Fighting with insurance companies can get messy though. If you want to reach a smooth settlement and maximize your compensation, reach out to our team at Greathouse Trial Law. We will guide you through the whole process and make sure you’re getting the compensation you deserve.