Many accident victims fail to receive the maximum compensation they are legally entitled to receive. This is often due to mistakes people make that hurt their case. Here are some common mistakes made by accident victims, and how you can avoid them.
Not getting a lawyer's help for serious injury claims.
After an accident, an insurance adjuster will likely urge you not to use a lawyer, saying a lawyer won't get you more money. But the adjuster's loyalty is to the insurance company, not you, and he or she is telling you this so the insurance company can pay you less money. Studies show accident victims receive more money when they have a lawyer's help. So don't make the mistake of believing an adjuster who says a lawyer won't help you.
Giving statements to insurance adjusters.
After your accident, an adjuster will likely try to get tape recorded statements from you. He or she will seem friendly and sympathetic. But remember the adjuster really wants you to make damaging statements so the insurance company can pay you less money. Don't make the mistake of giving a statement to an insurance adjuster without first talking to your lawyer.
Talking too much at the scene of a car accident.
Things you say at the accident scene and elsewhere can be used against you later. Since emotions after an accident can cause you to say things that hurt your case, don't discuss the accident with the other driver or take any blame for it.
Not getting information at the accident scene.
Getting the right information at the accident scene (including witness information and, after a car accident, information about the other driver and car) will help your lawyer prepare the best case.
Waiting too long to get medical care.
There are many reasons to see a doctor promptly. One is so problems won't get worse. Another is that a doctor's report provides a good record of your injuries. A third reason is that many insurance companies (and juries) feel that if you did not see a doctor, your injuries were not serious.
Waiting too long to seek legal help.
If you wait too long to get legal help, it gets harder to find evidence and witnesses. You also risk losing your claim because the deadline for making claims has expired.
Settling too fast, before all your injuries are known.
Some injuries take a long time to develop. Many accident victims accept a fast settlement, only to find out later that their injuries are worse than they thought. Don't make the mistake of settling your claim before knowing the full extent of your injuries.
These are just some of the mistakes accident victims make that hurt their case. Getting legal assistance promptly after an accident can help you avoid these and other mistakes, and increase your chances of getting the best settlement for your injuries.