Knowing what to do and what not to do after an accident is not intuitive. This is especially true if you are involved in a situation where you need to figure out who is at fault.
If you are injured, you likely know you need to call emergency services. If you are involved in a car accident, you need to contact the police. However, what steps should you take from there?
Knowing what to do and what mistakes to avoid after a personal injury accident is essential to protect your right to compensation. Here, you can learn some of the biggest mistakes accident victims make, which can help you avoid the same.
1. Signing Documentation from the Insurance Company without a Lawyer
Insurance companies train adjusters to know how to process claims and pay out as little as possible. If you do not have an attorney representing your interests, the adjuster may attempt to use their experience and knowledge to resolve your claim and pay you as little as possible – usually much less than you deserve.
The company will also act fast. They will probably call you soon after your accident or incident and request a recorded statement. You should never agree to this. They are trying to get you to say something they can use to deny or reduce your claim.
Before you talk to the insurance company or sign anything, be sure to have legal representation. An experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney can ensure you do not say or sign something that will hurt your ability to recover compensation.
2. Admitting Fault for the Incident
Sometimes, you may believe that you caused an accident and your injuries. However, the evidence shows that this is different from what happened.
This is true in many different types of accident cases, including slips and falls, car accidents, pedestrian accidents, and more. If you are injured in an accident, do not admit fault. Do not say you are sorry. Do not say anything that may be misunderstood as an admission of guilt.
Since there is only one way to know exactly what happened once a full investigation is done, you should not assume anything, accept fault, or place blame.
3. Not Seeking Immediate Medical Care
After an accident where you are injured, you may want to put off going to the doctor or getting checked out by a healthcare professional. However, this is not recommended.
You must be evaluated by a doctor as soon after the accident as you can. There are a few reasons for this.
First, to find any injuries you sustained. Some injuries may not appear for hours, days, or weeks after the accident. A doctor can find these issues and ensure they are treated before they become more severe. Also, once you receive treatment, make sure to continue the treatment plan as ordered by your doctor. Failing to do so may send the message that you were not seriously hurt or hurt at all to the insurance company.
Another reason you need to seek medical care after an accident is that the documentation the care provides ensures that the severity of your injuries and the cost of treatment are known. All this is needed if you file a lawsuit.
4. Not Gathering Accident-Related Evidence
If you wait to gather evidence related to your injury case, it will be harder to do so. As soon as your accident and injury occur, and other people stop or try to help, evidence will be changed, destroyed, or lost.
Right after the accident, take photos of where it happened and write down everything you can remember. All this will be invaluable during your personal injury claim.
5. Making Legal Mistakes
When filing an injury claim, you must carefully navigate the process. Unfortunately, the law can be confusing and complex.
An example of one legal mistake injury victims make is not filing a claim in time. There is a statute of limitations that must be met. Failure to file your claim within the allotted amount of time can result in you being barred from ever filing it.
An attorney will ensure you do not make legal mistakes that may hurt your personal injury claim.
6. Posting About the Incident on Social Media
It is tempting to want to post all about how you were hurt, what happened, and more on social media. You should resist this urge.
If you post on social media, the information becomes public. What you post may even wind up in the courtroom, taken out of context, and provide the other party with ammunition to use against you and get a ruling in their favor.
It is best to limit your use of social media if you are dealing with a personal injury.
7. Not Hiring an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
You need to have an experienced personal injury attorney who knows the law and how to investigate these cases. You also need an attorney who can handle negotiations with the insurance company. They will help you navigate the complex issues involved with most personal injury lawsuits.
Contact Our Legal Team for Help with Your Personal Injury Claim
Filing a personal injury claim can be complex and confusing. We are ready to help protect your rights and ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to. Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation
The first step is to contact our office to schedule a free consultation. During this consultation, we can learn about your case and develop a plan to pursue a lawsuit.