If you are injured in a car accident that was caused by someone else, it is important that you avoid making certain common errors that have the potential of ruining your ability to recover damages in an amount to pay for your economic and noneconomic losses. It may be helpful for you to keep a checklist of what to do following an accident so that you do not accidentally make mistakes in an accident’s aftermath. Here are some common errors that you should make certain to avoid.
Failing to insist on a police report
When you call 911 from the scene of your accident, you should insist that a police officer completes a traffic report that includes his or her observations of the scene, the conditions of the environment and the cars that were involved. A police report can help you to prove the other driver’s liability if the insurance company disputes it. Some people make the mistake of requesting an ambulance without also making sure that the officer files a report. The lack of an accident report can make it harder for you to prove your case. It is
Stating that you are not injured and failing to get medical care
It is common for people to believe that they are not injured in an accident immediately after it happens. The shock of an accident may cause your body to release adrenaline, making it more difficult to notice symptoms of injuries that you might have suffered. If you are asked if you have been injured, you should simply state that you want to get a medical examination to make certain. Some serious injuries may not show symptoms for hours or days after an accident. If you do not immediately get medical care, it might be harder for you to prove that your injuries happened because of your accident and not because of a different incident.
Talking to insurance adjusters on recorded lines
It is important for you to understand that insurance adjusters work for insurance companies, and their jobs are to help to minimize the amounts that their employers pay out on claims. While insurance adjusters may seem concerned and kind, they may try to get you to make statements that the companies may use against you later in order to deny your claim. When the insurance company contacts you, you can tell them that you want to talk to a personal injury attorney before you discuss what happened in your case. An experienced lawyer has dealt with insurance companies and understands the type of tactics that they use to try to reduce the amounts that they have to pay.
Not seeing a personal injury attorney soon enough
There are several reasons why it is important to see a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after you have suffered an injury in a car accident. When you retain an attorney early in the process, he or she will have a better opportunity to investigate the accident scene and to interview witnesses before they disappear. The lawyer may use accident reconstruction experts and investigators to help you build your case, making it likelier that the insurance company will understand that it is best to make a reasonable offer to compensate you. If you wait too long to talk to an attorney, you also risk missing the statute of limitations. Every state has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will be permanently barred from ever recovering damages for your losses.
By making sure to get police reports and medical attention, you can help to preserve the evidence of what happened, the extent of your injuries and their relationship to your accident. Getting the help of an experienced lawyer at Dezao Law as soon as possible may also help you to navigate the complexities of the claims process, preventing you from making mistakes when you attempt to negotiate with the insurance company alone. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation.