When you are injured in an accident, it is a scary and confusing time. Unfortunately, the moments following your accident are critical in making sure that you have the opportunity to reclaim any damages or compensation you deserve. It is important to keep your head about you and avoid critical mistakes that could cost you in the long run. Here are the most common mistakes made in personal injury claims.
Failing to Call Police
No matter what the accident, calling the police is an important step in your compensation process. Having a police report on file will cover you and show that you have had an investigation performed. This is particularly true with car accidents. A police report will help you demonstrate, in an official capacity, the details of the accident to help avoid denial of liability claims later.
Not Talking to Witnesses
When you have an accident, be sure to interview all witnesses. Get statements from them and contact information. If the case goes to court later, these statements can help back up your claims and clarify what has happened. If there is not time to interview witnesses, at least make sure you have a way to get in touch with them later.
Many people accept offered checks without getting their damage properly assessed and repaired. This is a huge mistake. Always get an estimate of repairs done and make repair appointments before you even consider a settlement. Otherwise you may end up settling for far less than you might otherwise be owed.
Waivers and Release Forms
Never sign anything without talking to your attorney! Many insurance companies will pressure you to sign forms that could waive your rights to file a suit; if you do this, you could bind your own hands against obtaining all the compensation you deserve. If you are pressured to sign a waiver or release form, tell the insurance company that your lawyer will be in touch.
Not Seeing a Doctor
No matter how minor the accident seems, if you have any pain or symptoms you should seek medical attention. It's okay to use your healthcare to pay for immediate coverage. You can get reimbursed for these services later. Just make sure to keep records of your visits including receipts, invoices and prescription records.
Not Keeping a File
Keep a file with all of the details of the accident and all records of repairs and medical procedures needed. Any and every scrap of paper or documentation you have regarding the accident can help to piece together the story when the time comes to file a claim.
Not Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
A personal injury attorney is your best friend when you need to get compensated for an accident. They can protect you from predatory insurance companies, from denial of liability by the other party, and they can help you get the compensation you deserve. An attorney will work for you to be sure that you can get back on your feet and recover properly without having to worry about financial damages.
If you have been in an accident and need help, give us a call
today for a free consultation. We are here to help!