Nobody can imagine getting into a car accident that will seriously affect their lives, but the fact is that millions of Americans are involved in car accidents every year. We hope you never find yourself in this situation. However, in the event of a car accident, it is best to have a plan so that you can get back to normal life as soon as possible. If you’re in a car accident, don’t make these 4 common mistakes people make after an accident.
1. Do not seek medical attention immediately
It is important that you see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident. Many people will postpone visits to the doctor because they think they are okay or because they cannot afford the medical bills. Whatever the reason, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Finding treatment will not only put you on the best path to recovery and make sure you have no hidden injuries, but your medical records will also serve as evidence that you will prove your case and get your claim from the insurance company. If you don’t see a doctor, you won’t have the evidence needed to receive compensation for your injuries.
If you wait a few days before going to the doctor, the defendant will likely argue that, due to the delay in treatment, your injuries were due to something other than the accident. Don’t make this mistake. See a doctor immediately after the accident to make sure you are getting the compensation you are entitled to.
2. Make a recorded statement
After the accident, the insurance company’s claims adjuster will likely contact you and ask if you can provide a recorded statement. This adjuster will try to tell you that it is your opportunity to tell your side of the story, but these statements only ever help the insurance company, not you.
The insurance company receives a copy of your statement and begins to take it apart. They take your words out of context and twist them into another meaning. The insurance company uses this tactic so they can try to pay you less money than you make. Don’t fall for it. Before making any statements to the insurance company, speak to your lawyer first.
3. Acceptance of a low ball offer
It can be tempting when the insurance company comes back with their first settlement offer for immediate access. They want that from you 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 that you don’t end up accepting a low-ball offer. Most people who take this initial offer later find that they should have received a lot more money, but by this point it is too late to change anything.
4. Settle your case before you stop your medical treatment
Often times, as you near the end of treatment, claims adjusters will come to an agreement at this point, knowing that people are fed up with the inconvenience and ready to leave the accident behind. You should never settle your claim until you have completed all of your medical treatment and received an official discharge from your doctor.
If you accept a bill before the treatment is completed, any costs you incur after the billing is completed will not be taken into account. For example, if you’ve been going for physical therapy for a month but the doctor determines it isn’t working and you need surgery, the cost of that surgery won’t be included in your billing if you settle down before the surgery occurs. Make sure your doctor gives you the all-clear before accepting an offer.
Obtaining a claim is not as easy as you might think. When you factor in these four mistakes to avoid after an accident, you should be well on your way to getting the billing you deserve. However, battles with insurance companies can get messy. If you want to achieve a smooth transaction and maximize your compensation, reach out to our Greathouse Trial Law team. We will walk you through the whole process and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.