In the aftermath of a car accident, you may want nothing more than to focus on recovering from your injuries or mourning the loss of a loved one. However, there will be critical junctures where the decisions you make can have a big impact on everything that follows. Other parties involved in this matter may not be willing to wait for you. In fact, some may even prey on your vulnerability in this moment.
Here are 4 common mistakes that others have made following a car accident that you should be on the lookout for and do everything in your power to avoid:
1. Skipping Medical Care
Medical bills can be daunting. Even the initial ambulance ride to the hospital after a car crash might have cost upwards of $1,000. From there, the expenses pile up quick. A person might not even think about skipping medical care consciously, but as matters progress they might cancel a follow up appointment, postpone surgery or decide to hold off on physical therapy to see if an injury gets better on its own. Not only can this delay recovery, the opposing insurance company in a car accident claim may try to use it as evidence that your injuries were not severe.
2. Admitting Fault To The Insurance Company
You will likely get calls from the negligent party’s car insurance company. An insurance adjuster will ask you all sorts of questions. Along the way, be careful not to say anything that either indicates that you were at fault for the accident or that the other driver was not at fault. Even something small can be misconstrued and used against you. Your best bet is to keep discussions with the adjuster to a minimum. Even if you think you might have been partly at fault, it doesn’t mean that you are not entitled to compensation and you do not need to share that information with the adjuster.
3. Accepting A Lowball Settlement Offer
Do not expect the insurance adjuster to have your best interests at heart. While they may say that they are offering you a fair settlement check, you have to be absolutely certain that it will cover all your medical expenses, lost wages and other costs related to the motor vehicle accident. All too often, victims are left paying future medical bills out of pocket because they signed off on a settlement check that ran out too soon. While everyone wants to get this process over with as soon as possible, do not let an insurance company take advantage of that haste.
4. Not Consulting With An Attorney
It’s free to talk to a personal injury attorney about your car wreck. Not sure if you even have a case and want to check? That’s what attorneys are for. Did you get a settlement offer and you’re worried it might not be enough? Let an attorney review it before you sign off. Getting the runaround from the insurance company? An attorney can make them listen and take them to court if they refuse to do what is right. Having an attorney at your side gives you knowledge and legal power.