Biggest Mistakes Made After an Accident | Baltimore Personal Injury Law
You don’t need to be a lawyer or involved in the auto or insurance profession to know that accidents can be incredibly stressful events. In addition to the initial adrenaline rush and flood of accompanying emotion released by the accident itself, there are a host of other worries that begin trickling in soon after. From determining liability (fault) to figuring out just how to pay for medical bills in the event of personal injuries, the repercussions of an auto accident stretch out much longer than just the initial impact.
It only makes sense, then, that individuals involved in accidents would encounter the same stumbling blocks or common mistakes. We’ve put together a helpful list of common missteps for those involved in auto accidents and subsequent insurance claims, including steps you can take to protect yourself and your personal and property rights in the event of a crash.
Providing a Recorded Statement
When making a claim for damage or injury after an automobile accident it’s important to know that a recorded statement to the insurance company isn’t required as a matter of law. In fact, providing a statement on the record isn’t a precursor to making any kind of insurance claim or receiving reimbursement. Insurance companies will often ask those involved to provide an account of the accident or crash but that may not be in their best interests. The heat of the moment can cause recollections to change and details to become muddied. We tell clients not to give recorded statements. When in doubt, don’t. That adage applies here.
Admitting to Liability or Fault
In the event of an auto accident, one of the worst things insureds can do after suffering a loss is admit fault or attempt to accept liability. These admissions, often made in the heat of the aftermath, frequently occur due to a misplaced sense of guilt and have little to no relevance to the facts of causation in your claim. This won’t stop the insurance company, however, from using your statement to attempt to lessen the burden to their bottom line. Regardless of the facts of your claim or case, avoid making statements that accept liability, responsibility or fault and leave that assessment to the professionals. Maybe you were at fault, but the other driver may also be partly responsible.
Underestimating your Injuries or Damage
Its only understandable that after an automobile accident you may be in a hurry to report your initial injuries or damage incurred. While victims may think this is the best way to a speedy and complete recovery, this is often far from the truth. Soft tissue injuries, back or neck strains or other bodily injuries may often take days or weeks for their full extent to become known. Even disc herniations and protrusions can be serious that you only know about from a MRI. While you may be able to visually assess body damage to your vehicle, it can often take a professional to diagnose underlying issues such as leaks, cracks or bulges. Be sure to consult medical doctors rather than self-diagnose.
Accepting a Lowball Offer or Settlement
The final, and perhaps biggest, mistake individuals can make in the event of an accident is in prematurely accepting an offer of settlement from an insurance company or individual insured. Cashing a check as settlement or payment for injury can often impose limitations on future claims. Before agreeing to sign away your ability to pursue your claim or case, individuals involved in an accident should know they can consult with a lawyer, like a car accident lawyer Atlanta GA trusts, in order to protect their legal rights. In some instances, legal representation could help ensure your claim receives full and fair compensation to help get you back to your pre-accident condition.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Butler Law Firm for their insight into biggest mistakes made after an accident.