There are several issues that everyone should be aware of regarding auto accidents. Considering that an auto accident takes place nearly every 60 seconds in the United States, you stand a pretty fair chance of needing this information at some point in time. When you are involved in an unexpected car crash, you may be so shook up that you don’t know what you should do. It can be extremely helpful to have these few reminders firmly in your mind to avoid making a mistake which could cost you plenty down the line. The following are the most common mistakes that people make after an accident.
Failure to Obtain Immediate Medical Attention
The failure to seek proper medical help following an accident is the number one way you will jeopardize your future personal injury case. Many people are still so pumped up with adrenaline following an accident that they may truly believe they are unhurt. They don’t want to appear fragile by climbing into an ambulance when they have no apparent injuries, so they sometimes assure the police and EMS that they are “fine.” Unfortunately, this can backfire down the road. If you fail to get checked out immediately following the accident you may have difficult proving your injuries were actually related to the car crash, which can lower the value of your case. Not only must you get immediate medical attention, you should also follow all doctor’s orders to the letter, and participate in any treatment or therapy your physician recommends. If you fail to follow up, the insurance company may deem your subsequent pain or medical needs unrelated to the original accident. This is why it is important to make sure you understand your doctor’s orders and adhere to them.
Never discuss your injury or accident with anybody prior to speaking to a reputable personal injury attorney. Anything you say to anybody immediately following the accident could be twisted and used against you later to deny your personal injury claim. Even if you believe that the accident was at least partially your fault, don’t make this statement to anyone else. Your attorney will thoroughly investigate the accident, and in some cases something you believed to be your fault may turn out not to be.
Failure to Preserve Evidence or Document Specific Damages
Of course you need to take care of your injuries, first and foremost, but after that has been accomplished, you need to preserve any evidence and document the accident in any way possible. Taking photographs of the accident scene can be crucial later on. If you are able, snap a few photographs with your cell phone, or ask a witness to do so. If there were witnesses to the accident, ask for names and numbers and get a witness statement from them if possible. A police report can be invaluable in determining future liability so be sure you get information as to how you will obtain the report. Never assume that a piece of evidence is unimportant, Rather, let your personal injury attorney guide you in determining what is useful and what is not.
Counting on Your Memory
Most of us believe we will remember every single detail of a traumatic event, but find out later that our memory is less reliable than we thought. It is crucial that you be consistent with your version of how the events took place throughout the claims process. As soon as you are physically able following the accident, write down every single detail you remember about what happed before, during and after the accident. Any time you discuss the case with anyone, write down who you spoke to and what was said. Such detailed notes can be absolutely essential in getting the settlement you deserve.
Failure to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney Early On
The easiest way to avoid making a mistake which could cost you a bundle is to retain the services of a highly experienced attorney at Montlick & Associates as soon as possible after your accident. Your attorney will deal with all the communications between you and your insurance firm and will ensure you do not sign any agreements which are detrimental to a fair settlement. Make sure you are totally honest with your attorney, and don’t omit any details no matter how insignificant you feel they might be. The more your attorney knows, the better able he or she will be to protect your rights and fight for equitable compensation for your accident.