What Mistakes Can Harm Your Personal Injury Claim After A Car Accident?
The rush of emotions and impending paperwork that accompanies any car accident can be overwhelming. But if you want to receive fair compensation for any personal injuries you incur, you will need to avoid several common mistakes that can quickly sink a case. In order to present the strongest claim possible, it is your responsibility to ensure that the details of your accident are documented thoroughly and accurately before you can consult with a lawyer.
Not Obtaining a Police Report and Medical Exam
As soon as the accident occurs, call emergency services to request a police and medical response as needed. The time period immediately following an accident is when narratives and details start taking shape, which means you need to ensure that your side of the story is recorded in full. Give a full and honest assessment of the accident to police officers when you are able, though you may need to seek medical attention first. If an ambulance is not dispatched to the accident site, you should instead visit the nearest emergency room afterward for an examination and ask to have the results released to your lawyer.
The worst thing you can do after an accident is lie. As tempting as it may be to fudge facts in your favor, any inconsistencies in your story and the accounts told by witnesses and the other party will cast doubt on your claims. Although you do not need to and should not admit fault, you also should not seek to untruthfully pin fault on the other person. When in doubt, simply do not respond to a question and consult with your personal injury attorney instead.
Skipping Medical Appointments
If you have sustained a personal injury as a result of a car accident, you should seek appropriate medical care and then follow through with your appointments for as long as your doctor recommends them. Skipping medical appointments demonstrates a lack of urgency that will be used against you in court, and it prevents your doctor from adequately documenting your injuries and any long-term conditions that arise from them. Not to mention, of course, that you should always follow medical advice after a traumatic incident to ensure your own safety and long-term well being.
Waiting to Consult a Lawyer
In the case of a serious accident where injuries are reported, you cannot assume that the case will simply sail through both insurers and that you will be fairly compensated for your losses. You must act to protect yourself as quickly as possible, and no one can defend you better than a personal injury lawyer, such as Halverson & Sheehy, PLLC. If you aren't sure whether or not your case will merit a legal claim, it is still worth your time to seek an expert's opinion before proceeding. By responding quickly and refusing to panic, you can maximize your odds of emerging from the accident with both your health and finances unharmed, even if your car was not so lucky.