After a car accident, accident victims can file a claim to receive compensation for the losses they incurred because of the accident. By filing a claim with their insurance company, accident victims can recover losses from missing work, medical bills, property damage, and other costs. These expenses can add up quickly and cost victims an outrageous amount of money. Unfortunately, insurance companies are not always working in their client’s best interests.
Some insurance companies will work tirelessly to devalue or deny your claim, making it difficult for you to be fully compensated for the costs associated with your accident. Because of this, knowing what mistakes to avoid following an accident is valuable. Keep in mind these mistakes when filing a car accident claim to increase your chances of receiving the highest possible compensation for your accident.
From documenting the scene right after the accident to accepting a settlement offer, here are some common mistakes in the process:
After your accident, if you are feeling well enough to do so, you should do what you can to document your accident well. Taking photos of the vehicles, any property damage, your injuries, the road conditions, and the general scene of the accident can give your claim a significant advantage. Documentation is important evidence that can aid in your claim by providing critical details about the accident.
In most cases following the car accident, you will be required to call the authorities and give them a statement. The police will collect information from all the relevant parties and put them in a report. They may even issue a citation to the driver who was at fault.
As an accident victim, you should attempt to obtain a copy of the police report. It could prove to be vital evidence in determining liability and may be necessary for your insurance claim. Typically a police report will include details about how the accident occurred, witness statements, and relevant individuals’ contact information.
Seeking medical attention immediately after your accident is essential for your health and the success of your claim. Whether or not you believe you are seriously injured, you should still see a doctor for a checkup as you may have injuries that are not immediately evident. You may be unable to receive compensation for these injuries later if you don’t include them in your accident claim.
When speaking to your insurance company, you must watch your words and be careful with what you say. Any information that you give to the insurance company can be used against you and could affect your ability to receive fair compensation.
You should be careful not to admit any fault for the accident or your injuries or mention having any pre-existing medical conditions. Instead, you should only inform them that the accident occurred. It is best to speak to an experienced car accident lawyer about how to communicate with your insurance company.
Car accident victims likely have numerous costs that they need to settle because of their accident. Losing so much money in such a short time on top of dealing with the trauma of being in an accident is an immensely stressful position. The insurance companies know this and may try to pressure you into settling for their offer as quickly as possible. However, if you settle too quickly, you may be accepting an unfair compensation and denying yourself the ability to pursue a fair settlement.
It is not uncommon for those injured in a car accident to attempt to represent themselves when confronting the insurance company. However, this is likely to be a disadvantage to your case. Insurance companies work hard to protect their best interests, and they are significantly more knowledgeable and better equipped than a lone citizen.
Working with the experienced Houston car accident lawyer at Sutliff & Stout is the best way to ensure that you don’t make these mistakes. Our legal staff will assist you in filing your claim, negotiating a settlement on your behalf, and keeping track of conversations with the insurance company. We are committed to guiding you through every step of the legal process to ensure your case secures the maximum payout. Schedule a free case review by calling (713) 987-7111 or submitting a contact form.