If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you are likely in pain, stressed out, and wondering what comes next. The days following a car crash can be incredibly confusing and overwhelming, especially when you’re dealing with serious injuries.
However, your actions after an accident will either support or damage your eventual insurance claim, so it’s important to know how to proceed in order to set yourself up for success later.
For this reason, our Fayetteville car accident lawyers at Niblock Law Firm have put together this list of the most common mistakes we see people make that put their car accident claim in jeopardy.
#1: Skipping the Doctor
Choosing not to seek medical attention immediately after an accident is a big mistake. Not only can this negatively affect your health as certain post-accident injuries are not immediately obvious without a medical evaluation, but it can also hurt your claim. Your medical records serve as an important piece of evidence that demonstrates how severely you were impacted by your car accident.
If you are not evaluated by a medical professional after your accident, the insurance company will have reason to believe that your injuries either aren’t serious or were not a result of the car wreck.
#2: Not Calling Law Enforcement
Another unfortunate error many people make after an accident is not calling the local authorities. It’s never wise to make a verbal agreement with the other party involved to handle the incident privately. This can lead to messy “he said, she said” situations with little evidence to go off of.
When police respond to an accident scene, they file a police report, and this document contains multiple important details about the accident that will support your claim later on. Oftentimes, insurance adjusters use the police report to help them determine who was at fault in your accident, a factor that can directly affect the amount of compensation you may be entitled to.
#3: Admitting Fault
After a motor vehicle accident, many people feel the urge to apologize even if the crash wasn’t wholly their fault. Whether it’s at the scene of the accident or days later in conversation with the insurance adjuster, you should NEVER apologize or admit fault for any part of the accident.
Even if it truly wasn’t your fault and you are just attempting to be kind, do not apologize at any point after a car wreck. Any admission of guilt or fault may later be used against you and could put your compensation at risk.
#4: Trusting the Insurance Adjuster
Putting too much trust in the insurance company is one of the biggest mistakes we see people make. After being hurt in an accident, many people assume an insurance company will cover all of their damages without question. After all, that’s what you purchased your insurance plan for, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way.
Insurance adjusters are trained experts with one goal: to save their company money. With this in mind, they will look for any excuse they can to pay as little money as possible for your claim, even if it means cheating you out of the money you deserve.
Keep in mind that you aren’t obligated to speak with the other party’s insurance company after an accident, and we recommend that you don’t! Our experienced Fayetteville car accident lawyers have been battling insurance companies for years and are familiar with how they operate. We can take the insurance company’s call so that you can focus on your recovery.
#5: Settling Too Quickly
Being hurt in a car accident can lead to a variety of different expenses, from medical bills to property damage. If your injuries prevent you from working, you might not even have a way to pay for your bills and support your family. Many of our clients are desperate to receive a settlement offer as soon as possible.
However, it’s vital to keep in mind that the insurance company knows what a vulnerable situation you’re in and will use this to their advantage. Many times, they’ll make their first settlement offer purposefully low in hopes that you’ll feel pressured to get it all over with and accept.
While we know that time is truly of the essence, we want you to receive the FULL amount you deserve for your injuries and other damages. Don’t make the mistake of settling too quickly. Consult our lawyers before you agree to any settlement offer. We’ll ensure you aren’t being taken advantage of and fight for the maximum amount you’re owed.
#6: Not Hiring an Attorney
Without proper legal representation, the insurance companies have the upper hand. They’ve been handling car accident claims for years, while this is likely your first time in this situation. With an experienced car accident lawyer on your side, the insurance company will know you mean business, and they will be pressured to make you a fair settlement offer.
On top of handling the insurance company, an attorney can make the legal process much easier for you and your family in other ways. From collecting evidence and negotiating your settlement to simply being a resource to you as you navigate this difficult time, our attorneys at Niblock Law Firm can walk you through every step of the way.
Avoid These Mistakes, Call Us for Help
There are many mistakes you could make after a car accident that will damage your claim. If you’re dealing with serious injuries after an accident that wasn’t your fault, call our law office today. We can help you avoid these common mistakes and bring you the compensation you need!
Our legal team has helped countless injured victims in Fayetteville and surrounding Arkansas communities obtain the money they deserved. Call our office today at (479) 326-7163 or fill out our free case evaluation form online to schedule a free consultation.