The actions you take after a car accident can have a significant impact on your car accident injury case. You can improve your chances of successfully negotiating a fair claim payment by taking certain post-accident steps.
Seek Medical Attention Right Away
Perhaps the most common mistake people make after a car crash, and likely the most serious, is failing to seek medical care immediately. This step is even more important than calling a car accident lawyer. Your damages and compensation will be largely based on the cost of your medical care, and your doctor’s documentation of your injuries will play a vital role in justifying your damages.
Even things like pain and suffering and lost wages can be affected by your medical records. The insurance company may argue you didn’t need to miss a month of work if you can’t provide documentation proving your injuries prevented you from working. Your car accident lawyer can counter their accusations with a medical professional’s assessment of your condition after your car accident.
Failing to seek medical care right away may also call into question the seriousness or source of your injuries. It’s generally assumed that people who are seriously injured need medical care, so if you put off seeing a doctor, the insurance company will want to know why. They may even use your delay in seeking care as an excuse to deny your claim.
Take Pictures of the Accident if You’re Able
If you’ve suffered serious injury in a car crash, there’s a good chance you won’t be physically able to take pictures of the accident damage or the position of the vehicles. Car accidents in the middle of rush hour or fast-moving traffic can pose similar problems. It may simply not be safe or feasible to take pictures of the accident scene immediately after the accident.
However, if you can do so, you should take pictures of the damage to both vehicles and their positions as well as things like skid marks or debris. Accident reconstruction experts and experienced car accident lawyers can glean a lot of information from accident photos.
In some cases, your lawyer may be able to find security footage or some other source of documentation, but it’s often helpful if you can provide photo or video evidence.
The Less You Say to the Other Driver and the Insurance Company, the Better
Car accidents shake people up. When the adrenaline is pumping and you’re not thinking clearly, you might initially assume you were the one that did something wrong. Many injured drivers have run into problems with their claims because they apologized for the accident when talking to the other driver or law enforcement. Apologizing is often viewed as an admission of fault. If you did nothing wrong, why are you saying sorry?
While it’s legally required for you to administer aid and call for help if people are injured in an accident in which you’re involved, you need to avoid apologizing.
Avoid Dealing with the Insurance Company on Your Own After a Serious Injury Accident
If your vehicle was damaged in an accident but you weren’t injured, you should get in touch with the other driver’s insurance company as soon as possible and work with them directly on your property damage claim. Personal injury lawyers generally don’t represent people who haven’t been injured. The same rule may apply if your injuries were minor and the other driver’s insurance company is willing to cover the costs of your medical care.
You’ll recognize quickly whether you’d benefit from the assistance of lawyer based on how the insurance company is negotiating with you. Some examples of worrisome insurance company behavior include:
• Accusing you of being at fault for the accident
• Suggesting your injuries aren’t as serious as you claim
• Offering a low claim payment that won’t come close to covering all your injury costs or lost
The more serious your injuries, the more expensive your claim is likely to be. Insurance companies don’t like losing money, and significant injury claims represent a risk to their bottom line. Insurance employees have an incentive to manipulate you during negotiations and convince you to accept a lower claim payment than you deserve.
If you’re in that situation, a personal injury lawyer with experience in auto accident claims can help. Car crash lawyers are familiar with all the insurance company’s tricks and can do their own investigation to strengthen your claim.
Avoid Common Car Accident Injury Mistakes by Calling Our Auto Accident Lawyer
Attorney Johnny Phillips has helped hundreds of Atlanta, Newnan and Lilburn clients who have been injured in car accidents. Call the Law Office of Johnny Phillips today at 833- JOHNNY3 (833-564-6693) to discuss your case with Johnny Phillips.