According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, well over two million people are injured in motor vehicle collisions in the U.S. every year. Some of those people are eligible for compensation, but they make mistakes that ultimately cost them financially and physically. Here are five of the most common mistakes that could jeopardize your ability to collect compensation after an accident:
Mistake #1: Not calling the police.
Don’t get talked out of calling the police under any circumstances. An investigating police officer will compile a written accident report that both sides will rely on heavily. It will likely contain contact information for the involved parties and any witnesses, insurance information, a description of the damage to both vehicles, and the version of events from both drivers. It might even contain an admission of fault. The investigating officer will be a pivotal witness in any personal injury case.
Mistake #2: Failing to seek medical care.
If you’ve been injured or if you feel any discomfort or dizziness, get to an emergency room and get checked out immediately. When you call for police, the 911 operator will ask whether an ambulance is needed. If you require medical care, paramedics can transport you to an emergency room, where you’ll be examined and treated as needed.
Mistake #3: Missing appointments.
At some point during the case, the opposing insurer or insurance defense attorneys will likely review your medical records in connection with the accident. Missed appointments or gaps in treatment will be noted. Those might lead to allegations of malingering. You don’t want your credibility to be attacked. Be sure to attend each and every medical appointment and follow your doctor’s instructions.
Mistake #4: Talking with the opposing insurer.
The opposing insurer might contact you and want a written or recorded statement from you about how the accident occurred and how you feel. The law doesn’t require you to give that statement, so politely refuse to give it. You are not required to give the insurer a medical authorization either. Some insurers try to use a prior injury to the same part of the body against you in an attempt to claim that the recent accident was not fully responsible for your current injuries.
Mistake #5: Not retaining an experienced car accident lawyer.
If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you’ll want to talk to a lawyer right away. Many law firms offer free consultations and case evaluations without any obligation.
You don’t have to represent yourself in a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Contact an experienced attorney such as the personal injury lawyer Charlottesville VA locals trust for a case consultation and evaluation after being injured in an accident that was caused by somebody else.
Thanks to our authors at Martin Wren, P.C. for their insight into Personal Injury Law.