Can you hurt your own personal injury case? You certainly can. Here is a list of common mistakes people make following a car accident.
Be Careful What You Tell the Insurance Company
The insurance company will contact you and they will want you to speak on the record about what happened. They will be looking for admissions on your part that will make it easier to deny your claim. You are under no legal obligation to talk to them, and you can be sure they will use your words against you. When they ask you to describe what happened — just say “no.”
Don’t Do It Alone
You are sure to have a friend tell you, “You can settle your claim by yourself.” This is advice you should ignore. Insurance companies would love you to sign a statement releasing them from responsibility, in exchange for a small sum “for your trouble.”
Two things to remember: You have no real idea of the value of your case or the full extent of your injuries. Work with an experienced lawyer, who is wise to insurance companies’ ways — you can’t be expected to cut a smart deal on your own.
See a Doctor, and Keep Seeing the Doctor
A simple emergency room visit following the accident is not enough to present a persuasive case. Many conditions, including soft-tissue injuries and brain damage, develop over time. If you take your case to insurance companies without proper documentation, or if you fail to take prescribed medications, you cannot expect to do well in the settlement process. This advice is especially important for men who are injured. Now is not the time to be strong and silent — get the help you need, and follow doctors’ orders.
Think Before You Speak or Post
People sometimes go straight from the accident scene to Facebook and say things that will undermine their case later. Social media posts can be used against you. Many serious injuries don’t show up in photos. Don’t put up pictures of yourself after the accident before consulting with a lawyer.
These are just a few tips about how to behave after an auto accident. There are many mistakes you can make that can damage your case. That’s why it’s best to bring your case to an experienced personal injury practice like The Weinberger Law Firm, and let them make these decisions for you.
Want to Hear More Car Accident Do’s & Don’ts?
Call our attorneys for a no-charge, no-obligation case evaluation at (916) 915-0446, or email your questions and we will respond.