Being a personal injury victim and dealing with insurance issues can be challenging to say the least, and even a minor accident can cause physical injuries and emotional turmoil.
When it comes to personal injury claims, one wrong move could seriously cost you down the line.
Here are 10 common mistakes people make when dealing with accident injury claims.
1. Not Getting Proper Medical Care
Many people walk away from accidents believing that they are not injured.
This can be a wrong move at best, and at worst, extremely dangerous for your health and well-being.
When it comes to car accidents, for instance, many common injuries can take days or even weeks to show up, including:
- Pinched nerves
- Herniated discs
- Internal bleeding
- Brain injuries (e.g., concussions)
- Neck injuries (e.g., whiplash)
Even if you believe your injuries are minor or non-existent, always visit a doctor as soon as possible after an accident. Make sure you are clear on their assessment and that they fill out a proper report.
If you have untreated injuries, you may not get compensation, and even worse, you could face some serious medical issues later on.
Follow your doctor’s orders and ask for a follow-up within a reasonable amount of time.
If you’ve been in an accident and have seen the doctor, don’t move forward without consulting a personal injury lawyer.
2. Not Filing a Police Report
Car accidents require the attention of authorities, no matter what. And in some states, including Colorado, it’s legally required to call the police after an auto accident.
If the accident seems minor, the party at fault may try to push the other person(s) to skip calling authorities. This is never okay.
When dealing with personal injury insurance, everything needs to be upfront and on record, period.
3. Failing to Keep Accurate Records
No matter what type of accident you’ve been in, proper documentation is essential to receiving the compensation you deserve.
This means you should keep copies of all related paperwork, including:
- Police report
- Medical bills
- Medical receipts (e.g., prescriptions)
- Photographs of the accident
- Any receipts or records about the case
- Your diary or logbook detailing the accident and the days following
Keeping a personal logbook or journal specific to the case is a good way to keep track of everything that could affect your case. This includes medical issues but also day-to-day activities that might be affected by the injuries you sustained.
For instance, if an injury prevents you from doing regular things like dressing or washing and you need someone to assist you, this will be considered in your case.
Detail anything that is affected, directly or indirectly, by the accident. Keep the journal objective and write it in real-time where possible.
4. Disposing of Evidence
Never get rid of things that may be used as evidence in a personal injury insurance claim case.
Photos from your phone, emails, texts, documents, receipts, as well as any information about your injuries, are important.
Car damage and details about the accident site are important as well.
Even something as seemingly insignificant as traffic patterns or weather could impact the case. Collect all possible evidence and keep it in a safe place.
5. Settling Too Quickly
Insurance companies often try to push people into making a recorded claim which can be used in the case. Sometimes they will make an offer that seems more than fair.
The company may try to get you to sign a release and agree to settle quickly to save money.
Always be wary of offers that seem too good to be true.
Wait until injuries are clear and you have a solid understanding of what needs to be compensated. Follow the advice of your lawyer and doctor. Never rush into a settlement agreement.
When it comes to personal injury insurance, waiting a while is one of the best ways to ensure that you receive fair compensation on a claim.
6. Posting on Social Media
Any details you post on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter may be used against you. That’s why it’s best to keep the information confidential (or at least stick with the facts) until you have settled.
It’s most important that you are honest with your doctor, lawyer, and the police. Anything less than transparent could be used against you in court.
- Outright lying
- Blaming other parties
- Exaggerating facts
- Changing details of the story
- Making public statements
- Failure to reveal details about prior accidents
There is the possibility that your story will legitimately change — for instance, if you have a concussion and forget details until later.
This is why it’s so important to be transparent with all parties involved right up front.
That being said, when it comes to the insurance company, you should stick to the facts and don’t offer any details to the insurance company that you don’t need to.
8. Waiting too Long to Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
Insurance companies simply aren’t working in your best interest, but that is a lawyer’s job. In addition, a lawyer will be able to navigate the complex and sometimes changing world of insurance law on your behalf.
Calling a lawyer as soon as possible helps protect you and ensure that you get the compensation you need and deserve.
If you’re in Colorado, we’re here to help you through your accident claim. Contact us today for a consultation.
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