Being injured in an auto accident can be a frightening experience. In addition to dealing with any physical injuries that result, victims and families often encounter difficulties when dealing with insurance companies and trying to recover their damages.
At Suzuki Law Offices, L.L.C., we have worked with many victims and families after they’ve been harmed in auto accidents. Our Phoenix car accident lawyers know that the steps you take after an accident can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case and your ability to recover financial compensation.
To ensure you have the information you need to protect yourself and your rights after a collision, our team has put together 10 common mistakes to avoid after a car accident.
- Not Calling Police - Forgetting or choosing not to call the police after an accident can have a negative impact on your personal injury claim, should you choose to file one. By contacting police, you can obtain a report from an objective third party that records details and statements about the incident. Remember, don’t discuss or admit fault when providing your statement to police. There may be other circumstances involved you don’t know about.
- Not Exchanging Information - You should always exchange information with other drivers and witnesses after an accident. You can collect the following information: contact information of all drivers or witnesses, license plate numbers, driver’s license information, insurance information, and descriptions of the involved vehicles.
- Not Getting Timely Medical Treatment - After an accident, adrenalin may prevent you from understanding the full extent of your injuries. In some cases, you may simply not feel pain until some time passes. When you seek medical treatment as soon as possible, you can ensure your health and well-being is protected and that you have documented evidence of your injuries if you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit.
- Not Collecting Evidence - Gathering evidence at the scene of an accident, if you are able to so, can help support your side of the story when you file a personal injury claim. Do what you can to talk to any witnesses and get their information. You can also use your phone to take photos or videos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, roadway conditions, and visible injuries.
- Trusting the Insurance Company - Insurance companies do not have your best interests in mind. They are in business to collect premiums, not to payout claims. The other driver’s insurance company will likely contact you soon after an accident. Be wary of low-ball settlement offers or attempts to avoid paying anything at all. To protect yourself, you can speak with a lawyer first.
- Not Getting Treatment for Serious Injuries - For one reason or another, many people involved in auto accidents are reluctant to seek medical treatment - often because they think they can take care or it themselves or that the pain will go away. It’s important to remember that even small symptoms - like numbness or radiating pain - could indicate more serious problems. Whatever your symptoms may be, it is crucial to seek treatment and follow up with your doctor until pain is resolved.
- Not Learning About Your Rights - Understanding your legal rights can help you as you begin to pursue compensation for your losses following an accident. Although every case is unique, victims harmed by the negligent or wrongful acts of others have the right to recover various damages resulting from the accident, including medical bills, lost work wages, pain and suffering, emotional injuries, and more.
- Waiting Too Long to File a Claim - It becomes your responsibility to take swift action to protect your rights after an accident because there is a limited amount of time to file a claim. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations. Aside from avoiding this time limit, taking immediate action to file a claim can benefit your claim and give your attorney plenty of time to build a strong case.
- Being Too Quick to Accept a Settlement - Whether it’s because they are not familiar with their rights or the value of their claim, or because they don’t have legal representation, far too many auto accident victims settle too quickly with the insurance company. Remember, insurance companies do everything they can to pay as little as possible. Being too quick to settle your claim can result in you receiving less than you need and deserve.
- Not Speaking With a Lawyer - One of the biggest mistakes people make after an auto accident is to not discuss their case with an experienced attorney. A personal injury can evaluate your situation in relation to the law, and help you understand your rights and whether you are entitled to compensation. Proven lawyers can also fight to ensure you secure full and fair compensation for your damages. Ultimately, having a seasoned lawyer on your side could make the difference in your case.
Taking the right steps after an auto accident can be of great benefit to your personal injury claim. No matter what happens after an accident, however, speaking with a lawyer about your case can put you in the best position to recover full and fair compensation for your losses. At Suzuki Law Offices, L.L.C., our attorneys are available to review your case free of charge.
For more information about car accidents, personal injury claims, and how our firm may be able to help you, contact us for a FREE consultation.