No one wants to think about what might happen if they were caught in a car crash. But now, you were caught in a collision and you’re dealing with the aftermath.
And the cost of a car accident is high, both financially and emotionally. According to the CDC, car accident deaths across the country cost $44 billion in medical expenses and work loss costs, on top of the psychological toll on families.
Compensation won’t cover the emotional price of a car accident, but it can lessen the medical burden. Unfortunately, many victims make the same mistakes when filing a personal injury protection claim. Here are three common mistakes to avoid.
1. Not Seeking Treatment Right Away
One of the biggest mistakes is not seeking treatment right away.
When you’re in an accident, you’re scared, stressed out, and desperate to go home. If your injuries don’t seem significant, it’s easy to brush them off in favor of carrying on with your day.
Here’s the problem.
If you don’t seek treatment for your injuries right away, that implies that your injuries were minor enough to ignore. And that begs the question: why are you now filing a lawsuit for injuries that seemed insignificant at the time?
It sounds cruel, but that’s the tactic defense attorneys and insurance companies will take, even if your injuries did prove to be serious. If you’re in an accident, get medical treatment immediately.
2. Failure to Preserve Evidence
When you’re shaken and in the moment, it’s easy to forget about evidence. But in court, it doesn’t matter what you know – it matters what you can prove.
And when people change their stories to make the case appear in their favor, you need hard evidence to contradict them.
For example, you need the other driver’s information, including license, registration, and details of the car (license plate, make, model, color, etc.)
You also need information pertaining to your side of the story, like medical documentation, police reports, EMS reports, and witness statements. However, police reports don’t cover everything, so if you can, collect evidence on the scene.
Pictures are worth a thousand words, but videos are priceless. Collect photo and video evidence of the accident scene. If the other driver was intoxicated, get it on video, just in case.
3. Talking Too Much
Finally, when it comes to your case, the best defense is to keep your mouth shut. Unfortunately, many victims make sloppy statements that can later be used against them.
For example, saying, “I’m sorry,” at the scene when you talk to the other driver. This sounds like the polite thing to say, but it can be used later as an admission of guilt.
You also shouldn’t correspond with your insurance company on your own. This is for one simple reason: they know the ins and outs of their policies and procedures. You don’t.
The only person who should speak to anyone about your case (or, indeed, speak about the case at all) is your attorney. Click here to learn more about what an attorney can do to help you.
Considering a Personal Injury Protection Claim?
If you’re considering a personal injury protection claim, remember to be strategic.
Even if you think your case is straightforward, seek the advice of an attorney. They can help negotiate for a higher settlement and ensure everything is filed correctly.
And if you need more tips to make sense of the crazy situations life throws at you, make sure to check out our blog.