When it comes to car accidents, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. If you’re not careful, you could end up losing out on money that you deserve or even jeopardize your entire claim. Here are eight things that you need to do in order to make sure your car accident claim goes as smoothly as possible.
1) Never Fail To Call The Police
When a car accident occurs, you’re legally required to call the police and file a report even if nobody was hurt. By not calling the police or trying to handle it yourself, you could seriously jeopardize your claim as you’ll no longer be able to prove what happened. Calling the police should be the first thing you do after an accident as this expert auto accident lawyer from Atlanta advises. This step provides official documentation of the wreck and the police will investigate at the scene in an attempt to determine who is at fault. Also, the police report may be the deciding factor for whether or not you can file a claim. If both parties fail to call the police and there were no witnesses other than those involved, then insurance companies may refuse to pay claims.
2) Don’t Give Too Much Information To The Insurance Company
If you’ve ever dealt with an insurance company directly after a car accident, then you probably know what it’s like to deal with pushy salespeople. They act friendly enough but the real goal is to try and get as much information out of you for their records before giving you less money than you deserve. By giving the insurance company too much information, you could be forfeiting your right to significant compensation for your medical expenses and other damages. It’s best to get all of your legal advice first before divulging any details or signing anything so that you can protect yourself in the long run.
3) Don’t Do Anything Without A Lawyer
Navigating the legal and insurance process on your own is like walking through a minefield. You might think you know what you’re doing, but insurance companies and their lawyers are professionals who make their living by denying claims and taking advantage of those who don’t know any better. Don’t give them the chance to do that by finding yourself the best car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Do your research and find one that’s experienced and trustworthy. It’s important to get a lawyer on your side immediately so you can be sure they’re representing your interests and not the insurance company.
4) Don’t Delay – File A Claim Right Away
After an accident, it’s natural to want time to heal before jumping back into anything. But if you wait too long to file a claim, you could be leaving your compensation up to the insurance company. There are a few different statutes of limitations a car accident victim has to file a claim and that time frame is going to depend on where you live. In some states it’s as short as one year, so delay any action for too long and you could forfeit your right to make a claim.
5) Never Lie Or Withhold Information
If you lie and withhold information on the accident, it could put your car accident claim in jeopardy. When a person is injured in a car accident, they sometimes feel the need to protect themselves and their family from future harm. Although this is normal, it can be dangerous because you could end up withholding information that is essential to your claim. Things such as previous medical conditions or injuries might not seem important but could lead to the denial of your claim if they aren’t revealed. Even something small could be a problem, such as withholding a previous car accident you were in to try and get money from the at-fault driver.
6) Don’t Lose Your Records & Receipts
Following an accident, it’s common to be focused on your recovery and not what you’ll need down the road for a claim. But the records you have from the time of your accident will be invaluable in proving how much money you deserve for your injuries. Keep all of these documents accurate and organized because they could make or break your claim. Additionally, records and receipts may be important to show how much you’ve paid out-of-pocket for medical expenses. If the insurance company can prove that you didn’t really pay as much as you claim, then they could lower the amount of your claim accordingly.
7) Don’t Admit Fault
One last thing you want to avoid doing is admitting fault or accepting responsibility for an accident. This could also put your car accident claim in jeopardy because the at-fault driver’s insurance company might look to reduce the amount they have to pay you. If their records don’t show it, an admission of fault could at least make the insurance company question your version of events. They’ll think they can get away with putting less money in your pocket if you already admit that they’re not entirely blameless for a terrible accident. Also, by admitting fault you might accidentally admit to being at fault, which would take priority over your claim.
8) Don’t Be Afraid To Get The Second Opinion From A Doctor
Sometimes, doctors can make a person feel uneasy and intimidated, especially if their doctor says something unexpected or bad. And if you’re not feeling well after an accident or thinking about going through a long process of treatment, it’s understandable to want to just get this over with as soon as possible. But by doing that, you might be forgoing your chance at a better outcome by getting a second opinion from a doctor.
The process of making a car accident claim can be complicated and it will require your full attention in order to get the best outcome possible for your case. By avoiding these eight things, you can help ensure that your claim goes as smoothly as possible and with the most favorable outcome possible. That way, you can recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries and other damages.