No one ever gets on the road expecting to get involved in an accident. However, the possibility of a crash is always present whether you are a pedestrian, cyclist, motorcyclist, or in a car.
When an accident results from negligent actions or inaction of a driver, you may be eligible for compensation. However, collecting compensation for an accident is not automatic and you must file a claim with the negligent party or insurer. The outcomes of a claim are highly dependent on what you do after you are involved in an accident.
Unfortunately, most people are unaware of the do’s and don’ts after an accident and often make mistakes that hurt their chance of getting fair compensation for damages and losses.
Failing To See a Doctor
After an accident, it is possible to feel okay and fail to seek medical attention. Some injuries may not show at the scene or even on the day of an accident. Some, such as concussions, can take up to 48 hours to show symptoms. If you take time to seek treatment for your injuries, then linking them to the accident can be a challenge.
The other individual or insurance company involved in the accident can claim that your injuries are not a result of the accident, affecting your chances of fair compensation for your damages. Even when there is evidence to prove you suffered injuries in an accident, without medical records, it is almost impossible to substantiate the severity of your injuries or the cost of medication.
Talking With the Opposing Side or Taking Their Offer
After an accident, you will likely receive a call from the insurer’s lawyer, and they may ask some questions about the accident or even make a settlement offer. When they call, the best thing to do is to direct them to your lawyer.
Speaking to anyone about your injuries other than your lawyer can potentially hurt your case. The same applies to taking the insurer’s first offer. The offer is always a bad deal and meant to keep you from pursuing what you rightfully deserve.
“Insurance agents are often pretty convincing and will act concerned for your well-being, but their only interest is their profits. That is why they are in the business of insurance,” says personal injury attorney Arren Waldrep of Price Benowitz Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP. Taking the offer includes signing a release form, meaning you give up your rights to sue for damages and losses resulting from the accident.
Going At It Alone and Social Media
It is possible to navigate the claims process on your own, but it can be a mistake that could rob you of your chance of a fair settlement. According to statistics, victims that involve lawyers in their case have up to five times the chances of a better outcome than victims that go at it alone.
Often the first thing most people will think of when in an accident is taking pictures or videos and uploading them to their social media profiles. While taking pictures is a great way to preserve evidence, posting them on social media is not ideal. Pictures and video footage of the accident can act as evidence to build your case, and it is something you should always do after an accident.
While you may look at them as just pictures or videos, the opposing side can find a quote or something you said in the video footage to discredit or devalue your claim. According to experts, even when a post is unrelated to the accident, the other side could find something that can affect your case, so it is best to avoid social media altogether when navigating an injury claim.