5 Mistakes to Avoid in a Car Accident Claim
Being in a car accident is stressful enough without having to worry about making a claim for insurance benefits. The process of recovery, vehicle restoration, and legal matters related to your accident can all be stalled if you make mistakes on your claim that can overshadow key details and make your case harder to navigate.
Simplifying the Process
Simplify the many details of filing a car accident claim by knowing what steps to take to ensure that your case is processed correctly. Avoid these mistakes that can cause additional delays and even settlement reductions.
1. Failing to File a Police Report
According to www.harrispersonalinjury.com, a police statement is a critical document that needs to be obtained to verify facts about your crash. This record contains information pertaining to actual events, which helps protect both motorists and witnesses from being subject to false allegations. If you or members of another vehicle sustain injuries as a result of the accident, additional paperwork may be necessary to provide enough evidence to support your claims. Failure to draw up a police report can significantly impact the amount of time needed to verify facts related to your claim and get you compensated.
2. Failure to Seek Medical Care
Even if you don't feel you are injured, it is important to seek medical attention as quickly as possible after an accident. You may not be immediately aware of the extent of your injuries, and issues that pop up after time has passed can be difficult to connect to your car accident. Seek the assessment of a qualified physician who can provide you with a written account of your health exam.
3. Failure to Gather Evidence
After an accident, it is essential that you work on gathering enough evidence to support your claim. Medical documents, police reports, images, and emails are the best forms of proof that you may have to back up your claims of damage and personal injury. Collect as much proof as possible by:
- Taking pictures of your injuries
- Taking pictures of your vehicle
- Taking pictures of private and public property damage at the accident site
- Saving copies of the police report
- Saving copies of insurance claims and communication with your insurance company
- Saving any forms of communication with other drivers or passengers involved in the crash
- Documenting medical treatments and prescription drug use related to your injuries
- Documenting vehicle damage and repair costs, transportation costs, etc.
The more documentation you can provide to back up your statements, the more likely you will receive the compensation you seek for your injuries.
4. Accepting a Premature Settlement
You may be approached by another insurance company after an accident; they will likely wish to settle as soon as possible to avoid spending time and money working out a lawsuit. Accepting this first offer of compensation may be tempting, but you may be selling yourself short when it comes to receiving what you really deserve. Resist the temptation to take the money and run, and work out the details of your case with legal counsel at your side to make sure that all is unfolding in accordance with proper laws and insurance policies.
5. Settling Without an Attorney
Some car accident victims might attempt to save a few pennies and navigate the claims process on their own. Dealing with another party's attorneys and insurance companies could quickly prove too much to handle, even if you are doing your due diligence with research. Seek legal counsel as you go through the claims process; this will not only ensure that paperwork is being handled correctly, but you'll be able to yield greater compensation as a result of your attorney's knowledge and experience.
Let the Healing Begin
A car accident is not a pleasant experience, but its resolution does not have to be drawn out and painful, either. Avoiding these mistakes and seeking help from knowledgeable professionals will ensure that you receive what you are entitled to as you restore your time, your property, and your health.