A car accident can happen to anyone at any time and can be an overwhelming experience. Not only do you have to deal with recovering from physical injuries and emotional trauma, filing a car accident claim and working with insurance companies to recover compensation after your accident is a whole different ball game. In order to minimize the stress and anxieties of all the steps required when taking legal action after being in a car crash, it is important to understand the most common mistakes to avoid when filing a car accident claim.
1. Not filing a police report.
Failing to file an official police report is a common mistake after being in a car accident. A police report provides important evidence, such as details of how the accident occurred, which can help you recover compensation in your insurance claim. Especially when working with a legal team, having a police report can help your car accident attorney determine liability and help you recover compensation from the at-fault driver.
2. Not seeking medical treatment before filing a car accident claim.
The first critical step after experiencing a car accident is seeking medical attention. Whether or not you sustained serious physical injuries due to the impact of the car crash, it is important to remember the possibility of delayed onset injuries, such as whiplash, can require medical treatment. Getting medical treatment before filing your car accident claim can help ensure you are able to include all medical expenses associated with the accident in your claim and seek compensation.
3. Giving the insurance company too many details and agreeing to a recorded statement.
One tactic that insurance companies use to avoid paying a fair compensation for your car accident claim is asking for a recorded statement right after your crash. Insurance companies know that immediately after a car crash, victims are most likely flustered and overwhelmed. Insurance company workers can try to take advantage of victims and ask for a recorded statement about details of who is at-fault and your injuries. Providing any type of statement with details about the car accident can and will be used against you later on in the settlement process.
4. Accepting a quick settlement.
When working with insurance companies, it is important to be aware that they will want to settle your car accident claim as quickly as possible. This is another tactic used by insurance companies to reduce their costs and convince the car accident victim to accept a much lower settlement offer than what is fair and deserved. If you accept a quick settlement, the insurance company will proceed to close your case and you will no longer be able to seek further compensation. Because of this, seeking expert legal representation can greatly benefit you by ensuring you are receiving fair compensation in your settlement offer.
5. Not documenting photo evidence at the scene of the accident.
After being in a car crash, it is important to take photos at the scene of the accident. Thoroughly documenting all angles of the car accident, damages to all vehicles involved, street signs on the road where the accident occurred, and any injuries can help as visual evidence when filing your claim. Since photographic evidence is extremely difficult to refute, it can significantly improve your chances for a successful settlement and securing maximum compensation.
6. Not hiring experienced legal representation.
Representing yourself with your car accident claim can be a mistake that prevents you from recovering maximum compensation. Trying to handle negotiations with an insurance company on your own can be a challenge without the help of an experienced legal team. The Pittsburgh car accident attorneys at Dallas W. Hartman P.C. advise car accident victims to remember that insurance companies may advertise to be on your side, however are looking to minimize their costs and offer as minimal financial compensation as possible.