After being in a car accident or personal injury situation, it is natural to panic and in the process take certain steps that might harm yourself in the future. If you or your loved ones have ever been in such a situation, you know well that it is difficult to keep calm after such a traumatic event. However, if you deal with the situation carefully and intelligently, it will ensure that you get a favorable verdict and fair settlement from the insurance company.
These kind of accidents are fairly common in the US and it is necessary to know the correct way to deal with them. With the following tips and tricks in mind, you will significantly increase the likelihood of a favorable verdict
Check out the top 5 things that should never be done after you’ve been in a car accident or personal injury scenario.
Delay seeking medical attention
After being in an accident, your first instinct should be to visit a doctor. Even if you cannot see any external injuries, it will be foolish to rule out a concussion or internal injury on the first look. Do not wait weeks or even days to consult a physician.
If you are seriously injured, immediately call emergency services. Calling 911 will ensure you reach medical facilities quickly.
In addition to preserving your health, this action will ensure that you have official records of the injuries sustained in the accident. These documents will prove to be immensely useful in a trial or insurance claim. It is important to have a record of the severity of your injuries and take exact notes of where you have been hurt.
Keep quiet about your ordeal
Although it is not advisable to share too many incriminating details about your accident with anyone, keeping completely mum about the whole ordeal isn’t the smart thing to do either.
Make sure you report your injuries to someone in a position of power, for instance, your employer, police, etc. This ensures that an official record is created of the date and time of your accident and gives you legal credibility to prove your case later.
Calling the police is also a good idea, to collect evidence from the scene and talk to witnesses if any. Witness testimonials and concrete evidence will make your case stronger and help you negotiate a better deal with the insurance provider.
Talk too much or give conflicting testimonials
Talking too much about your ordeal is also harmful in case you are seeking an insurance payout. Often, we end up saying things that can be used against us in court or during insurance settlements. The riskiest thing to do in this situation is to admit fault.
Even if you think you had a hand in the accident, do not admit fault or apologize for the accident to any of the concerned parties before a thorough investigation has been conducted. Perhaps, some new facts may come to light which would place the blame on something else or at least share it. Do not place liability with yourself in any case, as that may harm your chances of getting a fair settlement and even lead to your conviction in court.
It is also important to check what you are saying to officials immediately after the accident. If you tell a policeman that you have no injuries right after the accident, any injury you discover later might not be considered for compensation. Always visit a doctor and get a thorough check-up done before committing to any such statement.
Avoid getting a lawyer or legal advice
No matter how smart we think we are, we should never assume that we can deal with the aftermath of the accident alone, without any legal help. It is imperative to hire a personal injury or accident lawyer immediately after the incident.
The lawyer will do all the fieldwork of gathering evidence, talking to witnesses, keeping a record of your injuries and expenses, etc. You will also get a fair settlement from the insurance company through legal aid.
If you think hiring a lawyer is expensive, you will find that there are many legal firms in the US who work on a contingency fee basis, that is they only charge money if you win the case and get the settled up compensation. This way, you will protect your legal rights as well as be saved from being cheated by insurance giants.
Settle for the first offer without further thought
Insurance companies seem like your best friend after an accident or personal injury, but remember that it isn’t so. Be very careful how to deal with your insurance adjuster, who is the person assigned by the company to settle a sum for your case. If you are too frank with him and share too many details, that information will be used against you later.
Do not accept a minimized offer from the adjuster without consulting a lawyer and getting an idea about the true value of your claim. You may find that you would have been running in losses of hundreds and thousands if you had settled for the initial offer from the insurance company. Contest for your claim and prove your case with legal aid to get the maximum payout.
If you follow these steps, you will be able to get a fair deal from the insurance company and seek compensation for your physical and mental ordeal owing to an accident or personal injury.