For the majority of people that have been unfortunately involved in car accidents, the circumstances of the wreck may have been unavoidable due to bad luck or the consequence of inescapable circumstances such as inclement weather. However, unfortunately, there are many situations where a collision or a wreck could have been avoided if proper care and caution been exercised. Negligence, carelessness and a reckless attitude are all contributing factors to the accident which often results in an undeserving catastrophic injury. After an accident has occurred, the victims and the families of victims can be easily overwhelmed by the situation and get confused. They have to deal with suffering the physical pain of an injury as well as dealing with emotional trauma and the resulting financial burden from ensuing medical bills, lost wages, and in cases involving a fatality, the expense of a funeral.
Therefore it is only prudent to ensure that all necessary steps are taken when looking to file a personal injury claim. Personal injury claims are legal devices that enable a victim to pursue the liable parties for the damages caused in the accident. Although this is a very important process, it is a terribly complex process especially for someone who has not dealt with such a case before. Simple mistakes such as failing to document the accident scene or failing to seek timely medical attention or giving statements to an adjuster in the absence of legal counsel or not following the recommended course of treatment as outlined by a healthcare provider can doom your personal injury claim to failure leading to a massive reduction or an outright denial of your claim altogether. Such mistakes can sound a death knell for your personal injury claim, however the biggest and most crucial mistake that people make is deciding that they can handle their claim without any legal representation.
Although people are tempted to handle their personal injury claim on their own without an attorney for obvious reasons, however it is important to keep in mind that dealing with insurance companies in the absence of legal counsel is not only difficult but outright impossible. Doing so results in reduction, delays and denial of the value of the claim. The presence of experienced legal counsel ensures that your rights are protected. Insurance companies do not take injury claims seriously until they see that the lawyer representing the claimant is an aggressive and knowledgeable litigator who will not hesitate to fight for the claimant’s rights at trial. In such a circumstance they are much more open to the notion of an amicable settlement which can be mutually agreed upon by both parties. Therefore the services of legal counsel especially in a personal injury claim is a priceless asset that should be effectively utilized and not taken for granted. The steps to take after an accident are very crucial and complex.
Committing a mistake after an accident can lead to suffering different kinds of damages. It is normal to feel distraught, flustered or shaken after an accident, but it is critical to have enough presence of mind to avoid specific mistakes that may prove fatal to your injury claim. Insurance adjusters will always try to twist your statements for their own vested interests therefore legal counsel can aid you in receiving the best medical and legal help after your accident. Skilled legal counsel are able to adequately recover the damages that you are legally entitled to. The majority of people are not aware of their rights or the damages that can be recovered after an accident. The following are some significant mistakes that you should do your best to avoid in a personal injury case:
Not Informing Law Enforcement About An Accident
The police report of an accident is an essential element in insurance claim process and litigation. Failing to inform the police results in failing to have a report made by the police. This means that there is no objective statement that includes all the necessary details. Sometimes the at fault drivers try to persuade people not to involve the police, however police should be informed regardless of the severity or the nature of the accident. It is also advisable to get the contact details of the police officers that arrive on the scene to document the accident as they may be later needed as witnesses.
Accepting Fault Or Apologizing To The Other Driver
People generally tend to use words like I’m sorry or it was my fault in general conversation, however, apologizing to the other driver or the police officer may be construed as an admission of guilt. Such a slip of tongue can do irreparable damage to your claim. Even if you believe that you were at fault for the accident, you might be wrong as it is very difficult to ascertain all aspects of an accident and determine where the fault truly lies. Therefore it is advisable not to apologize or admit fault under any circumstances.
Fleeing From The Scene Of An Accident
Fleeing the scene of an accident usually constitutes criminal negligence and the person fleeing from the scene is generally adjudged to be at fault. You should remain on the scene of an accident irrespective of the severity of the collisions or the injuries sustained. It is important that you remain on the scene until police arrives and starts compiling their report.
Failing To Notify Your Insurance Company
It is advisable to notify and inform your insurance company immediately after an accident. Failing to do so can result in failure to recover any loss and damages from your insurance company.
Failing To Follow Recommended Course Of Treatment
Regardless of the circumstances, your number one priority after being involved in an accident should be to seek appropriate medical assistance immediately regardless of the nature or severity of the injuries. Oftentimes after an accident you may feel fine ostensibly or it might be difficult to know about the type of injuries. By getting early medical treatment you can have your injuries properly diagnosed in a timely fashion. In order to prevail in a personal injury claim it is also imperative to precisely follow the recommended course of treatment as prescribed by your physician or healthcare provider.
Giving Statements To The Other Party’s Insurance
The other party’s insurance will contact you asking you to sign papers or give a statement about the accident. Keep in mind not to give any statements to the other party’s insurance in the absence of legal counsel. Failing to do so will result in the other party’s insurance getting undue advantage.
Delay In Pursuing A Claim
It is advisable to file a personal injury claim in a timely fashion as the timeframe to pursue a claim is limited by the statute of limitations in the state where the accident occurred.
Fabricating Or Exaggerating Damages Or Injuries In An Accident
It is important to portray yourself as a trustworthy and truthful person in order to prevail in a personal injury claim. Concealing any facts from your attorney, medical professional or your insurance company can serve to harm your credibility in court and may prove fatal for your claim.
Our St Louis Car Accident Attorney have dedicated their lives to the craft and stand by your side throughout the entire case, should you have any questions or concerns about the process.