Most victims know what they should do following an accident. They know to get help, exchange contact information, and contact the insurer. While there are many lists of steps to follow after an auto accident, avoiding mistakes is equally important. Below are several items that could be detrimental to an auto accident case and injury claim.
It is ingrained in people to apologize even if they aren’t responsible for the accident. While it can be seen as a gesture of sincerity and good will, apologies after an accident could be used against a victim should they later pursue a claim through a Personal Injury Attorney. An apology can be misconstrued as an acceptance of guilt, and it can be used by the other side’s lawyer to disprove a client’s negligence. In short, any statement made at an accident scene could increase a victim’s share of fault.
Neglecting Medical Treatment
Even if injuries seem mild or not readily apparent, accident victims should still seek prompt medical attention. Many accident injuries appear days or even weeks later, and delayed treatment can make them worse while providing the defense with a chance to state that the injury is not as severe as claimed. Therefore, accident victims should seek treatment at an emergency room or from a primary care physician.
Ignoring Doctors’ Orders
If a doctor recommends medical treatment or follow-up care, it is in the plaintiff’s best interest to follow those instructions. While it is possible to get a second opinion, doctors’ instructions should not be ignored. By doing so, a victim can provide the defense with yet another chance to diminish the severity of the injuries.
Speaking to the Other Driver’s Insurer
After an auto accident, the other party’s insurer will contact the victim for a statement, and they may even say that the statement must be given before the claim can proceed. However, this is not true. Accident victims should not speak to an insurer before they consult a Personal Injury Attorney.
The biggest error a victim can make is to not call a lawyer before initiating a personal injury claim. While victims must report auto accidents to their insurers, that does not mean they should make the report without the help of legal counsel.
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