After a car accident, most individuals are flustered and dealing with all that follows. Whether you are dealing with anxiety or intense amounts of pain, there are certain things you are going to want to avoid saying after. That's why our team of personal injury attorneys came up with some common mistakes people make after an accident that can later jeopardize their case.
8 Mistakes You are going to avoid post a car accident
Mistake #1 Not calling the cops
After an accident, proper documentation is crucial, particularly when you are not at fault. When a police officer arrives at the scene and confirms that you are not responsible for the collision, it can significantly help you. Shockingly, many drivers may convince victims not to call the police, promising that their insurance will take care of everything. But in reality, they may change their story later to make it seem like the victim caused the accident.
In fact, the Insurance Information Institute reported that in 2019, Florida had the second-highest number of questionable claims involving auto insurance fraud, with a total of 3,682 claims. This shows the importance of having an accurate police report to prevent any fraudulent activities by the other driver involved in the accident.
Therefore, always call the police to report the accident and insist on proper documentation, including a police report, photos of the scene, and contact information of any witnesses. These steps can help you protect your rights and ensure that you receive fair compensation for any damages or injuries caused by the accident.
Mistake #2 Waiting to get medical attention
Many people make the mistake of thinking that their injuries will go away on their own, but delaying medical treatment can actually hurt your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. The thing that people fail to remember is that there is a statute of limitations, which means that certain things must be done within a certain time frame or compensation will become extremely difficult to receive, if at all.
If the concern is related to the cost of those medical visits or insurance rates going up, do not fret. Due to the fact that Florida is a no fault state, your insurance company is required to cover 80% of your medical bills up to $10,000 (after any deductible). This means that you won't have to worry about paying for medical treatment out of pocket.
Additionally, for those that worry about making a PIP claim because they think it will cause their insurance rates to go up, it won't. In fact, according to Florida law, insurance companies are not allowed to raise your rates for making a PIP claim.
Mistake #3 Not contacting your insurance company
If you have been involved in a car accident it is wise to be wary of insurers, but you definitely need to inform your company as to what is going on. It is important that you understand you have a legal and contractual obligation to report an accident to your insurance company. You should only provide basic information until speaking to an accident attorney.
Mistake #4 Giving a recorded statement to the opposite drivers insurance company
Unlike your own insurance company, you do not have the same contractual obligation to the other person's insurance company. You receive no benefit by providing a statement or signing any paperwork that they send you. The only thing you need is the other person's insurance information, you do not have to provide them with anything else. It is best to let an accident attorney deal with your insurance company so that you do not make statements that will ruin your case.
Some examples of these types of statements are as follows:
“I was at fault.”
Whatever you say can and will be used against you. You are only aware of what happened from your perspective. Therefore, admitting fault without knowing all the details reduces your ability to receive compensation.
“I am not injured.”
The day of the accident is not a good time to determine whether you are injured or not. The flow of adrenaline to the body due to the accident causes you not to experience pain. Sometimes it takes a few days for these pains to set in. Therefore, you never want to say that you have no injuries, not knowing what the next day's could entail.
I think or I guess Statements
If you are unsure of something, it is better to state "I do not know" than to give them your opinion or estimation. Insurers will try to damage your credibility by asking you to answer a question that will potentially harm your case.
Mistake #5 Thinking the insurance companies are on your side
It's important to understand that insurance companies, including your own, may aggressively work to minimize the value of your claim or even reject it outright. In fact, insurance companies often have teams of adjusters and lawyers dedicated to this very task. According to a report by the American Association for Justice, insurance companies frequently engage in tactics such as denying claims, delaying payments, and offering lowball settlements. It's crucial to have a skilled personal injury attorney on your side who can fight for your rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Mistake #6 Trying to settle your own case
Adjusters from insurance companies are typically very friendly and may try to persuade you not to hire an attorney by saying that they can come to a resolution with you directly. While ethical rules prohibit attorneys from guaranteeing results, statistics show that even after paying attorney fees, the vast majority of clients end up much better off, and in many cases better than if they had tried to resolved their cases on their own.
Mistake #7 Signing anything without speaking to your car accident attorney first
This mistake goes with number 6, try to avoid accepting a settlement or signing any paperwork before speaking to your personal injury attorney. If you accept a claim or terms before discussing it with your attorney, you are signing away your right to any future claims. Therefore, it is smart to have the information reviewed before accepting it. You may be entitled to a higher level of compensation, but if you sign, there is no ability to dispute it.
Mistake #8 Not calling a top personal injury attorney for help
As we have stated in the previous mistakes, having an accident attorney on your side can lead to better settlement. In fact, statistics show that accident victims who hire an attorney receive settlements that are, on average, 3.5 times higher than those who handle their own claims.
At Demesmin and Dover Law Firm, our experienced injury attorneys understand the challenges that come with being involved in an accident. We are dedicated to helping our clients navigate the legal process and secure the compensation they are entitled to. Whether you were injured in a car accident, slip and fall, or any other type of accident, we are here to help. We provide personalized attention and aggressive representation to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome for your case.
Don't wait to get the help you need. Call us now at 866-954-MORE to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced injury attorneys.