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The last thing you want to do during a car accident case is to take an action that, unbeknownst to you, will ruin your claim and result in inadequate compensation for your injuries. It is far too common, unfortunately, for cases to be lost due to the actions of clients during the ongoing procedures. If you have been involved in a car accident, you need to know about these seven common mistakes that can bring your case to a sudden and unpleasant end.
There are tons of reasons why someone might want to avoid police interaction after an accident. Nobody wants to talk to a police officer if they don’t have to. But by failing to call the police or 911 after an accident, you are losing powerful evidence in the form of a police report and witness testimony that can be essential to proving your claim.
After an accident, if a person does not immediately feel that they are injured, they may not seek medical attention. Some people may choose to avoid it due to the cost of treatment. But this is a bad idea. First, not all injuries are readily apparent. Some internal injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, may come with a delayed onset of symptoms. Other times, the adrenaline rush that occurs after an accident may mask an injury. And if you opt not to seek medical attention, if you do end up needing treatment later down the line, the opposing insurance company may try to deny you compensation because you left the scene without seeking aid.
After an accident, you will likely get a call from the opposing party’s insurance company. These people are not your friends. They have one goal in mind: pay as little as possible. Do not make the mistake of telling the insurance company anything other than basic information such as your name. Refer them to your attorney instead. Speaking of attorneys...
People sometimes choose not to hire an attorney because they are worried it will cost too much. After all, the person just went through a bad accident. The car needs to be repaired and the person needs medical treatment, all of which are expensive. How can they possibly afford an attorney? The truth is, they cannot afford NOT to hire an attorney. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they front all of the costs of the case and only receive a portion of the damages if the case is successful. The victim pays zero attorney fees out of pocket, no matter how the case goes. Not to mention that most injury attorneys offer free consultations. And if a case is successful, things like medical fees can be covered, meaning that in the end, it could very well end up much less expensive if you have an attorney.
Your lawyer can only help you if you are completely honest about your health and auto history. If you are not honest, that gives the opposing party’s counsel leverage over you and can be devastating to your case. If you’ve had car accidents or traffic citations in your past, tell your attorney.
It is easy for information to get “lost in translation,” as it were, during a doctor evaluation. Some doctors use audio to take notes and transcribe their notes later. Others have terrible handwriting. Other times, it will be the nurses or assistants who fill out your chart and engage in small talk that leads to irrelevant notes and speculation (for example, the speed of the cars during the accident). These records are then passed to a doctor who takes them as fact. Doctors sometimes don’t take any notes at all. The best way to handle this is to just let the doctors do their jobs.
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