The NHTSA estimates that 5 to 6 million auto accidents occur each year in the US. This leads to about 3 million people being injured every year.
If you’ve been in an auto accident, you’ll most likely file an insurance claim. Unfortunately, the process to do so is complicated, leading to many common mistakes. Knowing how to avoid these mistakes when filing auto accident claims, can make the process much easier.
Let’s take a look at the most common mistakes and how you can avoid them.
Not Gathering Evidence
Once you are safe, you should begin gathering evidence for your auto accident case. You will need this to show what happened and back up your story. Any evidence you can get is helpful.
You should take videos and pictures at the scene of the accident. Also, get a copy of the police report. Even copies of your medical diagnosis, images, and bills are necessary.
Delaying Medical Treatment
If you are in an auto accident and don’t immediately feel a lot of pain, you may assume you got by uninjured. Unfortunately, even if you don’t feel it, you may have sustained an injury.
After an auto accident, it’s important that you seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Without quick treatment, injuries can get worse. In addition, many injuries, like traumatic brain injury, aren’t noticeable but can lead to long-term damage or death.
In addition, delaying medical treatment can also affect your insurance claim. It could suggest that you are not actually as injured as you claim. If you delay treatment and your injuries worsen, it could shift the liability to you.
When you do go to either the doctor or hospital, your provider will also give you documentation that will help make your case more credible.
Not Getting Legal Advice
Getting legal advice can be a huge help when it comes to getting a positive outcome in your auto accident claims. The claim filing process can be very confusing, particularly if you aren’t familiar with it.
An auto accident lawyer has the experience and expertise to walk you through the process. This can make it much easier to get the compensation you should.
When choosing a lawyer, it’s important that you look for one specializing in auto accidents, like Legacy Accident Lawyers. They will have the most experience, making the likelihood of a positive outcome much higher.
It is critical that you meet the claim filing deadline. Certain laws decide how long you have to get started. Unfortunately, if you miss these deadlines, you forfeit your right to compensation.
Because of this, it’s important that you get started filing your claim as soon as you can after your accident. Start talking with a lawyer early, to make sure you have plenty of time. Also, make sure to gather all auto accident claim documents quickly, so you can submit your claim as soon as possible.
Paying Out of Pocket
Paying compensation to another party out of pocket is a huge mistake when it comes to an auto accident claim. Instead, it’s best to wait until the insurance companies, attorneys, and other relevant parties have been included in the discussion.
The reason for this is that the process of proving liability is often difficult. If the other party pressures you to pay, you should wait. You may not owe anything because you aren’t liable.
In fact, you may even be entitled to compensation.
Accepting the First Offer
Most often, the first offer will lowball you. Most insurers want to settle any claims quickly and for a low amount. Because of this, they will usually offer a fairly low offer first. Unfortunately, if you sign this offer, you will also waive your rights to seek additional compensation and file a lawsuit.
However, this proposal usually doesn’t take damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering into account. With a little bit of patience, you may be able to get the compensation that you deserve.
This is another time that speaking with your attorney can help. They can help figure out how much your claim is actually worth and make sure you get that compensation.
Providing False Information
Lying or leaving out details is extremely detrimental to your claim. Misleading information can be used against you in your claim. In fact, it can even be used to completely void your claim.
It’s best to always tell the truth about your claim. This includes when talking to the police or your insurance company. The evidence may show if you lie anyway.
Not Filing the Appropriate Reports
Many people don’t report their accidents simply because they don’t know they should. However, notifying the authorities can help. Police presence at the scene can help keep everyone calm and prevent a confrontation.
A police report is often used as part of the evidence in a personal injury claim. If you or the other party choose to pursue legal action, a police report can actually help you. It can potentially show your innocence and protect you from a lawsuit.
Avoid Mistakes When Filing Auto Accident Claims
Filing auto accident claims can be a confusing process. Because of this, there are a few mistakes that people commonly make. By knowing what these are and avoiding them, you’re more likely to have a better outcome for your claim.
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