After a car crash, in addition to possible physical injuries suffered, you may be stunned or slightly disoriented, but never let muddled thinking get in the way. Certain actions could seriously damage your personal injury case.
Here’s what a personal injury lawyer suggests you shouldn’t do after you’ve been involved in a car accident:
1. Admit Fault
You never want to admit to any fault. It is very possible it was not your fault at all. It’s also possible that it was partially your fault. After an accident, facts aren’t always clear. In addition, the other driver could take any admission of fault and use it against you in your personal injury claim.
2. Avoid Calling the Police
If you don’t call the police, there will be no legal documentation of the car accident. The report can sometimes be the most important proof you will need in order to determine liability and establish the legitimacy of your claim.
3. Go Without Medical Attention
Even though you think you may not have been injured, it is very important that you seek medical attention soon after the car wreck. It is known that certain delayed injuries do not appear for up to 48 hours after trauma. If you fail to seek medical attention and later turn out to have been injured, your case is hurt by not having any documentation of your injury and its associated costs. The longer you wait to go to the doctor, the more the insurance company will doubt their insured’s actions caused them. Also, failure to follow a doctor’s prescribed plan of treatment (physical therapy, taking certain medications, etc.) can hurt your claim and diminish how plausible your injuries were.
4. Forget to Obtain Important Information at the Scene
If you fail to obtain certain information, it can work against your personal injury case. Key information can help prove liability and know who will pay for your damages. You always want to get the other driver’s insurance information, name, driver’s license number, telephone number, home address, make and model of the vehicle, and the license plate number. If witnesses were present, get their names and phone numbers. Take pictures of both cars, if possible.
5. Talk to the Defendant’s Insurance Company
The other driver’s insurance company may try to contact you for a recorded statement. Don’t give one. They represent their insured and their own interests. Anything you say can be used against you. This is why it is very important to retain an experienced personal injury attorney who will communicate with the insurance company on your behalf. If a recorded statement is required, your attorney should be present.
6. Fail to Keep Records of your Damages
You can lower the value of your case by failing to keep records of all your damages. These can include receipts for your car damage, other property damage, medicines, as well as pictures of your injury and documentation of lost wages.
7. Go Without Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
Many people think they can handle their personal injury claims on their own. Statistics show that those who do not hire a personal injury attorney, end up with smaller settlements. A personal injury attorney in Springfield Missouri knows the insurance “game” and can represent your best interests. He or she will also have valuable legal information of which you may not be aware, such as the statute of limitations on certain cases.
If you are unfortunately involved in an accident, we hope that by reading this you can avoid common missteps that could harm your case. If you have any questions or are looking for an experienced personal injury lawyer in Springfield Missouri, call Krebs Law Firm at (417) 883-5886.