Car accidents may be a common occurrence, but most people do not know what to do when they are injured in a crash. Not knowing what steps to take after an accident sometimes causes injury victims to make mistakes that may lead to their claim being denied or devalued.
Let our auto accident attorneys in Sacramento help you through the process of filing a claim so you can avoid making these common mistakes.
One of the most important first steps after an accident is to call the police. This first step is particularly important due to the objectivity of the police officer who arrives at the scene of the crash to complete a police report.
A responding officer’s job is to assess the crash and issue a ticket to the driver who is at fault for the crash. Even if you are found partially at fault, it is important that the notes in the police report explain how and why you are partially responsible for the accident, as it could help your case later.
If you fail to call the police after the crash, it will give the insurance company the opportunity to deny liability, and you will likely have less evidence from an objective third party to try to prove the other driver is the one responsible for the crash.
Accident victims sometimes fail to seek medical attention after an accident thinking their injuries are minor and may heal on their own. However, you should always seek medical attention after any type of accident, no matter how minor it may seem. You need a medical professional to evaluate you and diagnose any potentially serious injuries.
If you do not get treatment, the insurance company will argue you are not hurt, or your injuries are not that big of a deal. Their thinking is that if your injuries were serious, you would have sought treatment.
In the digital world we live in, it is difficult to avoid talking about our personal lives online. Many people use social media as a tool to keep distant relatives and old friends up to speed on what is currently happening in their lives. It is only natural to want to let them know about an accident or an injury.
However, talking about a car crash and the injury you suffered is a common mistake. The insurance company is probably going to try to review your social media channels to see what you posted about the crash. Sometimes, even a simple statement like “thankfully I am safe” may be used against an injury victim to try to argue he or she did not suffer serious injuries.
Other posts on social media showing you on a vacation or enjoying physical activities may also hurt your claim, as the insurance company may try to use these as proof that your life was not significantly altered by the accident.
Generally, it is best to avoid posting on social media while your claim is open.
One of the first things the insurance company will try to do after an accident is to offer a settlement to close your case as quickly as possible. However, this offer is likely not going to be anywhere near what you need to cover the full costs of your present and future medical bills, and it will likely not account for any of the pain and suffering you likely are already going through or will have to deal with in the future.
However, most injury victims do not know that the first settlement offer will not be worth the true value of their claim because the insurance company will likely try to make it sound as if that is all you are eligible for. While every case is different, you are probably eligible for more compensation than the insurance company is offering in its first settlement offer.
If you accept the first offer from the insurance company, and your injuries get worse once the claim is settled, you may be unable to pursue more compensation.
Statistics have shown that injury victims who seek the help of an experienced attorney when filing an injury claim are more likely to recover the true value of their claim than those who choose to go it alone.
Insurance companies use many tactics to deny or devalue claims that most people are not aware of. Lawyers often are and they know how to respond to protect victims’ claims.
If you were injured in an accident, avoid the mistake of not speaking to a lawyer right away. Our attorneys have decades of experience helping injury victims like you pursue full compensation for car crash damages.
We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your claim and do not charge you anything while we work on your case.
Call us today at (916) 777-7777.