Getting injured in a car accident that wasn't your fault can really disrupt your life. If you lose wages, suffer pain, and lose out on doing your day-to-day activities, you deserve to be fairly compensated. What you do after being injured in an auto accident can make a big difference in your final settlement. If you have been injured in an accident that you did not cause, avoid these common mistakes:
Not Hiring a Lawyer
Many people neglect to hire an auto accident attorney because they are afraid that they can't afford to pay the fees. The good thing about these lawyers is the fact that they usually work on contingency, so you don't have to pay a dime out of your own pocket. When it comes to car accident cases, your attorney will collect a percentage of your settlement to pay for his or her fees. Some lawyers will even allow a free consultation to go over your rights and to see if you actually have a case before proceeding.
Having an attorney represent you is the best way to go. Your attorney will know how to collect evidence, bring forth witnesses of the accident, and show exactly how the accident happened. You should never try to secure a settlement with the at-fault drivers insurance company if you don't have legal counsel.
Being Lax About Medical Care
If you're hurt in a car accident, it is essential to seek proper medical care and follow all treatment instructions. Doing so is vital to your recovery, but can also play a big part in your insurance claim. Your medical records will be thoroughly reviewed during settlement negotiations--if you fail to follow your treatment plan or don't attend follow-up appointments for medical care related to the injuries, you can hurt your case and make it look like your injuries are not that serious.
It is in your best interest to see your doctor regularly as you recover, and it can also be a good idea to take photographs of injuries that can be seen. For injuries that can't be seen, keep a diary of notes during the recovery process, and give them to your attorney.
Speaking to the Insurance Company
The at-fault driver's insurance company is not on your side. There is no reason to speak to them after you file your claim. The insurance company will most likely try to get in touch with you. Do not speak with them or give a statement--politely provide the contact information for your attorney.