When you are involved in a car accident, it can be a very stressful and hectic time.
Chances are you are not familiar with the process and mistakes can happen that will impact your ability to get back what you have lost. While recovery may be months or even years away, it is the first few days and weeks were critical mistakes can happen. Avoid making these common mistakes.
Deal with other driver without calling the police
Regardless of how the other party feels about it, you should contact the police if you or anyone else was injured in the crash. It is critically important that the accident scene, condition of the cars, and eye witness recollection be recorded by a police officer. The police report is often the very first document generated following a collision.
While you may have an opinion about fault, stick to the facts when discussing the accident with an officer or insurance adjuster. The facts will speak for themselves. Unfortunately you even should avoid apologizing to the other driver or passengers. This can be used against you even if the accident was not your fault.
Skip going to the emergency room
Regardless of how you immediately feel, it is critical to get a prompt evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment from a medical doctor as soon as possible after your accident. If you are reluctant to go in an ambulance, recruit a friend or family member to take you to the emergency room. Any delay is both bad medically and will be used against you by the insurance company.
Provide a statement to the insurance adjuster
Remember, no matter how friendly the adjuster is, it is his or her job to minimize risk and therefore minimize payouts. A recorded statement is a tool insurance companies use to lock you into a story early in the process even before you know the extent of your injuries or perhaps all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident.
Sign paperwork you do not understand
Insurance companies handle thousands of accident claims. It is their goal to settle as quickly and as for little as possible. Never sign any paperwork without fully understanding the purpose of the document and the extent of your rights under Kentucky law.
Ignore your doctor’s advice
Follow your doctor’s advice. If the Emergency Room doctor advise that you should immediately follow-up with your general practitioner, do it. If she advises you to stay home from work, do it. Don’t ignore medical advice. Again, this is not only bad for you medically, but will be used against you by the insurance company.
Still have questions?
We have answers. With over 18 years of experience representing individuals involved in automobile accidents, the Goode Law Office has the tools and experience to guide you during the process. Case consultations are always free and you will speak directly with Christopher Goode rather than a paralegal or an investigator.