10 Most Common Mistakes People Make in Auto Accidents
While no one plans on being in a car accident, you should always be prepared in the event that such an unfortunate situation occurs. There are many mistakes people make right after an accident that can hurt their claim and hurt their chances of being compensated fairly and with maximum value by the other driver or insurance company. Knowing these mistakes before an accident can help you avoid costly mistakes, helping you save hundreds or thousands of dollars in damages.
Below are the top 10 most common mistakes:
- Not calling the police. Even in minor accidents, A police report is always helpful to have when dealing with your insurance company and other drivers. A police report is an objective record of what took place in the accident. The police report will tell what happened, which will prevent the other driver or witnesses from making false claims. Also, if you or someone else in the car accident suffered a potential injury, there must be valid documentation, especially if a lawsuit is going to be filed. That police report will be a key and valuable document in a car accident case.
- Admitting guilt. When you are discussing the accident it is important not to admit fault or even say “I’m sorry.” Admitting fault can be used against you later when you are trying to collect compensation for your car of injuries. Even if you think it was your fault, you could be wrong since you yourself do not have all the details surrounding the accident, especially with the immediate stress and shock from the accident. Instead, cooperate but let the police objectively judge events and determine who, if anyone, is at fault in the accident.
- Not exchanging insurance information at the scene. Even in accidents that seem to be minor, you should always exchange insurance information with the other drivers. Even if you think there is no damage, and nobody seems to be hurt, you may not know what could develop later. You need to get the other drivers’ names, addresses, phone numbers, car details, license plate numbers, and insurance information. This is what will be used if you are going to seek any legal help.
- Not taking photographs at the scene. Take photos of damage done to all cars, not just yours. Also take photos of the road conditions, traffic, signs, signals, and anything else in the area you think might be useful. They may come in handy during the claims process. For instance, if there are any disagreements on how the accident occurred, you will have documentation to help support your claim.
- Not contacting your car insurance company right away. You must contact your insurance company after an accident. If you don’t do this right away, you may not be able to recover property damage and any costs associated with your injuries. Make sure to seek legal advice before giving the insurance company any written or recorded statements about the accident.
- Not receiving medical treatment right away. After a car accident, you should seek medical treatment from your general physician or primary care provider as soon as possible. That doctor will refer you to any specialists, including a chiropractor, if you are in medical need. Even if you think you are fine, it may be difficult to tell the type of injuries that you have sustained. When the body is in shock, you may not feel the pain until later. It is important to have your injuries diagnosed as soon as possible in case you will pursue an auto injury claim later.
- Blindly trusting your own insurance company. Unfortunately after an accident, the insurance company’s interests may be different from yours. Often, even your own insurance company will try to find ways to avoid paying anything at all. They may even attempt to prove that you were violating the terms of your insurance policy so they will not have to defend you or pay your legal bills. This is not always the case, but you should not automatically assume that they will be acting on your behalf every step of the way. Be smart, and seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer.
- Not understanding your rights. Many people are unaware of the types of expenses and damages they can seek compensation for after a car accident. Damage may be claimed for property loss, medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. Finding the right attorney will ensure that you are compensated properly and fairly.
- Not contacting a personal injury lawyer. If you or someone else was injured, a car accident attorney is your best bet on protecting your rights. The AAA Group can help you file and navigate your way through an insurance claim, protecting your rights and helping you get the financial compensation you deserve. We provide free consultations, so you have nothing to lose when contacting us. You never pay unless we win for you.
- Waiting too long to pursue an insurance claim. There is a limited amount of time set for you to pursue a claim after a car accident. Depending on the facts, you may need to act relatively quickly. It is always best to contact a lawyer as soon as you can so the lawyer can ensure that your right to pursue a claim is properly protected. Contact us today for a free consultation.
At The AAA Group, we specialize in helping car accident victims in Georgia and California.
Personal Injury FAQs
Do I need a lawyer for my car accident claim?
If you have been injured in any vehicle accident in Georgia or California, your entire accident claim could be lost or significantly reduced in value because of one misstatement, one missed deadline, or one legal or strategic error. Your claim could even be hurt simply because the insurance company knows that most people are unfamiliar with personal injury law and takes advantage of that.
Do not fall for the “friendly” insurance company. No matter how nice the insurance adjuster seems, you must remember that the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, and insurance companies stay in business and thrive by denying or minimizing claims. That is much easier for them to do when they are not dealing with a personal injury lawyer. You also must be careful with every word said to an insurance representative as simply answering a seemingly innocent question of “How are you” by responding “Fine” could harm your case.
As you can see, there are high risks when dealing with the insurance company yourself. Studies even show that people who are injured recover much more money when they are represented by a personal injury lawyer. So don’t be convinced when an adjuster tells you that you don’t need a lawyer. Remember – insurance companies and their adjusters are never on your side when it comes to accident claims.
That being said, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the world of insurance companies and adjusters to maximize your recovery. The AAA Group’s team of lawyers and staff have one job – to protect YOUR rights. We will work with you one-on-one, to uncover all steps necessary to increase your likelihood of receiving full compensation. We will gather and preserve evidence, comply with all deadlines, analyze laws, assess your damages, and determine the fair value of your claim – all so that you don’t have to.
With a skilled auto accident attorney by your side, you can rest easy, knowing that you are on the road to getting the compensation you deserve. The AAA Group fights hard to protect the rights of accident victims as part of our goal to be the best personal injury law firm in Georgia and California. We only represent accident victims, fighting hard each day to protect injured people.
Do I have a case?
If you were injured as a result of the negligence of somebody else, it is more likely than not that you will have a case that we can help you pursue. We will provide you with a free consultation and can evaluate your injury case. We are happy to explain your legal rights, and determine whether or not your case is one that we can help you with.
Knowing your legal rights and the steps necessary to protect those rights is imperative and the first step to your road to a successful recovery. Contact us today for your free consultation.
What is my case worth?
There is no magic number or formula as to what a claim is worth that will apply in every situation. Each claim is unique and the actual value of the case depends on many factors, including length of treatment, personal hardships, pain and suffering, lost wages, and the amount of your medical bills. These are only some of the factors involved in arriving at the figure that your claim is actually worth.
One thing that is established by studies conducted by insurance companies is that a personal injury lawyer generally recovers significantly more than if the claimant handled the case alone. Our trained legal team will help you to evaluate your case. We will never settle your claim for any amount that you do not agree to. We will keep you informed of each and every offer every step of the way. Again, our job is to maximize the value of your claim. So contact us for a free consultation today.
How long does it take to receive my settlement?
No two cases are exactly alike. An experienced personal injury attorney is concerned about your health first.
The most important thing is for you to get the medical care you need so that you can recover from your injuries. Once you are done treating with all of your physicians, we will request all of your bills and records.
Once all of your bills and records are received, we will meticulously review every piece of information in your file including how your life has been altered or changed since the injuries occurred. Then, we will discuss with you the value of your case. We will tell you what we think your case is worth and send a demand to the insurance company. We will make you aware of any offers and advise you with each particular offer.
The average case settles within three weeks to a few months after the insurance company receives our settlement demand, if your case can be settled. That decision of whether or not to accept a settlement offer is always yours to make.