When you contact a doctor, lawyer, or insurance company after a car accident, the last thing you want to hear is, “I would have been able to help you more if you had contacted me sooner,” or, “I don’t know what you mean unless you show me a picture.” You can and should work with professionals to resolve the financial fallout after a car accident. Still, some of the outcomes of your case rely on things you do or do not do immediately after the accident or even before the accident. Car accident lawyers have seen and heard almost every possible scenario involving people struggling financially as a result of car accident injuries; they can work within the law to get you as much money as possible to cover your medical bills and other accident-related losses, but they cannot break the law. The sooner you contact a Norcross car accident lawyer after an accident, the sooner a check to cover your accident-related expenses will be in your bank account.
Waiting Until the Next Day to See the Doctor
If you do not need stitches or have visible injuries resulting from the accident, you might assume that you are not injured. You might start experiencing headaches or neck pain the next day, though. This could be a symptom of whiplash injury or concussion. Both of these are common injuries that can result from car accidents and which can result in months of pain and other troublesome symptoms. If you wait a day or more before you go to the doctor, the insurance companies or the at-fault driver may argue that your symptoms are from an old injury or other pre-existing medical condition instead of from the accident. Therefore, you should go to an emergency room or urgent care center immediately after the accident and have a doctor examine you and document your account of the accident in a medical report. The doctor’s report could become an important factor in the outcome of an insurance claim or, if necessary, a personal injury lawsuit. Likewise, if you start receiving treatment before symptoms develop, your symptoms will probably be less severe.
Not Taking Pictures of the Scene of the Accident
Insurance claims adjusters will ask you for pictures of the scene of the accident. These pictures will enable them to determine more accurately how the accident happened and, therefore, to decide which driver is responsible for which percentage of fault for the accident. If you can use your phone to take pictures of the vehicle damage and the area where the accident occurred, this will also help the doctor who examines you in the emergency room make the case that the accident is the cause of your current symptoms. If you are too seriously injured to take pictures, ask someone else, such as a passenger who was in the car with you or a police officer who responded to the accident, to do it for you.
Being Disorganized When it Comes to Insurance
Georgia law requires drivers to carry liability insurance to cover property damage and medical expenses resulting from accidents that they cause. The legally required insurance is sufficient to cover other people’s vehicle repairs and medical bills in accidents where you are at fault. This does not help you if the other driver caused the accident, though. You can save yourself the stress of having to file a lawsuit and more easily ensure that you can get enough money if you also buy optional insurance coverage that covers your own accident-related medical bills, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Insurance does not apply retroactively, so buy it now instead of after you get injured.
When filing an insurance claim or answering questions from claims adjusters, choose your words wisely. When taking a recorded statement, claims adjusters will ask you misleading questions to get you to contradict yourself. They will also make small talk to get you to open up about your health history, including pre-existing conditions. They are doing this to find excuses to pay you less money for your claim. It is best to go into the conversation armed with a set of notes about your accident. Even better, do not give a recorded statement at all and have your lawyer talk to the insurance company instead.
Oversharing on Social Media
If your injuries are so severe that an insurance settlement will not cover them, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the party or parties responsible for the accident. When you file a lawsuit, the other party will investigate thoroughly to find any evidence that might discredit your claims. Anything you say on social media can and will be used against you. This includes pictures of you traveling or socializing at times when you claimed to be bedridden, as well as posts from before the car accident that portray you as dishonest, greedy, or attention hungry.
Accepting an Insufficient Insurance Settlement
After reviewing the drivers’ recorded statements and other evidence, insurance companies send settlement offer letters to people injured in the accident. If you sign to accept the settlement letter, you lose the right to file a lawsuit in connection to the accident. If the amount that the insurance company offers you is not enough, you should not sign. Instead, you should contact a personal injury lawyer, who can negotiate with the insurance company to get you a better settlement.
Not Working With a Lawyer
Do not assume that just because you are healthy enough to return to work and you probably do not need to file a lawsuit, it means that you do not need to hire a lawyer. A car accident lawyer can help you get an adequate insurance settlement to cover your accident-related medical bills without going to court.
Contact 770 Good Law About Car Accident Cases
If the insurance companies are not offering you enough money to cover your accident-related medical bills, you need a car accident lawyer. Contact 770 Good Law, the Law Office of H.Q. Alex Nguyen and Associates, LLC, in Riverdale, Georgia, to discuss your case.