If you have been injured in a car accident, you know that it can be a traumatic event and one that proves stressful for a long time. After such an incident, you may have a number of questions including whom to hold accountable and how to pay for expenses relating to your injuries and losses. The steps you take soon after a car accident can in many cases determine how successful you are with your personal injury claim.
Most injured victims and their families are vulnerable during this time and are susceptible to making critical mistakes, which may end up jeopardizing their claim. Here are some costly mistakes to avoid if you have been recently injured in a car accident:
1. Don’t get rattled. Immediately after a car accident, it is important to stay calm and take steps in an organized manner. Be polite to the other parties involved. Avoid arguments and making accusations at the scene. Be sure to file a police report and cooperate with police and emergency responders who show up at the scene. When you answer questions, avoid speculations. Be honest and tell them what you remember.
2. Do not ignore evidence at the scene. If you are able to do so, act as quickly as possible to gather evidence from the scene, because it may all disappear before you know it. Take photos that capture the crash scene including damage to the vehicles and their positions. If possible, take cell phone video of the scene as well, which shows debris, skid marks and other evidence that may prove useful later. Gather names and contact information from those involved in the accident as well as anyone who may have witnessed it. If you are unable to collect this evidence because you need to get to the hospital, ask a friend or family member if they can help with this.
3. Do not decline medical care or attention. It is important that you cooperate with medical personnel who respond. If they recommend you go to the emergency room or the hospital, do so. It is important that you get a medical exam even if you don’t go to the hospital right away. This helps ensure that you have record of the injuries you suffered in the crash and the treatment you sought and received.
4. Don’t delay notifying your insurance carrier. It is important that you call your insurance company to report the incident within 24 hours after the accident. When you talk to company representatives, be careful not to admit fault or accept blame. Don’t make a written or recorded statement without talking to your lawyer first. Do not downplay your injuries or damage to your vehicle. Give them the basic details so a claim is generated and follow your insurance company’s instructions on the next steps to take.
5. Do not rush into a quick settlement. Insurance companies are often in a rush to settle claims quickly and cheaply. Do not accept a quick, lowball settlement offer. Do not sign anything an insurance company representative hands you. It is important to get a full picture of your injuries, losses and future treatment before you agree to anything. Never sign anything before you talk to your lawyer. Doing so may prevent you from getting the maximum compensation you deserve.
6. Do not post anything on social media. Don’t post any details about your car accident or your claim on social media. Even posts, photos and videos that are not connected to your accident can be used against you. If you are involved in a car accident, it might be in your best interest to suspend your social media accounts and refrain from posting anything until your claim is resolved.
7. Do not proceed without an attorney. If you have suffered injuries in a car accident, you are likely to benefit significantly by having an experienced New York personal injury lawyer on your side. Your attorney can help you avoid these costly mistakes, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and take the matter to court, if that becomes necessary.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, or if you have lost a loved one in an auto accident caused by a negligent (careless) driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
For over 48 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
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