If you have been injured in a car accident, you will undoubtedly want to be compensated for the injuries and any damage to property that you suffer. However, there are three common errors you want to avoid that could wreck your car accident claim:
Thinking you will save money if you handle your claim yourself. Unfortunately, too many people attempt to handle their own injury claims, thinking they will save money, only to be dramatically “shorted” at an eventual settlement. In most cases you should net out more money even when you pay an injury lawyer than if you handle the claim yourself. Statistics reveal that most people who hire injury attorneys will have more take-home money than people with the same injuries and damages who choose to handle their claims themselves. And not just a little bit more -- victims represented by a lawyer receive up to 3.5 times more settlement money, as reported by the Insurance Research Council (IRC), although all cases are different and results vary.
Letting evidence disappear. It is very important to gather evidence and investigate your accident immediately after it happens; otherwise the evidence begins to disappear. When you are injured, it is tough to accomplish a thorough investigation by yourself. A good injury lawyer employs experienced investigators to gather the evidence needed to present your case most effectively and powerfully. If there are witnesses to the accident, your attorney will contact them and obtain affidavits from them to help your case. When appropriate, your lawyer will acquire expert witness testimonies from medical experts, rehabilitation personnel, traffic experts, product engineers, insurance companies, and others.
Not properly documenting your medical treatment. Many accident victims do not understand the importance of getting medical treatment for their injuries immediately after the accident. They think it’s okay to wait and see for a few weeks to determine how serious their injuries are. But the truth is that if you wait longer than one week after the accident to visit the ER or your doctor, it is called a “gap in treatment.” Insurance companies will consider your injuries to be less serious because of this, and they will use it to try to settle your claim for less money. Avoid this deadly error: go see your doctor right away!
You must also ensure that your medical treatment is properly documented. This means telling your doctor about all of your symptoms on each visit and following all your doctor’s orders. It means making appointments with specialists or physical therapists if your doctor refers you to them.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a car accident, the experienced personal injury legal team at Roberts & Roberts is here to help with compassionate, aggressive representation. Please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.