Building a Car Accident Claim? Avoid These Common Mistakes
If you were struck by a drunk, distracted, or otherwise reckless motorist, you’re entitled to seek damages. Just because you have grounds for a claim, though, doesn’t mean you’ll automatically secure a payout.
In order to recover funds for all associated losses, you’ll have to present adequate evidence of both liability and damages. You’ll also have to avoid making critical mistakes from day one.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common missteps that can jeopardize an otherwise strong car accident claim:
1. Putting off Medical Treatment
There will inevitably be a lot to do in the wake of the wreck, but your first priority should be your health. Even if you feel relatively fine, you may have sustained impact injuries that have latent symptoms. Examples include whiplash, internal bleeding, and brain damage, all of which can cause serious complications if left unchecked.
Undergoing a comprehensive evaluation within 24 hours of the accident will ensure the prompt diagnosis and treatment of any and all injuries. In addition to protecting your health, this will start a paper trail that links your condition to the crash, so proving causation does not pose as much of a challenge. And as long as you follow your doctor’s orders, it will also demonstrate a commitment to mitigating damages.
2. Giving a Recorded Statement
The claims adjuster at the insurance company might ask you to provide a statement soon after the crash. In fact, he or she may say this statement is necessary in order to proceed with the claim.
If you share anything that turns out to be untrue, though, it could hurt your credibility. For example, the insurance adjuster might ask what you think caused the wreck, knowing full well it’s impossible to determine as much without first conducting a thorough investigation.
You should also avoid discussing your injuries before you’ve reached maximum medical improvement, as doing so could essentially “lock in” the total damages.
3. Remaining Active on Social Media
Car accident attorneys typically encourage clients to deactivate their social media accounts until their cases have been resolved. This is because insurance adjusters will often monitor the online activity of claimants in an attempt to find cause to challenge their assertions.
If disabling your profiles temporarily is not an option, you can at least reduce the risk of jeopardizing your case inadvertently by:
- Updating your account’s privacy settings so the profile can only be viewed by approved connections;
- Carefully reviewing new requests and denying any that come from people whom you do not know personally;
- Avoiding the temptation to post about injuries, the accident, or your expenses; and
- Requesting that friends and family not tag you in posts.
Call 605-721-2800 to Discuss Your Case with a Rapid City Car Accident Attorney
If you were seriously hurt through no fault of your own, the attorneys at Beardsley, Jensen & Lee, PLLC can help you gather the evidence needed to prove liability and damages against all responsible parties. Call 605-721-2800 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in Rapid City.
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