It may seem cut and dried: you were in an accident, you were hurt, so you should be reimbursed for accident-related expenses, right? Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy due to there being a few big mistakes to avoid after a car accident. In fact, some insurance companies have recently come under fire and are facing class action lawsuits for systematically underpaying auto claims.
When it comes to being compensated for the costs of your injuries and property damages, it is easy to make big mistakes that greatly impact your chances of recovery. On the other hand, with the right information and preparation, you can keep your claim safe and ensure you are getting the most accurate and complete settlement for your wreck. Let’s look at some of the most damaging mistakes to avoid after a car accident.
At the Scene of the Wreck
The moments immediately following a car accident can be chaotic and stressful. It’s important to know what steps to take in order to protect yourself and your legal rights. In this section, we will discuss mistakes you won’t want to make at the scene of the wreck.
Apologizing or Admitting Fault
In the aftermath of a car accident, you’ll want to be careful about what you say. Even if you believe you were at fault, it is best to refrain from apologizing or admitting fault. Anything you say can be used against you later on. Instead, focus on making sure everyone is okay and gather necessary information.
Neglecting to Gather Evidence
As soon as it is safe to do so, take pictures of the damage to your vehicle and any injuries you may have sustained. Collect contact information from witnesses, including their names, phone numbers, and email addresses. This evidence can be critical in establishing fault and determining the value of your claim.
Failing To Report the Crash
Even if the accident seems minor, you should always call the police and file an accident report. Failure to do so could result in serious consequences down the line.
Reporting the accident also establishes a record of the incident and helps to create an accurate account of what happened. If your accident took place in Colorado Springs, you can easily request your records online when you need them as evidence.
When Dealing With Insurance
Dealing with insurance companies after a car accident can be a confusing and frustrating process. Insurance adjusters may try to pressure you into accepting a low settlement offer. In this section, we will cover mistakes that are often made when dealing with insurance companies.
Signing Paperwork From the Insurance Company
Insurance companies often try to settle claims quickly and for as little as possible. Be careful about signing any paperwork before you understand the full extent of your injuries and damages — you wouldn’t want to sign away your right to be compensated!
Review all documents carefully and consider consulting with your legal representative before signing anything.
Accepting the First Settlement You’re Offered
Insurance companies may offer a settlement soon after an accident. Be cautious about accepting this offer right away, as it may not fully cover your expenses. Your lawyer will help you understand the full extent of your injuries and damages before accepting any settlement.
When Seeking Compensation
If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. However, the legal process can be overwhelming, and having fierce legal representation on your side can make all the difference in your claim’s outcome. In this section, we will discuss some common mistakes to avoid when seeking compensation after a car accident.
Missing the Deadline To File Your Lawsuit
There is a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit after an accident. This deadline, known as the statute of limitations, varies by state and by the type of claim. In Colorado, individuals who want to file a car accident claim will only have two years from the date of the accident to do so. Consult with an attorney as soon as possible after an accident to ensure you do not miss this deadline.
Not Hiring Strong Legal Representation
One of the biggest mistakes accident victims can make is failing to hire a competent auto accident lawyer to represent their interests. An attorney who has experience with motor vehicle accident claims can help you navigate the complex legal system and fight for the compensation you deserve. Likely, they will even uncover damages you didn’t realize you were entitled to but that you desperately need taken care of.
After the dust settles from a car accident, try to remain calm and focused so that you can handle the situation as efficiently and effectively as possible. By sidestepping the errors outlined above, you can help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Remember, when it comes to recovering compensation after being injured in a car accident, Heuser & Heuser is on top of it! Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your case.