After you're injured in a car accident, you may be unsure of what to do next and what steps to take. How you react can make a big difference in what amount you get as a settlement from the at-fault driver's insurance company. If you've been hurt in an auto accident that wasn't your fault, avoid these common mistakes.
Neglecting Your Medical Care
One of the biggest mistakes you can make after being injured in a car accident is neglecting your medical care. Seeing your doctor regularly and going to all follow-up appointments is very important for your recovery, but care also plays a role when it comes time to negotiate your settlement. Medical records are very important to have, as they show the extent of your injuries, what type of medical treatments you have needed, and how long it has taken for you to fully heal.
Not Hiring a Lawyer
If you want to get the best settlement possible, you need to hire a lawyer. Most people choose not to hire a lawyer after they are injured in a car accident because they think that they can't afford one. Luckily, most personal injury layers who specialize in car-accident cases work on contingency, so you are not responsible for paying anything out of pocket. After your car accident, it is in your best interest to call several law firms and hire a lawyer who you can trust as soon as possible.
Talking to the At-Fault Driver's Insurance Company
One thing that many people forget is that the at-fault driver's insurance company is not on their side. Insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible, and they try to find different ways to do so. After the accident, the at-fault driver's insurance company will most likely get in touch with you and request a written or verbal statement; avoid providing one. The insurance company does not have your best interests in mind, and you don't want your statement to be used against you in any way. Always have the insurance company communicate with your lawyer while your claim is being settled.
Forgetting to Document Lost Wages
If you miss significant time from work due to your injuries, don't make the mistake of forgetting to document your lost wages. You are entitled to be reimbursed, but you will need to show exactly how much time was missed. Ask your boss to sign a document that shows the days missed and your weekly salary or hourly wage.