Following an auto accident, it is normal that you would be shaken up, even if there are no serious injuries involved. If you have been injured, it can be even more difficult to ensure everything is handled correctly following a car accident. While everyone who has been involved in a car accident will do their best to do the right thing, mistakes can be made which can seriously affect your ability to recover the settlement you are entitled to. Some of the perfectly innocent mistakes that can ruin your car accident claim include the following:
- Discussing your car accident claim or your injuries with others. You should absolutely avoid discussing your case with anyone other than your personal injury attorney. You could inadvertently make a perfectly innocent statement which is later taken out of context and used to deny your claim.
- In the same vein, absolutely avoid posting anything about your accident on social media, such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, or even in an online forum for auto accident victims. The most innocent post of you taking your grandson to the zoo, could be used in court by the insurance company to deny your claim for injury compensation. You may think the post is entirely harmless—your grandson was visiting for the first time in a year, you had to stop and sit down multiple times throughout the day because of your car accident injuries, and you were barely able to get out of bed the next morning. None of that will matter when the fact you walked all day at the zoo comes out in court.
- Ignoring scheduled doctor appointments or medical advice. While you may feel your doctor is not helping your injuries much, it is vitally important that you continue to show up at all scheduled appointments, and that you follow medical advice to the letter. When you fail to show up for an appointment, or you fail to follow your doctor’s advice, the question of whether your injuries are severe enough to warrant compensation arises.
- Failing to seek medical care until weeks or months after the accident. Many people truly believe they are “fine” following a car accident—therefore they forego seeing a doctor—however this is often due to the adrenaline which floods the body after a stressful event. This adrenaline rush can mask the symptoms of an injury, yet when you wait to see a doctor, the insurance company may deny your claim.
- Failing to make notes and take photos of the scene of the accident. Should you end up filing a claim to collect compensation for your injuries and damages, having detailed notes about the accident, as well as photographs taken at the scene of the damaged vehicles, the weather conditions and the place where the accident occurred can be invaluable. These notes and photographs will help your attorney build a solid case on your behalf. Make your notes as soon as possible after the accident, and make sure to include all details—even the ones you may not think are all that important.
- Failing to call the police. Often, particularly in an accident which does not seem all that serious, one person (usually the one who caused the accident) may say to the other “We don’t need to get the police involved—let’s just exchange insurance information.” It is extremely important for your future claim that you call the police and get a police report to give to the insurance company.
- Settling too early, for the first offer by the insurance company. You may not know the full extent of your injuries soon after the accident, and an early offer may not fully cover the medical treatments you require.
- Talking to insurance companies. You should not speak to the other person’s insurance company without discussing it with your attorney first. In particular, you should avoid agreeing to have your conversation recorded. You could say something which, when taken out of context, could become a reason to deny your claim, or you could inadvertently contradict a former statement you made, when you later remember details.
In order to collect the settlement you are entitled to following a car accident, make sure you follow the rules above, and that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney as quickly as possible after your accident.
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If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident because of another person’s negligence in Boulder, or anywhere in the state of Colorado, it is important to call us immediately. In fact, not calling an experienced Boulder attorney could be your biggest mistake! Boulder lawyer Debbie Taussig has the experience and resources needed to win your case. Contact us today for a free initial consultation and review of your case. Call 303.442.0176 or fill out our confidential contact form on this page.