Getting injured in a car accident is a significant event. Not only is it traumatic from a physical and emotional point of view, but it also poses financial challenges.
Those who are injured in a car accident are faced with medical expenses and the prospect of not being able to work until they recover completely. While it is a time when you are vulnerable, it is important to understand that the mistakes you make in the aftermath of a car accident could prove costly in the long run.
Our Orange County car accident attorneys often run into situations where we observe clients make mistakes that could be difficult, or in some cases, impossible to correct. Here are five of the common car accident mistakes that victims need to avoid.
Mistake #1: Losing your cool.
After a car accident, it is crucial that you stay calm and continue in a business-like manner. Don't get into an argument with the other parties.
Don't blame yourself or others for the car accident. Be sure to cooperate with police officers and other emergency personnel who respond to the accident scene.
Answer questions that police officers ask you to the best of your ability. But don't make any guesses or offer more information than what you are asked. If you don't know the answer to a question, simply say you don't know.
Mistake #2: Taking your injuries lightly.
Call 911 for help immediately. Cooperate with paramedics or medical personnel who respond. If they say you need to go to a hospital or to the emergency room, make sure you go and get the treatment you need. Even if you don't go to an emergency room or to the hospital immediately afterward, you should go as soon as possible.
Many injuries such as whiplash are not immediately apparent, but surface days or even weeks after the car accident. Seeing a doctor also helps document your injuries, which might be important if you later choose to file a claim or lawsuit.
Mistake #3: Failing to notify your insurance carrier as soon as possible.
You should do so within 24 hours of a car accident. However, remember not to admit fault for the accident. Don't make a written or recorded statement without talking to your car accident lawyer first.
Don't underestimate or exaggerate your injuries or damage to the vehicle. Follow your insurance carrier's instructions regarding how to proceed. Do not talk to the insurance adjuster for other parties involved in the accident.
Mistake #4: Rushing into a quick settlement.
The other driver's insurance company may offer you a quick settlement to make your claim go away. They might also intimidate you or play hardball to minimize your claim. This is not how you get the best possible injury settlement available.
An offer that is made too quickly cannot be accurate because you don't even know what costs you're going to face yet. Settling the claim quickly and cheaply is beneficial for the insurance company, but not for you. Do not sign any agreements the insurance company's representative presents to you.
You could be signing your rights away and be left with no claim to pursue.
Mistake #5: Doing this alone.
If you have suffered injuries in a car accident, you will have a lot to benefit from the experience, knowledge and resources of a reputed personal injury lawyer that knows how to settle your claim or take it to trial. An Orange County car accident lawyer will help evaluate your case at no cost and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to help you receive maximum compensation for your losses.
There are several great reasons to hire a car accident lawyer after a collision in which you sustain injuries. The decisions you make after an injury car accident can affect the compensation you receive and potentially, your long-term financial well-being. Those who have suffered injuries in Orange County can call us at (714) 898-4444 to obtain a free consultation, avoid common mistakes, and obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.
We've helped recover over $1 Billion for California injury victims. Call us today or send us an email to receive assistance from legal professionals ready and willing to help.