An auto accident can be a traumatic experience especially if you have been injured as a result. You may find yourself confused, upset, or nervous about what is going to happen next. Such conditions might lead to mistakes. Here are some common mistakes that might occur following an car accident, and how to avoid them.
Regarding the Insurance Company - You are obligated by contract to comply with your insurance company. This means reporting the claim in a timely fashion and giving a recorded statement if requested. You are not, however, obliged to cooperate with the opposing insurance company. The other driver's company will be looking for you to give a recorded statement, as well, hoping that you say something damaging.
Damaging Statements to Avoid -
1) Never admit that it is your fault. You may very well have caused the accident, but there is no need to admit fault. Liability is a complex determination that can be made only after all of the evidence and circumstances are considered - do not make the insurance company's job easier by accepting liability. Furthermore, you may accept fault for an accident that really was not your fault.
2) Don't state that you are not injured - Many injuries, particularly muscle injuries such as those sustained after whiplash, take time to manifest. Sometimes a whiplash victim will not experience any pain until 2-3 days after the accident occurred.
3) Avoid Opinions - If you do speak with the insurance company, avoid making statements based on opinion or belief. Only state facts. If you can not remember the facts, tell the insurance company that you are not sure. If you make a statement, the insurance company will believe that it is true, even if you were not stating a fact.
What you should do following an accident - Contact an attorney. Only an experienced car accident attorney will help protect your rights. Insurance companies will offer you very little money for your injury if you do not have an attorney. Furthermore, they will act to settle the case quickly, even if you have not fully recovered.
Hiring an attorney may not be enough. You have to hire the right attorney. Unlike many personal injury attorneys, my office will go the full length, including trial, to ensure that you receive the money you properly deserve. Furthermore, I am a former insurance adjuster and I know how they evaluate claims and how to obtain the absolute maximum for your injury claim.