Car accidents are disorienting and traumatic experiences. While it's natural to feel overwhelmed, the actions taken in the aftermath can make or break a personal injury claim. From declining medical assistance to hastily accepting settlement offers, people frequently make mistakes that compromise their legal standing. At the Law Offices of Andrew Zeytuntsyan, we enjoy helping our clients receive the compensation they deserve. If you want similar results in your case, then read this extensive guide to uncover five of the most common errors people make post-accident so you can avoid them.
Many people, in a bid to resolve matters quickly, opt not to involve the police, especially for a minor auto accident. However, what may appear minor at the scene could reveal itself to be more serious later on. A formal police report serves as an impartial record of events and is often a key piece of evidence when filing a personal injury claim. In some states, failing to report an accident to law enforcement could actually be against the law, particularly if the accident involves injuries, fatalities, or substantial property damage. Non-compliance could result in fines, points on your driving record, or even criminal charges in extreme cases. Always call the police after an auto accident, irrespective of the severity. Ensure that the police report accurately reflects the incident by providing a truthful account of events.
Many injuries, such as whiplash or internal bleeding, may not present immediate symptoms. In the adrenaline-fueled moments following a crash, your body’s "fight or flight" response can mask pain. Declining immediate medical evaluation and care can be a red flag for insurance companies, who might argue that your injuries are exaggerated or unrelated to the accident. Medical records serve as valuable evidence in personal injury claims. Always accept medical care at the scene or visit a healthcare facility immediately following the accident. This ensures that any injuries are promptly identified and treated while also providing a continuous record for your legal claim.
While it may be human nature to apologize after an incident, even a simple "I’m sorry" can be misconstrued as an admission of guilt. Insurance companies are quick to seize upon such statements as evidence against you. Be mindful of your words at the accident scene. Offer necessary information, but avoid commentary that could be interpreted as admitting fault.
Insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions that may seem harmless but are designed to minimize your claim. They might take statements out of context to reduce the company’s liability. It's important to consult a personal injury attorney in Gardena, CA before engaging in any discussions with insurance adjusters. An attorney can guide you through the complexities involved and even negotiate on your behalf, ensuring that you don’t inadvertently harm your claim.
Insurance companies often make low initial offers hoping claimants will accept quickly, effectively minimizing payouts. These offers rarely reflect the full extent of injuries, damages, or long-term consequences. Never accept an initial offer without first consulting with a dependable personal injury lawyer. An attorney can accurately assess the value of your claim, taking into account medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and future medical needs.
Car accidents can throw your life into disarray, and the decisions made in their aftermath are critical. While the mistakes discussed here are common, they are also avoidable. Always remember the importance of legal and medical consultations to secure the fair compensation you deserve. If you've recently been involved in a car accident, consulting a specialized personal injury attorney should be a priority. Call the Law Offices of Andrew Zeytuntsyan. Our team of experts is available to answer any questions you have and can schedule a time for a consultation.