After a car accident, you may be injured and want to seek a settlement to pay for your medical and other expenses. However, even if you are legitimately injured, there are some things you can do that can sabotage your settlement. These four actions may reduce or completely wipe away your settlement.
Talking About the Accident With the Wrong People
After the accident, contact your insurance company and tell them everything, but when it comes to other people, be quiet. Of course, this includes the other driver's insurance company. Let your lawyer speak to them on your behalf, or ask your lawyer what you should tell them. Even something meaningless, such as admitting the radio was a little loud, could affect your settlement and make you more responsible.
You should also be careful about talking about the accident with others. This starts from the moment the accident occurs and you have to speak with the other driver. Be careful about what you say. Even just saying "sorry" could be used against you. Resist talking about the accident with just about anyone in case the other insurance company questions them.
Failing to Continue Treatment
If you are injured, you probably have no problem going to the doctor to get checked out. However, it's important that you follow through with the suggested treatment before the settlement is concluded. If the injury is minor, you may think you don't need treatment because it will heal on its own. However, this can cause your settlement to be completely denied.
Another problem with failing to seek treatment is that you won't know how bad your injuries are, and you can't prove your injuries. Imagine you assume your injuries aren't too bad, but you fail to follow up with your treatment plan. After the settlement is finished, you may discover that your injuries are worse than you thought. In that case, you're out of luck. Any future doctor expenses will be paid by you.
Waiting to File Your Claim
After a car accident, calling your insurance carrier may not be the first thing on your mind. You're more occupied with making sure everyone is okay. However, you must file your claim as soon as possible. Contact your insurance and tell them everything that happened.
Most insurance carriers require you to report the accident within a certain amount of time. If you don't, it may mean that your claim will be automatically denied even if you weren't at fault. The insurance carrier may even drop you as a customer.
When you have medical bills piling up and can't work, it's easy to become impatient. You need money to pay for bills and regular expenses, but it's important to take your time when seeking a settlement. If you're too impatient, you may agree to an amount that isn't fair just because you need the money.
Wait until you have a clear idea of how much money the accident is going to cost you in the long run. Be careful when signing anything too. If you are too impatient, you may just sign whatever they give you, trying to advance the process, but you might sign away your settlement. Work with your lawyer to determine a fair settlement.
If you've been injured in a car accident, getting a settlement may be a must to help you become whole again and pay for all your related medical expenses. A lawyer is your best chance to get the amount you deserve. For more information about what to do after an accident or how to get the settlement you deserve, contact an accident attorney in your area.