5 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Car Accident Case
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Unfortunately, the average person will be in a car accident once every 18 years. Because accidents occur so infrequently, it’s difficult to know what to do after. The laws, rules, and protocol surrounding car accidents updates often. You may not know what mistakes to avoid in your car accident case.
Many victims of car accidents find themselves making decisions with little information. These decisions are often made back-to-back at a fast pace. From making major medical decisions to figuring out how to pay for repair bills, it can be challenging for victims and their families to keep up.
Making choices with misleading or lacking information leads to mistakes. These mistakes can have a lasting effect on a settlement case. But, you can learn how to avoid these mistakes. In doing so, victims and their families can feel more assured in the car accident claim process. Additionally, reaching out to an experienced car accident lawyer can help increase the total amount of your settlement and nearly eliminate the chance for mistakes.
Giving Recorded Statements
When you file your car accident claim with an insurance company, you’ll need to give a statement. These statements are often recorded. Even if you know that your story is true, the other side may use these recordings against you. Insurance companies make these recordings to twist your words. Their ultimate goal is to support their own case.
It may seem to be in your best interest to share your story and tell your truth. But, make sure you talk to your lawyer before giving any recorded statements. They will be able to tell you if you run the risk of having your statement used against you.
For example, the mindset of many after a car crash is to “get things done and get back to normal.” This can backfire as you find any recorded statement used against you. The insurance company will look for any way they can to use your statement to argue for a smaller settlement offer. They can edit your recorded statement out of context. This will make it easier for the insurance company to misrepresent the severity of your accident.
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Posting On Social Media
Posting about your car accident claim on social media is one of the worst things you can do for your case. With our entire lives on display online, it can be difficult to resist the urge. Even a profile set to private can be dug through by insurance companies. Your photos, videos, comments, and posts after the accident can refute your claims.
Even comments made by friends or loved ones could do serious damage to your case. An old friend teasing you about your driving record could come back to haunt you. Your aunt’s inquiry about your bad back could affect how large your settlement ends up being. Avoid posting on social media about your accident or settlement. Doing so, you decrease your risk of outside statements affecting your settlement.
It is in your best interest to avoid social media as much as you can while your case is being settled. Unrelated posts, such as you at the pool or out for a walk with friends, could be ‘proof’ of the severity of your injuries. The risks involved with posting on social media are not worth posting through during your settlement case.
Demanding A Large Settlement
It’s human nature to ask for the largest settlement possible after a car accident. You have the trauma and injuries sustained in a car wreck and time off work taken to recover. The losses after an accident can stack up quickly. You should always start negotiations higher than your ideal settlement. However, demanding too much money upfront can lead to issues.
Make sure you start negotiations with a realistic figure. If you start off demanding too much money, the insurance company will believe that you are ill informed about the facts and laws surrounding your case. Your state may even cap car accident settlements at a certain amount. If your initial demand shows that you’re unaware of this, the insurance company will try to play on your lack of information.
At the same time, make sure you do not start your negotiations too low. Insurance companies will jump at the chance to settle for a lower than average amount. After throwing out a low settlement number, it will be difficult to negotiate to the higher amount you deserve.
Not Staying Organized
The paper trail that leads from your car accident to the police report and any medical records is essential. They help land the largest settlement possible. Make sure you keep track of any paperwork that results from your accident. This includes any photos or videos taken at the scene. If your case ends up going to trial rather than settling, you will need this paperwork to prove your case.
Additionally, staying organized and on top of your paperwork helps with the settlement process as well. When you work with an experienced lawyer, they will be able to use these pieces of evidence to argue with the insurance company. Everything from medical bills to the repair invoice from your mechanic can strengthen your case. The more ammunition you give your lawyer, the easier it will be for them to settle your case for more money.
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Signing An Offer Without A Lawyer
In cases where your claim is straightforward, you may not work with an attorney closely. Some car accidents will have a party that is clearly at-fault and the bills and demands of the injured are low. Even with an uncomplicated claim, speaking with a lawyer before signing a settlement offer is important. A lawyer is the best way to identify the mistakes to avoid in your car accident case.
Lawyers who deal with car accidents will have years of experience. They are working with clients to negotiate with insurance companies. Even with a brief overview of your case, they will be able to judge if you are getting a fair offer. These lawyers often work on contingency or a small fee for a consultation. It is worth getting your case overviewed by an expert in the field of car accident law. This helps ensure you are not leaving money on the table or taken advantage of by the insurance company.
Regardless of the complexity of your car accident settlement, consider reaching out to an experienced car accident lawyer. Their experience will be invaluable during the settlement process. With years of experience fighting against insurance companies, a lawyer will help ensure that you get the highest settlement amount possible. You can then use this money to cover medical expenses, repair bills, and other expenses you have due to the accident. If you or a loved one were victims of a car accident and need help fighting the insurance companies involved, calling a lawyer should be your first step.