Being involved in a Denver car accident is an upsetting event—particularly if you are injured. Many people make the mistake of trying to resolve their injury claim with insurance companies without getting the help of a personal injury lawyer. They often believe that they cannot afford the assistance of a lawyer. But most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means that you can work with an attorney without having to pay a retainer or any upfront fees. Your attorney only gets paid after you have reached a settlement with the insurance company or after you have been rewarded damages if your case becomes a lawsuit.
People also make other mistakes after they are involved in a car accident
that results in injuries. These are outlined below.
#1—They Do Not Seek Immediate Medical Attention
You should always be seen by a physician after being involved in a car accident. Often the adrenaline that courses through the body after a crash can mask injuries. Other times, injuries—such as a brain bleed or other traumatic head injury
—may not display symptoms until you are in a medical crisis, at which point it might be too late.
Your medical records are an important piece of evidence as to the extent and severity of your injuries. Many times, insurance companies will try to minimize the seriousness of your injuries if you haven’t gotten any medical treatment. If you wait to go to the doctor, even for a few days, the insurance company might try to argue that you were hurt in another way that had nothing to do with the accident.
#2—They Talk Too Much at the Scene of the Accident
It’s crucial to be careful about what you say in the aftermath of an accident. If you blurt out something like, “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you,” this could be perceived as guilt. But there could have been extenuating circumstances. Maybe the other driver wasn’t seen because they drove through a red light or didn’t have their headlights on at night. At the scene of the accident, you never want to admit to fault—to anyone. What you say to other drivers, passengers, and witnesses at the scene of an accident will almost never help you when it comes to the insurance claims or lawsuit process—but it certainly can hurt you.
All you should do at the scene of the accident is exchange contact, driver’s license, and insurance information with others at the scene. But beyond that, stick to the facts only when talking to law enforcement officers at the scene. You can go more in-depth with what happened once you have retained an attorney.
#3—They Agree to Make a Recorded Statement
After you’ve been in a crash, the claims adjuster will probably contact you in the days following the accident to ask if you will provide a recorded statement. This person will probably make you feel obligated to make the statement, telling you that this is your opportunity to tell your side of the story. But what can happen is that if you agree to the recorded statement, the insurance adjuster may take your words out of context, twisting them to mean something you did not intend. The goal here is to ensure that the insurance company can pay out as little money as possible.
The truth is that you do not need to agree to a recorded statement, and you shouldn’t even talk to the insurance company until after you speak with an attorney.
#4—They Agree to Accept Too Little Money
Unless you are an attorney or work in the legal or liability insurance field, you probably have no idea as to how much money you might be able to get from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Claims adjusters will count on your lack of knowledge to throw out a lowball offer, which is often accepted because people have no idea. Once you accept the money, it’s too late to go back and get more—even if you would have been entitled to more.
Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side can help you get the maximum amount of money—particularly if your injuries will impact your ability to work and if your ability to work in the future is also impacted.
#5—They Settle Their Case Before Completing Their Medical Treatment
Perhaps you are at the end of the physical therapy and other treatment your doctor prescribed based on your injuries. Insurance claims adjusters will often reach out to you to make an offer to settle at that point. They realize people are tired of the inconvenience and worn out from having the accident details hanging over them. They know people are ready to put the entire situation behind them.
But there is a reason you should not settle your personal injury claim until after you have completed all treatment for your injuries and have been released by your doctor. If you accept a settlement while you are wrapping up physical therapy, what happens if your doctor decides that the therapy didn’t have the results that had been hoped for and you need additional surgery? If you have already accepted a settlement, the insurance company will not pay for that additional surgery and other medical expenses associated with it. Your own health insurance might night cover the costs either since private health insurance usually doesn’t pay for car accident injuries.
This leaves one person to pay for these additional expenses: you.
You Need a Denver Car Accident Attorney to Protect Your Rights
Don’t let any of these pitfalls happen after you’ve been injured in a car accident. Contact an attorney to protect your rights and to help ensure you recover the damages to which you are entitled. An attorney can deal with insurance companies and lawsuits so you can spend your time focusing on getting better. Contact
Mark A. Simon to advocate for you after a car accident. Call today!