Seven Things To Avoid After A Car Accident
If you have ever been involved in a car accident, which wasn’t your fault, you’re entitled to receive certain benefits. You may already be aware that your car insurance company will pay your medical bills and lost wages. Additionally, you may have coverage which provides for your car insurance to pay the cost of repair of your vehicle and provide you with a rental car while your car is being fixed. Also, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries, pain, suffering, emotional distress, anxiety, and more. To ensure that you receive all of these benefits that you are entitled to, here are some things you should NEVER do after a car accident:
- Delay receiving medical treatment: You should always seek medical treatment immediately after a car accident if you are injured or have any symptoms. Often times, people think if they wait it out it will go away. This is not a good practice. If you can’t get an immediate appointment to see your regular doctor, consider going to urgent care or to the emergency room.
- Decline ambulance transportation: Many times, people are hurt in a car accident that was not their fault. However, for fear of a large bill, they refuse to go to the hospital via ambulance. An ambulance ride should never be refused for fear of how much it will cost, especially if your injuries warrant the ride. It is safest to take the ambulance ride and let the EMT professionals monitor you en route. Typically, the bill will be covered by your insurance.
- Post to Social Media: Like it or not, your social media profiles are viewed as an extension of who you are as a person. These platforms are the perfect place for defense attorneys and insurance adjusters to mine for any kind of information or photos that they can use against you. Never post anything about your accident, injuries, or treatment to your social media profiles. A good rule of thumb is to keep these accounts blocked with the highest privacy settings, understanding that even then a knowledgeable investigator will still find a way to gather information about you.
- Give a Recorded Statement: Soon after the car accident, you might start to receive telephone calls from the other insurance company wanting to take a recorded statement. You are not required to provide them with any statement, especially not one that is recorded. If you feel inclined to provide the at-fault insurance company with a statement, be clear that you will only do so if the conversation is not recorded.
- Gaps in Treatment: Sometimes people decided to discontinue their medical treatment for a period of time. There are many reasons for this, however, none of them are helpful to your claim. If you “take a break” from your treatment for a few months and then return to the doctor, you will have created an opportunity for the other insurance company to suggest that you have healed and don’t need additional treatment. This does not serve you and will limit your benefits.
- Settle Immediately: Many times, the car insurance company for the other side will call you within a few days of the accident and offer to settle your case. This is a tactic they use to close a case quickly and save money by not having to pay for long-term treatment. Most people don’t fully understand the extent of their injuries until months or years after the car accident. Settling a claim within a few days after the accident can greatly limit the benefits that you will need to rely on to treat any long-term injuries that you have.
- Not Following the Advice of Your Lawyer: If you have retained the services of a personal injury attorney to represent you in your car accident claim – trust him or her and do as they instruct. Their only focus is to take care of your needs and get you the full settlement amount you are entitled to. You must believe that they do have your best interests in mind.
The at-fault insurance company will do everything they can to limit your claim, reduce your compensation, and use information against you. Staying compliant with the above seven guidelines will help to protect your rights and enable you to get the justice that you deserve.