Those managing car accident injuries rely on insurance companies and settlements to compensate them for financial losses. However, pursuing compensation is not as easy as some may think. Knowing which mistakes to avoid when demanding a car accident settlement is essential.
A car accident lawyer in New Rochelle can help you better understand the settlement process. Before connecting with a lawyer, review these five common mistakes to avoid.
Why Pursue an Accident Settlement?
In October 2022, New York City reported 8,620 car accidents involving over 16,546 motorists. Since these collisions are so frequent, New York drivers question how safe they are on the roads. Knowing how to pursue an accident settlement can help reduce stress.
Personal injury lawsuits are challenging to navigate and start long before involved parties meet at the negotiation table. You must speak to insurance companies, doctors, police, and attorneys before seeking compensation. However, what you say to each of these parties could potentially impact the amount of money you can pursue.
Seeking an appropriate settlement requires you to collect evidence, avoid self-incrimination, and prove the value of your losses. For some, this entire process could take months to complete. Working with an accident attorney is an effective way to avoid delays.
Let’s take a look at five common mistakes to avoid when demanding a car accident settlement:
1. Failing to Take Pictures at the Scene
You should begin preparing for your settlement almost immediately after a collision. Taking pictures of the accident is a great way to collect evidence before the police arrive. Attorneys can organize these materials to prove the severity of the collision and leverage liable parties for higher compensation.
However, taking photographs may not be practical, depending on the extent of your injuries. Some drivers experience shock, paralysis, or confusion from their accidents. In such cases, making an honest statement to the police officer may be the only thing you can do.
If you have a trusted friend or family member, calling them to the scene is a good idea. They can take pictures and speak on your behalf while you focus on seeking medical attention.
2. Telling Your Doctor Everything Is Okay
According to NHTSA, 1,916,000 crashes in 2019 harmed thousands of motorists and passengers. Doctors are familiar with automobile injuries and have everything they need to diagnose your condition. Downplaying your injuries is a mistake if you experience pain or immobility from an accident.
Personal injury attorneys use medical reports as evidence. Additionally, they can use these documents to calculate a portion of the financial losses you sustained. Remember that insurance companies have access to your doctor’s notes.
Suppose an insurance agent sees that you told your doctor you didn’t feel too bad during a visit. However, your claim reflects otherwise. In that case, you may reduce your ability to pursue your desired compensation.
Being honest with your doctor about your condition ensures you receive the appropriate treatment. It also provides involved parties with accurate information.
3. Skipping Doctors Appointments / Ignoring Medical Treatment
Insurance companies, courts, and defense attorneys expect you to adhere to doctor’s orders. Skipping appointments or ignoring treatment demonstrates a lack of responsibility and care. If you do not follow medical suggestions, the defense may argue that you are responsible for causing a portion of your damages.
Check in with your doctor as often as possible. Sometimes, you may experience complications or scheduling concerns that prevent you from complying with orders. An attorney can communicate these things in writing to avoid the appearance of impropriety.
4. Accepting a Denial Deal
Other mistakes to avoid when demanding a car accident settlement involve your insurance company.
Some insurance companies may offer great benefits, but at the end of the day, they exist to make a profit. Insurance agents might attempt to downplay your injuries to deny or undercut your claim. In the case of car accidents, they may try to argue that your injuries were the consequence of a previous accident or pre-existing condition.
For example, suppose you are older than 45. In that case, an insurance company may suggest your accident-related back pain is a symptom of a degenerative disk disease.
Never sign documents that allow your insurance company to look through your past medical records without first revieing those documents with an attorney. Some companies may try to do everything they can to minimize their offer.
Look out for insurance company fraud as well when dealing with anyone that approaches you to “help” with your insurance claim. The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud claims that these crimes contributed to $308.6 billion of losses each year to consumers and businesses. An attorney can speak to these entities on your behalf and identify any suspicious behavior.
5. Accepting an Early Deal
It may be tempting to accept a good settlement offer shortly after your accident. However, taking an offer too soon could prevent you from covering future medical expenses that may not be covered by your insurance company. In addition, ongoing treatment, wage losses, and subsequent complications could contribute to your financial losses.
Some medical problems do not even appear for weeks or months after an accident. Be patient. Work with your lawyer to develop a legal strategy that works for you.
Advice from a New York City Car Accident Lawyer
Hiring a New York City car accident lawyer now can help you prepare for the worst-case scenario. If you experience an injury from a car crash, they may already have what they need to start building your case. They will talk to responsible parties, organize evidence, and gather witness testimony on your behalf.
Speak to a New Rochelle Car Accident Attorney Today
Are you ready to partner with a New Rochelle car accident attorney you can trust? At Sattler Law Group PC, we represent hundreds of clients who suffer car crash injuries. We believe in pursuing justice and fair compensation under the law with ethical and honest communication.
Learn the benefits of a car accident lawyer when partnering with us.
For more information about mistakes to avoid when demanding a car accident settlement, call Sattler Law Group PC. Schedule a consultation in New Rochelle, NY, by calling 914-239-4900.