When you are in a car accident, not only is it stressful, but it creates a new list of things to do in our already busy lives. However, it is important that misteps are avoided because what you do following a car wreck can hurt the value of your car accident claim.
Not Getting A Police Report
Don't make the mistake of not calling the police and trying to handle the claim between the two drivers. Did you know that there are many people out on the road this very minute with no auto insurance. According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), nearly 13% of motorists do not carry auto insurance. That is one out of every eight drivers! So, while the person that hit you may seem like a 'nice guy', it is not wise to to take a chance that he could be uninsured. A police report documents what happened and without one, there may be no proof that the accident even happened.
Document Your Surroundings
While police reports have pertinent information regarding what happened and contact and insurance information on the drivers, it sometimes omits witness contact information. Write down names and phone numbers of any witnesses and take photos of both vehicles involved. It is helpful to write down where you were before the accident and where you were going. This can come in handy during the claims process.
Document Your Injuries
The first thing to do is to seek immediate medical attention for anyone that is injured. We tell our clients to keep a folder with any receipts and forms they may receive regarding their accident, for they may needed later in the claim. Many times there will be visible bruising or scarring following surgeries and the appearance of these injuries can change over time. A photo of the injuries with the time stamp on can show how the injury progresses over the time of your claim. Let's face it, nothing tells a story like a picture.
Seeking immediate medical treatment is important following a car accident. If weeks pass without seeing a doctor, the insurance company may feel that you were not injured. In addition, gaps in treatment also diminish the amount of a personal injury settlement. It is important to keep scheduled appointments, follow the doctor's orders and tell them the issues that have arisen from the accident. While keeping a diary is helpful, what is contained in the medical records is what is used in the evaluation of a claim.
The invention of social media has become a great tool to connect to others, but posting on your Facebook or Twitter account can be harmful to your car accident claim. Today, more and more defense attorneys and insurance companies are looking for information to harm your claim. They look for discrepencies of your claimed injuries compared to the activities you may be engaged in. It is best to avoid making any comments or posting any pictures regarding your motor vehicle accident. Don't let your posts come back to haunt you.
Statute Of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the amount time you have to settle your claim before a lawsuit would need to be filed. In Indiana and Kentucky, the statute of limitations regarding a car accident is two years. This means if your claim is not settled withing the two year time frame, an attorney would have to file a lawsuit to preserve your statute and this would allow the process to continue to conclusion. It is important to get an attorney involved well before the two year mark since there are times when other responsible parties need to be located. When a governmental entity is involved, the statute is less than two years.
Settling Too Soon
Don't accept the first settlement offer. While it sounds great that the adjustor wants to settle your claim today and you can have your check tomorrow, don't think that it is a 'dream come true.' Insurance companies are a business and they want to protect their bottom line. The adjustors are not your friends and many are unwilling to educate you on the benefits you may be entitled to. Settling your claim and signing the release too early can be a costly mistake and you may be signing away your rights to additional claims. By hiring the Doane Law Office, your claim is evaluated by an experienced personal injury attorney who is well versed in the art of negotiation and the complexities of personal injury law.
Not Hiring An Attorney
Often times claims settle higher with an attorney on board. An experienced car accident attorney can give guidence in the overwhelming claims process to get you the compensation you deserve. The insurance companies know that when you have hired an attorney, you have an advocate on your side that knows the law and know you mean business!
Car Accident Attorney
A costly mistake could diminish your car accident claim. Don't let the insurance company take advantage of you! Call the Doane Law Office at 812-590-2213 for a free consultation. We will advise you on the steps to take during this stressful time and get you on the road to recovery. Send us a message online