Biggest Mistakes to Avoid After a Car accident in Lakewood
When involved in an auto accident, you may be feeling uneasy and shocked by what transpired. However, it is in the moments right after an accident where victims should be acutely aware of what they should do and should not do.
Everyone is prone to making mistakes, but with the right preparation, you could avoid making detrimental errors that could cost you the compensation you are entitled to. For more insight on the biggest mistakes to avoid after a car accident in Lakewood, reach out to an experienced attorney today.
Downsides of Admitting Fault
An admission of fault is considered by insurance companies, courts and juries as a strong indication of fault. If a driver is not sure whether they were actually at fault, it is best that they do not make any admission of fault, state the physical facts of what went on in the accident, and make no suggestion that they were at fault.
In no case is it appropriate to lie to the police officer. Not only is it ethical, but there could be witnesses to the accident that suggest otherwise. The authorities have ways of checking the exact moment the traffic light changes and so it is never a good idea to make false statements to anybody, especially a police officer.
Refusing Immediate Treatment
A very important element of any accident is how long following the accident an injured party gets treatment. If they do not get treatment for three or four weeks after the accident, then there is a presumption on the part of the insurance company that they were not hurt by the accident because they did not seek immediate medical treatment.
Depending upon the facts of the accident, refusing an ambulance is different. That is entirely at the discretion of the injured party. If they feel like they are injured, it is probably best to allow an ambulance to take them to a hospital to get immediate evaluation. However, it should not be ignored that there can be a substantial ambulance bill for being taken to a hospital and then there may be a substantial bill for the hospital.
Providing Recorded Statements Without an Attorney Present
There are multiple dangers in offering information to the other driver’s insurance company with an attorney. Their insurance company has handled thousands of auto accident claims and they are very accomplished at finding inconsistencies in claimant’s statements; statements that can hurt a claimant’s ability to recover. It makes good sense for the injured party to obtain an attorney who also has had experience with countless claims and knows what the appropriate answers to questions that will eliminate inconsistencies and prevent the claimant from hurting the value of their own case from inadvertent statements that may or may not be true.
Pros and Cons of Accepting a Settlement Offer
Unscrupulous insurance companies will try to settle cases before an attorney gets involved and unbeknown to a claimant (injured party/the party who is not at fault but who is injured by the negligence of another driver), the claim may be worth much more than they realize. The insurance adjustor will try to make an immediate low offer on the claim fully understanding that the claimant may not know the value of their claim. Some factors that an insurance company will consider in determining how much they want to offer to settle an auto accident claim involves:
- The amount of property damage
- The amount of reasonable and necessary medical treatment
- The circumstances surrounding the accident
- The relative fault of the parties
- Other factors
It is important not to talk to the insurance company until the claimant has retained an attorney who has an equivalent amount of experience that the insurance company has to protect them from a settlement that may be far too low.
Retain Legal Assistance Today
When involved in an accident, it is imperative to retain the services of an attorney who could help you avoid making costly errors that would have a negative impact on your claim for injuries. With a Lakewood lawyer at your side, you could increase the likelihood of filing a successful case.