Accidents happen in just a moment, but can cause serious and long lasting consequence for those involved. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in an accident, you may be entitled to make a legal claim against those responsible. A personal injury case allows victims to pursue justice and compensation to help ensure their physical, emotional, and financial security. While it can feel overwhelming to think about your legal options after an accident, it is possible to protect yourself and your case with a few simple steps. In some cases, victims hurt their chances at legal success by making a few common errors. Here, we discuss those key mistakes to avoid to ensure that your legal claim is strong and thorough, so you can obtain the compensation you deserve.
Avoid These Eight Car Accident Claim Mistakes
Every car accident case is unique, and there are many factors that can affect an injury claim. Often, accident victims have little experience with the law and legal cases. As a result, they can take seemingly innocuous actions that unintentionally damage their personal injury claim. Some of these common and potentially serious mistakes include:
- Not calling the police. While this may seem like an obvious thing to do, it is common for parties involved in accidents to simply exchange information. It is best to have an official legal record of what occurred. A police report should be an objective detailing of the situation and proof as to who was involved.
- Lying. Lying or exaggerating any aspect of the accident or injuries can permanently damage or end a personal injury case. It is illegal to lie on a police report or to provide false information to an insurance company.
- Not taking photos. Often, accident damage is repaired or removed long before a personal injury case can be brought to the appropriate officials. It is a good idea to take photos of the accident scene if possible. This provides visual evidence of what the scene looked like and the severity of any personal or property damage. This can be especially helpful if the responsible party tries to dispute the victims’ claims.
- Making a statement to insurance adjustors. Accident victims are under no obligation to make a statement to an insurance company representative. Despite what they may claim, insurance adjusters are out to protect their company’s own bottom line. They will use any information a victim may offer against them if at all possible. It is best not to discuss the accident or any legal case with an insurance adjustor unless advised by an attorney.
- Signing any paperwork. Never sign any document unless an experienced attorney has reviewed the document. In some cases, opposing parties will attempt to offer a quick settlement or gain access to a victim’s medical records. If the victim signs paperwork, they could be held to an agreement or release information without understanding the full scope of the document. This can damage a potential case and offer opposing parties information they will attempt to use against you.
- Not seeking prompt medical attention. One of the key components of a personal injury case is the injury itself. If the victim fails to seek prompt medical attention, it can be difficult to convince the courts that a legal case is warranted. It may appear that the injury was minor or even nonexistent. Always see a doctor for any injuries sustained in an accident, even seemingly minor ones. In some cases, small injuries can develop into larger and more complex problems.
- Not retaining an experienced lawyer. An experienced personal injury lawyer understands the complexities of the legal system and has helped many other victims obtain the justice and compensation they deserve. A qualified attorney can help you understand your rights and take the appropriate steps to protect them.
- Waiting too long to pursue an injury claim. Every state has specific statutes of limitations that dictate how long after an accident a victim may make a claim. In Texas, victims have two years from the date of the accident to take legal action. Once the statute of limitation expires, victims may be unable to hold those responsible accountable.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a car accident, the experienced lawyers at Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P., may be able to help. Even if you fear you have already made one of these mistakes, our dedicated injury attorneys may still be able to protect your rights. Fill out our online contact form today to receive a prompt response from a member of our team. We can discuss your unique case and help you understand how to best move forward.