Dos and Don’ts Following a Car Crash
Every year, car crashes seriously injure millions of Americans. Most of these serious injuries are at least partially disabling. These victims need financial compensation to carry on with their lives and put their experiences behind them. This compensation is available, but insurance companies do not simply give it away.
In fact, despite what TV commercials imply, most insurance companies look for ways to reduce or deny compensation to victims. Unfortunately, many victims do things, or don’t do things, in the wake of an accident which makes these denials and reductions easier to obtain.
DON’T Say “I’m Sorry”
Many people apologize to express sympathy. If my son has a bad day at school I might say “I’m sorry,” even though I probably had nothing to do with the situation. Many people assume the same thing applies after a car wreck, and apologies simply express sympathy.
But these situations are different. In court, an apology could be construed as an admission of liability. Therefore, choose your words carefully when you speak to the other driver. Or, better yet, don’t say anything to the other driver.
On a related note, watch social media postings. An “I’m okay” post is fine. But do not say anything specific about the accident and don’t draw any conclusions about it, even if you are “just kidding.”
DO Go to the Doctor
The failure to see a doctor is a lot like apologizing. Both acts have unintended legal consequences. Many victims don’t want to bother their doctors or don’t want to mess with appointments. Later, the insurance company cites such reluctance as evidence that the victim’s injuries were not that serious.
There are some medical issues as well. Head injuries are a good example. These victims often “feel fine,” because the brain conceals its own injuries. You never know how badly you are hurt until a doctor evaluates you.
DON’T Talk to the Other Insurance Company
For some reason, perhaps because they want to cooperate fully, many victims believe they must immediately give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company. From a legal standpoint, that’s untrue and possibly dangerous.
Insurance companies immediately go into defense mode in these situations. Experienced telephone adjusters know how to extract damaging information from victims without their knowing it. The fact that the victim has just been in a serious accident and is probably not thinking clearly helps adjusters do this job.
Eventually, the other driver’s insurance company needs to hear your side of the story. But the company can wait a few days. Talk to a lawyer before you call an adjuster. Or, better yet, have your legal representative make the call for you.
DO Call a Lawyer
If the things on this list are hard to follow, don’t fret. The only thing you really need to do after a car accident is call a San Jose personal injury attorney.
If you have said some things you weren’t supposed to say, an attorney contains the damage. Lawyers are also very good at playing catch-up. So, an early misstep doesn’t torpedo your claim.
Furthermore, lawyers connect victims with doctors. These doctors routinely work with accident victims. So, they know how to diagnose and treat injuries that general practitioners might overlook or mishandle.
Finally, your lawyer is with you to the end of the line. So, you have a good chance of obtaining the compensation you deserve. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Contact a Dedicated Attorney
Things which happen in the first few hours following a car crash often significantly affect the outcome. For a free consultation with an experienced San Jose car accident lawyer, contact Solution Now Law Firm. You have a limited amount of time to act.