Common Car Accident Claim Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

In 2020, there were 4.8 million people who suffered serious injuries due to a car accident. The average cost of a disabling injury accident was  $101,000 in 2020.

With 13 car accidents occurring every minute, going out on any Tucson road is a scary business. 

Aside from immediate injuries suffered in a car accident, the overall experience can be emotional and terrifying. You’re likely not thinking clearly or will know what to do after an accident.  

When it’s time to get justice and compensation, you want to avoid these car accident claim mistakes to get what you deserve from your case. 

Read on to learn what mistakes to avoid when you’re ready to file a claim for your auto accident. 

Taking Too Long to File Your Claim

Arizona, like many states, has a claim filing deadline. This means a statute of limitations is in place for filing your personal injury claim. 

You only have two years in Arizona to file a claim connected to your car accident injuries. This doesn’t mean your case must get resolved in that period. The paperwork must be filed to initiate the claim within two years. 

Some people will think initially they don’t want to file a claim. Then their recovery takes a long time, and the medical bills start to pile up. Not filing within two years is a mistake, but so is not filing at all. 

Failing to Get Medical Attention

Another common mistake that can cause problems for a personal injury claim is not seeking medical attention immediately following a car accident. 

You need to connect any car accident injury to the actual event of the car accident. 

Many people feel dazed and in shock following the accident. It’s not uncommon for accident victims to want to decline medical treatment, thinking they’re okay or their injuries are minor. 

Many injuries aren’t noticeable immediately. They show up with time. There are a few issues with not getting checked out by medical professionals right away. 

Insurance companies might also argue that your injuries were minor and not worth a settlement or much of one because you didn’t seek medical treatment. 

Skipping Follow Up Appointments

Another critical mistake to avoid is skipping any follow-up care for your injuries. Even if you think you’re improving and don’t need to see a doctor, you should. 

If the doctor gave care instructions following your initial visit, they should be followed precisely. 

An insurance company lawyer could argue that your issues are your fault because you didn’t follow doctors’ advice. They could also argue your injuries are worse because you didn’t follow medical advice. 

Not Reporting an Accident to the Authorities

It’s common at accident scenes to have a driver wanting to avoid calling the police. They might claim they’ll pay for any damages or say there’s no need for the police to come. 

Calling the police at an accident scene is a must. The police will investigate and create a police report. The police report contains information about the accident, including:

  • How it occurred
  • Contact information for the driver
  • Witness contact information
  • Whether the negligent driver was issued a citation

To make any kind of claim with an insurance company, even if it’s just for physical damage, you’ll need a police report

Saying Too Much Before Making a Claim

Moments after a car accident leave most people feeling dazed, confused, and worried. You’re in shock over the events that just occurred. 

Some people will start talking and say things they don’t really mean. You want to avoid talking to anyone about the accident, if possible. Of course, you need to answer questions from the police. 

Beyond that, you should avoid discussing the accident with others, especially at the accident scene. You don’t want to mistakenly suggest you might in any way be at fault for any part of the accident. 

If you suggest any type of fault, it could be used against you later on when you’re making your accident claim.

Discussing the Accident on the Internet

It’s not uncommon for accident victims to turn to the internet following an accident. It can be a source of moral support. You know your friends and family will offer support and be on your side, no matter the circumstances of the accident. 

The problem is that anything you put out on the internet could come back to haunt you later. An insurance company or an attorney for the other side could use anything you say innocently against you. 

While getting support is tempting, keep all the details and comments about your accident off the internet

Inadvertently Admitting Guilt

This goes back to talking to others about the accident, especially at the accident scene. You want to be very careful with your words so they make no suggestion of guilt on your part. 

Even making a simple comment like I’m sorry could imply you have some level of guilt. While your intentions might be genuine, don’t put it past an insurance company attorney to use those words against you when you make an accident claim. 

No Accident Scene Information

If you’ve suffered a severe injury in the accident, you may be unable to do much at the accident scene. You should focus on seeking medical care. 

Yet, if you’re able, gathering information at the accident scene can be valuable. Sometimes some witnesses disappear as soon as the authorities arrive. These witnesses might have a valuable perspective on your case. 

Gather contact information from anyone at the scene who might be a potential witness. If you can, grab your cell phone and take some photos, up close and from a distance, to document the accident scene. 

Agreeing to Make a Recorded Statement

The negligent driver may have an attorney or an insurance company representative ask you to answer some questions. First, don’t do it. 

Second, you should never talk to the opposing side without an attorney of your own. You will need legal representation if you plan to make a personal injury claim.

The other side may present it to you casually that they just want to get a little more information and could you answer some questions. Your answer should be no, especially if they plan to record you.

Anything you say could be twisted and used against you later on.

Providing Blanket Medical Authorization for Insurance

Some car accident claim documents often include medical information about the accident. 

It’s not uncommon for an insurance company to ask an accident victim to sign a medical authorization waiver. You don’t want to sign anything without legal counsel. 

Once you have an attorney, they can provide the needed medical information. You don’t want insurance companies or opposing lawyers to know all of your medical history. 

Accepting the First Offer from Insurance

 Your attorney can walk you through the claim filing process. But before you ever have time to make a claim, don’t be surprised if you get contact from an insurance company offering a settlement. 

Often when you’re in the throes of your recovery, the settlement might feel tempting. Once you accept any type of offer, your case is done. 

Insurance companies are notorious for making lowball offers hoping to get a victim to agree so they won’t have to pay as much. 

Let your personal injury lawyer do their due diligence and investigate what you claim is worth before you accept any offer. 

Trusting Insurance Is Dealing In Good Faith

We all get insurance to cover us and assume the insurance company is there to protect us. Most people learn the truth when it comes time to make an insurance claim. 

Insurance companies don’t like to pay claims and often will work diligently to avoid paying or paying much. 

Don’t assume they have your best interest in mind, no matter what promises or good faith statements you think you’re hearing from the insurance company.                  

Failing to Record All Costs

It can be overwhelming following an accident with injuries, especially once the bills start rolling in. 

It’s essential to keep careful records to include all your expenses related to the accident in the claim. Of course, any costs associated with your medical care and lost wages will be included. 

Your personal injury attorney will know how to calculate the value of your claim, including the potential value of pain and suffering. 

Proceeding Without an Attorney

It should be evident that not having a car accident lawyer is a huge mistake. You need someone looking out for your best interest against the insurance companies and the other side. 

The sooner you hire an attorney, the better. They can guide you through the claims process, make sure your rights are protected, and ensure nobody is taking advantage of you. 

They can also ensure you avoid any other mistakes on this list. 

Car Accident Claims Mistakes You Should Avoid

Car accident claim mistakes are easy to make when you’ve been injured in a car accident. You probably want to put the whole ordeal behind you. 

Hiring a Tucson personal injury lawyer should be a high priority following your accident. If you’ve been in an accident, let the experienced team of lawyers look out for you following your accident. 

Contact Sweet Lawyers today so they can evaluate your case and get to work on your behalf. 

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