If you have been in an automobile accident in Morrow, Georgia, it may be obvious that you need help. However, there are common mistakes you need to avoid making in the upcoming days and weeks. Unfortunately, the following 7 mistakes are made far too often by injured people:
#1 Not Consulting with an Attorney Specializing in Car Accidents
Perhaps the biggest mistake an accident victim makes is to think they can handle the legal side on their own. Dealing with insurance companies can be a battle, one you are most likely not trained to take on yourself.
Consulting with a Morrow attorney familiar with automobile accidents regarding your claim can save you more money and time than you think, because the mistakes in this article could cost you financially, physically, and emotionally…far more than it cost to have an attorney on your side. At Wade Law Offices, attorneys are trained to make sure you are treated fairly by the insurance companies and the driver of the other car.
#2 Do NOT Accept Blame
Do not admit fault for anything, at least not until you have spoken with an attorney. An experienced car accident lawyer will advise you on what should be stated from the beginning. You have probably heard this familiar phrase, “Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” While this is part of the Miranda Rights and used when someone is arrested, the phrase applies to anyone who might be facing any legal battle.
If you admit to any fault at all, the insurance company and the attorney from the other side will use that to decrease anything you are entitled to, if not get it thrown out completely.
#3 Putting Off Initial Medical Treatment
Not all injuries are noticed immediately. First, the shock of a car accident tends to spike adrenaline. And adrenaline does a great job of masking pain, and could give you false assurance that you have not been injured. Also, soft tissue injuries have symptoms that often develop later, anywhere from hours to weeks after the initial impact.
So, it’s important to be seen as soon as possible, and to report to the doctor exactly what occurred during the accident, such as:
- Being hit from behind
- Head hitting the steering wheel
- Seatbelt pressed into chest
- Blacked out
- Don’t remember details
- Felt instant pain anywhere
The more detail you can give your medical provider, the more likely they can run the proper tests. It also can help to have that on record, in case the injuries manifest at a later date. Make sure to get a copy of your medical record to your attorney as well.
#4 Skipping Medical Treatments and Appointments
As tempting as it might be, especially if you are feeling better, do not skip or cancel any future doctor appointments or treatments. If you are fighting for coverage for medical treatments or pain and suffering, it won’t look good if you don’t think you need the treatments. And, that’s exactly what the other side will imply in court for cases involving injuries caused by a car crash, or use for a denial of medical coverage.
If you are working with an attorney from Wade Law Offices, they would like to know of all medical treatments and appointments, even those you miss. The more information they have in advance, the more they can prepare for anything the other side brings up. And, the opposing side will be looking for anything they can find to use against your claim or lawsuit.
#5 Not Disclosing Pre-Existing Injuries
It would be understandable if you forget to mention a pre-existing injury. Or perhaps, you think it’s something you should not disclose, because it might hurt your case. But, the opposite is more accurate. If the insurance company finds out you have been previously injured in the same manner, or in the same area, they will do their best to imply that the auto accident did not cause your pain.
The good news for pre-existing injuries, is that Georgia law states that the negligent driver could still be responsible for the injury, if the accident aggravated it further. However, you should be upfront about pre-existing injuries right from the beginning, because if it’s discovered later, especially by the other side, they can imply dishonesty on your part, and that will work against your credibility. And credibility is key in any court case, especially one involving pain and suffering due to a car accident.
#6 Not Notifying All the Proper Insurances
Failure to notify all the insurance companies involved could put your claim or case at risk. And, there are situations that require notifying the auto insurance that would be surprising to most people. For example, if you are out for your evening walk and get hit by a car, you need to contact your insurance company and let them know what happened. Another situation is when you are in an accident as a passenger in a somebody else’s vehicle, your own auto insurance company needs to be notified as well.
Most insurance companies have stipulations within their policies that will require a person to notify them with details of the accident right after it happens. Failing to notify them in a timely manner opens the door for the insurance company to deny the claim. If you have an experienced Morrow attorney, specializing in auto accidents, they will know exactly what to do based on your specific area. Wade Law Offices have that experience and knowledge, and will make sure that doesn’t happen.
#7 Avoid Sharing Information on Social Media
As tempting as it is, it’s best to avoid talking about the accident on social media. It’s human nature to want to share what is happening in your life, and a simple post on Facebook or Twitter seems innocent enough. But, anything you post could be used against you, even what you might think is a benign comment. For example, if you put it on the Internet that you are feeling better and hope to get back to work next week, even though you are just posting that to be optimistic, it could be used against you. Or, if you share a photo of tossing a ball out in the yard with your child, when you are unable to work, that could place doubt in a juror’s mind. Just remember, nothing is as private as you think, once it’s posted online.
The above is just a few examples of what you could do, or not do, that would put your case in jeopardy. If you consult with a determined car accident attorney in Atlanta, Georgia, from Wade Law Offices, who will have experience with auto accident claims, they will guide you in the right direction to avoid these mistakes.