Common Mistakes Made Following an Auto Accident
Motor vehicle collisions are among the leading causes of major injuries in California. According to the latest data from the California Office of Traffic Safety, approximately 275,000 people are hurt in car crashes in the state each year.
Following a wreck, you need to know how to navigate the claims process so that you are in the best position to maximize your compensation. Unfortunately, many people make avoidable mistakes that make it hard to get full and fair financial support from the insurance company.
At Fisher & Talwar, we are committed to educating people on their rights. In this article, our Los Angeles auto accident lawyer highlights five of the most common mistakes that people make after traffic collisions in Southern California.
1-Not Exchanging Information or Reporting the Accident
In California, all drivers have a legal responsibility to stop their vehicle and remain at the scene of a collision. After stopping your car and rendering any necessary emergency aid to the best of your ability, you should exchange information with all other parties involved in the accident. Among other things, you should get:
- Contact information;
- Driver’s license details;
- License plate number; and
- Vehicle make/model.
It is also a best practice to take photographs of the vehicle damage and the wider accident scene. All significant motor vehicle collisions must be reported to state or local law enforcement. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) explains on the state’s official ‘Report of Traffic Accident’ form that a collision must be reported within ten days if “there was an injury, death, or property damage in excess of $1,000.” Failure to report an accident could lead to the suspension of your driver’s license.
2-Failing to Seek Medical Attention
All car crash injuries should be evaluated by a competent medical professional. Emergency medical needs are always the primary concern. Severe injuries require an immediate trip to the nearest hospital or medical center. Beyond that, non-emergency injuries should also be evaluated. Many auto accident injuries are more serious than people initially understand.
If you fail to seek medical care in a prompt manner (or at all), you will be prevented from recovering financial compensation for your injuries. You need comprehensive, well-organized medical evidence to bring a successful personal injury claim in California. Without it, an insurer will deny compensation.
3-Giving a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company
You might receive a phone call from an insurance adjuster within days of the accident. It might be someone from your own insurance company or it might be a representative from an opposing insurer. Regardless, it is not in your best interest to answer questions or give a recorded statement. Insurance companies are looking to use your words against you. Although they might sound friendly or disarming on the telephone, an insurance adjuster cannot be relied on to protect your rights.
4-Settling Your Claim for Less than Full Value
In California, you have the right to hold the at-fault defendant liable for the full extent of your damages. Auto accident victims can seek compensation for medical bills, rehabilitative care, future medical expenses, lost wages, diminished ability to earn, pain and suffering, disability, and other damages. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is settling their claim for less than they are entitled to under the law. An experienced Los Angeles, CA personal injury attorney will help you understand your case and take action to maximize your compensation.
5-Going Up Against the Insurance Company Alone
Insurance companies are notoriously aggressive. Above all else, their primary concern is their own bottom line. These large corporations use many different tactics and strategies to get people to resolve their claim for less—at times even denying financial support to injured victims and their families.
It is a mistake to go up against the insurance company alone. If you suffered a serious injury or if fault is disputed for your accident, you need an experienced advocate in your corner. A skilled Los Angeles car accident lawyer can review your crash, answer questions, and take action to protect your rights and get you the full compensation you deserve.
Contact Our Los Angeles Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney Today
At Fisher & Talwar, our California personal injury lawyers have deep experience handling car accident injury claims. We will make sure that you avoid the common mistakes that could undermine your ability to maximize your financial recovery. For a free consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us now. From our office in Los Angeles, we serve communities throughout Southern California, including Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Anaheim. Torrance, Huntington Beach, and Downey.