When you’re hurt in a car crash, the steps you take—or the ones you fail to take—in the time following the event can have a major impact on your ability to successfully receive full compensation for your damages.
At Bertoldo, Baker, Carter & Smith, our Las Vegas legal team wants to ensure that you understand what pitfalls to avoid, should you ever be injured in an accident. Remember, car accidents are unpredictable, so it’s in your best interest to arm yourself with this information should the unexpected happen. Here are five common mistakes to avoid after a car accident.
Not Contacting Emergency Services
Even for minor accidents, such as fender benders, don’t skip this step. It is in your best interest to call 9-1-1 so that police officers and emergency responders can come to the scene. Doing this will create a paper trail of the accident and allow you to give an official statement about what happened in a police report.
Additionally, emergency medical personnel will be able to assess your injuries and transport you to the nearest hospital. This will allow a doctor to determine the extent of your injuries and how they occurred; all of these notes will be included in your medical records. Your attorney can use this information to build your claim to show the direct causation and extent of your injuries.
Trusting the Insurance Company
The at-fault driver’s insurance company will probably try to contact you right after the crash. The adjuster will put on a friendly demeanor and ask you questions related to your crash. However, remember that insurance companies are businesses and will always prioritize their own profits over the health and wellbeing of claimants.
Even if you have a valid claim, adjusters will do everything in their power to use your own initial statement against you, twisting the things you say into something that could discredit or disprove your claim. With this in mind, do not make the mistake of giving a recorded statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company without first speaking with an attorney.
Posting on Social Media
It’s natural to want to reach out to friends and family members online for support after a car accident. But, it’s important to remember that insurance adjusters will probably be scouring your social media accounts to find evidence that could be used against you. For instance, if you make a claim that you sustained physical and emotional injuries, but post photos of you on vacation immediately after, it could be used to discredit your claim.
Remember that it only takes one split second for a photograph to be snapped. Always think about how something could be twisted against you from your social media accounts. We recommend that you avoid posting entirely on social media during a pending car accident case. This includes photos, videos, comments, tagged locations, and anything at all related to the accident or your injuries.
Accepting the First Settlement Offer
The insurance company may not have enough evidence to flat out deny your claim altogether, but one way that they will try to limit their costs is by devaluing claims. What we mean by this is that the insurance company will probably try to initially offer you less than what your claim is worth. Do not make the mistake of accepting the first settlement offer before ensuring that it will cover your total damages.
If you accept a lowball settlement offer, you risk being left with out-of-pocket medical expenses and lost wages if the money runs out. Once you accept the offer, there’s no going back for more. A seasoned car accident attorney can review your case for free to calculate your total past, present, and future damages and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
Handling Your Claim On Your Own
Many accident victims are hesitant to retain a car accident attorney because they are unsure how they could afford one. The good news is that many personal injury attorneys, including the ones at Bertoldo, Baker, Carter & Smith work on a contingency fee-basis. With this type of agreement, clients pay nothing upfront and we only collect fees if and when we help win them compensation.
Our attorneys deal with insurance companies on a daily basis. Additionally, we are well-equipped with the tools, resources, and knowledge of the law needed to build a solid claim on your behalf so that your chances of receiving full compensation are maximized. Let our team take this burden off of your shoulders so that you can focus on healing the right way.
We Will Fight for Your Recovery
If you’re injured in an accident, we are ready to fight for you. At our firm, you don’t just get a great lawyer—you get a team of dedicated legal advocates that will go the extra mile to ensure you receive the compensation you need to heal. We will do this all while treating you and your family with the compassion, integrity, and quality care that you deserve during these difficult times.
Injured in an auto accident? Get help today by calling our firm at (702) 505-8115 today! You can also fill out our online contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.