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Auto accidents can be devastating, and injuries sustained in an accident can begin a timeline of treatment and therapy that can take months to complete.
If you are involved in an auto accident, it is always important to know what steps to undertake to protect yourself and avoid damaging your potential personal injury case. Many people are unaware that there are several ways they can actually damage their Florida auto accident claim. Here are some important things to avoid that will help ensure your claim is successful:
1. Revealing Information via Social Media: Today’s generation is technologically savvy, a fact which defense attorneys or insurance companies use to their advantage. People can update their status, tweet, write a blog post, or check into places in real time, making themselves more susceptible to public scrutiny. In an auto accident case, Internet research is conducted to help prove that you may not be as injured as you claim.
It is important to understand that what you post or tweet can potentially help the opposing insurance company and hurt your case. Be cautious when posting photos or comments that might discredit your claim. For instance, think twice before posting a status about going to the gym when you claimed to have severe back pain from a recent accident.
2. Lack of Witness Information: Any type of auto accident can cause stress and impair your normal thought process. It is important to stay as calm as possible and gather proper information that will help your case later on. One of the key ways to help your claim if you are not at fault is to identify witnesses. It is important to corroborate your case with eyewitnesses because it will minimize debate from insurance companies. Do not assume the investigating office will collect this information. Take matters into your own hands if possible and ask for witnesses’ contact information promptly after the accident.
3. Giving a Recorded Statement to the Opposing Insurance Company: This is a very common mistake. Usually when an auto accident occurs, the insurance companies are notified right away. Once insurance companies are notified, they move quickly to obtain a recorded statement about what happened and information about your current injury. Most people feel that they have to give a recorded statement to the opposing insurance company and answer their questions. THIS IS FALSE. There is no requirement that you give a recorded statement.
Often, the other insurance company is looking to take advantage of your mental state and lack of knowledge about the matter at hand. Therefore, do not ever give a recorded statement without first consulting your attorney.
4. Take Opposing Auto Insurance Companies Lightly: If you are not at fault, the opposing driver’s insurance company will conduct an investigation during your case. This may include surveillance, photos of damages or video footage of you at some point during the process.
Honesty is the best policy. If you attempt certain activities that might seem questionable, admit them. We understand that over the period of the claim process, you will be treated for injuries and your physical health will improve. However, when an auto accident victim denies something that an insurance investigation later reveals to be true, it will hurt your claim.
5. Waiting too Long to Get Medical Treatment: Most people involved in an accident assume the pain or injury will go away in time. Unfortunately, that is always not the case and complaints may progressively worsen.
Insurance companies monitor the gap between treatments. If you wait even a few days to start treatment, they assume you may not be as injured as you claim. Prompt medical attention is necessary in evaluating your claim and if injuries are severe, report to the hospital. Once you visit a personal injury attorney, request appropriate medical care. Any complaints and symptoms should be well documented and recorded.
Personal injury claims all vary in severity, and often times they involve lifelong consequences that require extensive future medical expenses and years of pain and suffering. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the actions or negligence of another, call Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840.