If you have been hurt in a car accident through no fault of your own, what you say matters quite a bit. It's easy to see how a victim might accidentally hurt their compensation by doing some of the below things. Read on and find out more.
Avoid This Phone Call
You might be phoned by a representative of the other guy's insurance company soon after the accident and asked if you are up to answering some questions about the accident. It sounds innocent enough but that is not how things will turn out. The caller is an insurance adjuster for the at-fault driver, and they will be questioning you about the accident and your injuries — and the call is recorded. Many accident victims don't realize that they don't have to talk to the adjuster and so they follow along with it. Unfortunately, some of those victims say things that really mess up their cases. Take for example:
- The victim expresses sorrow about the injuries of the other driver. This can be taken as an admission of fault or partial fault for the accident.
- The victim is not sure how fast they were going, what the weather was like, and they are pretty sketchy on other details. Unfortunately, this can be seen as providing conflicting information when other reports are compared to the phone call.
- You are asked about your injuries by a very sympathetic adjuster. That only makes some victims minimize their injuries, discomfort, and other problems caused by the accident.
Avoid Settling Too Soon
Accident settlements are a very good thing in the right circumstances. Just make sure you settle for an adequate and fair amount. Some victims are in dire financial states after an accident because of extra bills and missing work. That makes them extra vulnerable to offers of checks that seem like windfalls. Never agree to such an offer, even verbally over the phone. Most victims need to wait until they know how much medical care they will need in the future. Also, very few victims understand the full scope of how much they are entitled to get from the various loss categories like lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more. Rather than get take advantage of during a stressful time, contact a car accident lawyer and tell them about your case. They can take over the communications with the insurer and negotiate a settlement that protects you both now and in the future.
For more information, contact a company like Lawson Law, P.C.