To protect your rights and maximize your compensation, you need to be informed and wary. The following are 10 serious mistakes to avoid if you’ve suffered a personal injury:
1: Failing To Obtain A Police Report
The 911 operator will ask if anyone is injured. The best response is to say you do not need an ambulance but you do want a police officer to respond to the scene. Firmly insist that the officer fill out a Traffic Collision/Accident Report, which will contain valuable observations and witness statements that otherwise might be lost.
2: Not Seeking Prompt Medical Attention for Your Personal Injury
Many injuries are not immediately apparent. But failing to go to the emergency room or a delay in seeing a doctor or chiropractor puts your health at risk and potentially reduces your compensation by making your injuries seem less serious than they are.
3: Failing To Tell The Doctor Everything
It is important to report each and every symptom you experience in the aftermath of an accident. If your aches, limitations and side effects are not documented in the medical records, you may not be fully compensated for your pain and suffering.
4: Not Seeking Legal Advice Early On
Hunter Law, LLC offers a free, no-obligation consultation. Many people miss important details or do irreparable harm to their case by trying to handle it themselves. Before you say the wrong thing or get in over your head, call in the professionals. We will ask specific questions relating to your injuries and damage to your vehicle that may later have great bearing on the outcome.
5: Giving A Recorded Statement To The Insurance Company
Insurance adjusters sound friendly and helpful, but they are trained to get information that can later be used to deny or reduce your compensation. You must report your accident to your insurer. But before giving a formal statement or signing anything, talk to a personal injury attorney who can tell you what you should and should not say.
6: Taking Your Damaged Vehicle To Their “Preferred” Body Shop
The insurance company’s priority is to save money. Their recommended repair center may offer a quick and convenient estimate, but you will almost surely be shortchanged of the full repair or replacement value. You have the right to get several estimates and take your car to any shop you choose.
7: Failing To Disclose Previous Accidents Or Injuries
Did your car accident re-injure a prior injury or aggravate a pre-existing medical condition? It is a big mistake to try to hide this from your doctor, your attorney or the insurance company. An old injury will not bar you from receiving compensation, but withholding information will.
8: Failing To Follow Through On Medical Treatment
The insurance companies will deduct money for gaps in treatment. Skipping physical therapy or doctor appointments signals that you are healed and don’t need care, when you may have chronic pain and disabilities. Ongoing treatment and monitoring are critical to your medical recovery and your legal claims.
9: Failing To Seek A Permanent Impairment Rating
Many accident victims have lingering back pain, neck pain and other symptoms for years after the fact. If you have residual physical problems from a collision, you should ask your doctor to evaluate you for a permanent impairment rating. A documented rating can greatly increase your personal injury compensation.
10: Declining to make an Uninsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage Claim
Hundreds of thousands of Connecticut drivers have little or no insurance. If such a driver is at fault, you may make a claim through your own auto insurance by a provision called uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. It may be the only protection for you and your family if the other driver has inadequate or no insurance whatsoever. Therefore, make sure your policy limits are substantial and think about adding Conversion Coverage to your auto policy. By purchasing Conversion Coverage, you may be able to receive up to the full amount of your underinsured motorist coverage regardless of money paid by other sources (i.e. the other driver’s liability coverage).