The moments immediately following a traffic accident can be disorientating to say the least, and the pain and confusion can overwhelm everyone involved. But when these accidents are caused by a particular driver’s negligence, there will be additional legal considerations.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, here is a list of important do’s and don’ts to ensure that you make a healthy recovery and earn every penny of the compensation you deserve.
– Don’t be in a hurry to settle. The insurance company will attempt to settle the claim as quickly and cheaply as possible; they want a truly minimal settlement regardless of your injuries or medical expenses. This can be particularly risky if your medical treatment is not yet complete, as accepting a settlement prevents you from ever earning further compensation for the same accident.
– Don’t underestimate the insurance representative. Insurance adjusters are committed to trying to settle claims for the lowest-possible amounts and downplaying the injuries of accident-victims. They often have hundreds of negotiations’ worth of experience, so facing one unprepared and/or without an attorney on your side can diminish your chances of earning a fair settlement.
– Don’t provide the adjuster with a statement without an attorney present. These adjusters are also skilled at using plaintiffs’ statements/remarks against them later in the proceedings, so do not provide any statements without the assistance of your personal injury attorney.
– Don’t sign any medical authorizations. The insurance company may attempt to access your medical history as well as your current records to somehow prove that your injuries were over-exaggerated or caused by something other than the accident in question. Never sign a medical authorization which was not approved first by your attorney.
– Don’t make false statements about the accident or your injuries. Insurance adjusters search for any and every potential contradiction or inconsistency to detract credibility from your story. While you’re not obliged to volunteer any information, never tell any lies or exaggerations about the injuries you sustained or the accident overall, as they could be used against you later.
– Seek medical treatment immediately. It is essential not only for your health but also for an eventual injury claim. If you forgo medical treatment for days or even weeks following the accident, it may be interpreted as a sign of better health than you are portraying, which can swiftly ruin your chance of earning compensation. Seek medical attention even if you have only minor marks or symptoms, as they could develop into deeper problems if left unaddressed.
– Keep all records. Be sure to keep all documentation relating to your case and every piece of paperwork from attorneys, doctors, police officers, and the insurance company. If possible, scan and make digital backups of these papers, as well.
– Be entirely honest with your lawyer. Your lawyer is on your side but must know each and every fact of the case to ensure the best chance of earning compensation. They should be made aware even of information which may appear detrimental to your case in order to prepare adequately.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident, contact Mike Agruss Law for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based injury law firm representing individuals (and their families) who have suffered an injury in an accident. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you.
Lastly, Mike Agruss Law is not paid attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.