Nobody expects to get in a car accident, so when one does happen most people do not know what to do. However, the steps a person takes immediately following an accident can have a big impact, not only on their health, but on their insurance claim. One bad move can mean a setback in healing and potentially a loss of due compensation. Here are some bad moves to watch out for:
Do not refuse medical attention
In serious car wrecks, an ambulance may be called to the scene. Emergency medical technicians will usually want to evaluate the condition of all individuals involved. While you might feel okay, keep in mind that could be the adrenaline talking. Let the EMT examine you. If they say you need to go to the hospital, listen to them. Even if the wreck was not serious, go to the doctor as soon as you can just to be on the safe side. As mentioned, the adrenaline rush of a wreck can cause injuries to be overlooked, especially invisible injuries like concussions, whiplash or pulled muscles.
After you have had your preliminary medical care, make sure to follow through on all future appointments too. Do not skip doctor appointments or physical therapy sessions. If you file a claim and the insurance company sees that you are skipping appointments, they may be reluctant to give you full compensation. More importantly, you want to make sure you fully heal as soon as possible.
Do not procrastinate filing a claim
Generally speaking, the sooner you get your claim in motion, the sooner you can get compensation. Insurance companies are looking for any opportunity they can find to deny or devalue claims, and when they see that someone waited weeks or even months after their car crash, they may offer a lower settlement or no settlement at all.
Do not admit fault
While you may think you know exactly what happened to cause the car accident, the reality is that these happen very fast and being in one is jarring. Even if you think you were partly to blame, you do not have to say that, not to the other driver, not to the insurance company, not on social media or anywhere else. Illinois car accident law says that even if a driver was partially at fault they still may be able to seek compensation. Do not jeopardize your ability to get compensation by saying too much.
Do not settle for less than you deserve
Many auto accident victims agree to a settlement, only to find out too late that it’s not enough money to fully compensate them for ongoing accident-related medical bills or lost wages. When you agree to accept a settlement, you cannot go back and ask for more if it runs out. You must be absolutely certain that the settlement will truly cover all accident-related expenses, as well as your pain and suffering, before you cash that check. An experienced attorney can review a car accident insurance settlement offer for free.