When a person attempts to handle a South Carolina auto accident case alone it’s unfortunately not uncommon for them to fail to collect the maximum compensation they were entitled to receive. Too many people lack the experience to understand what to do to increase their odds of being fully compensated for their injuries. Several mistakes can compromise not only the amount of your ultimate compensation, but also the strength of your entire case. To find out more about what some common mistakes are following a South Carolina car accident and how to avoid them, keep reading.
Not getting enough information at the scene
One common mistake made by victims of a South Carolina car accident is failing to get sufficient information at the scene of the accident. It’s easy to be frazzled and lose track of important details given the chaos of a car accident. Forgetting to write down names, contact numbers or insurance details can cause serious problems down the road and make it that much harder to collect money for your injuries. Failing to write down the names of witnesses or other details of the accident scene that may not be found in the police report can also harm a future accident case.
Talking too much
Though no one believes you should withhold information from an officer who arrives to take a police report, there is no reason to volunteer damaging information. You should absolutely cooperate in the police officer’s investigation, but refrain from making statements that might be used later to imply you had accepted responsibility for the crash.
It’s common for emotions to run high following a car accident, but try to keep a level head and avoid rushing to the other person’s side and apologizing. Doing so may just be an attempt to be nice, but it can be used later to blame you for the accident. Remember that anything you say can be brought up later and could harm your attempt to receive fair compensation. Avoid discussing the accident at all while at the scene and instead save your thoughts for your Charleston auto accident attorney.
Not seeking medical attention
There are a few key reasons why seeking medical attention as soon as possible is a good idea. First, the sooner you seek treatment the easier it is to treat problems that may have been caused by the accident. Waiting to address some injuries can allow them time to get even worse, meaning it will take longer to recover than if you had sought help right away.
Another reason why seeking treatment early on is a good idea is because a doctor’s report soon after a car accident is a great way to have your condition placed on the record. Medical examinations are detailed and the sooner the exam occurs the more likely it will be able to reflect the harm that was caused by the accident.
Finally, going to see a doctor soon after an injury-producing accident is a good idea because it can prevent insurance companies from later arguing you were not really that hurt. Insurance companies frequently use a delay in seeking treatment to paint the person as an opportunist who only later visits the doctor in an attempt to secure money. The sooner you seek treatment the easier it will be to show that you were seriously harmed and that your injuries are directly linked to the accident.
Settling too quickly
While it’s understandable why injured plaintiffs would want to settle their cases as quickly as possible, it canbe a big mistake to rush into a settlement with an insurance company. In cases where your injuries were severe, it may take time to know if the treatment is actually over. Without knowing the full extent of your injuries, you may have settled for an amount that is far too little to cover ongoing costs like rehabilitation or future surgeries. Tragically, once you’ve agreed to a settlement then that’s it, the deal cannot be reopened even if you later discover other serious or ongoing medical problems.
Dealing with insurance claims adjusters alone
Though it can be tempting to start talking to insurance claims adjusters on your own, this often ends up being a big mistake for injured plaintiffs. It is important to understand that insurance claims adjusters have one job: settling injury cases for as little money as possible. Unlike personal injury attorneys who only benefit when you benefit, insurance claims adjusters have a direct incentive to keep you from collecting a large settlement. Claims agents are on the payroll of the company handing over the money and want to ensure they hold on to as much as possible.
Providing a statement to an insurance adjuster on your own is a recipe for disaster. You could end up saying more than you intended or having your own words twisted and used against your later on. Talking without a lawyer present leaves you exposed and at the mercy of the adjuster, not a good position to be in.
Not getting help from an attorney early on
The sad fact is that all of these problems could be avoided with the help of an experienced Charleston, SC auto accident attorney. By hiring someone who knows the ropes many common mistakes can be easily avoided. A lawyer will know how best to position your case for the maximum compensation and will tirelessly pursue it until it is complete. With a lawyer there’s no need to deal with insurance claims adjusters on your own or worry about missing any important steps in the accident claims process.
David Aylor has assisted countless injured individuals across South Carolina and helped secure damages for the harms they’ve suffered. David Aylor understand that auto accidents can lead to stress and confusion, leaving injured motorists and their families with expensive medical bills and worry over how to move forward. If you’ve been injured in a South Carolina auto accident and have concerns, feel free to contact David Aylor today at 843.744.4444.