As much as we may attempt to avoid an auto collision, an accident can happen at any time. Even the most careful of drivers may find themselves navigating the aftermath of a car accident injury at some point, and this can be a daunting experience. While you struggle with your physical recovery, you may worry about the costly medical bills, lost wages, and other unanticipated expenses stemming from the accident. However, it’s essential to recognize that you do not have to go through this challenging process alone. Enlisting the guidance of an experienced and trusted Temecula auto accident lawyer is the best way to ensure you obtain the total amount of compensation you need to support your physical and economic recovery.
A Complicated and Stressful Process
The days, weeks, and months following a car accident injury can be overwhelming, especially as you cope with your physical recovery and worry about how you will be able to afford the medical expenses and other costs the injury incurred. Filing an auto accident claim can help you secure the compensation you need to support your recovery, so it’s essential that you take several steps to maximize your settlement. Below are just a few of the most common mistakes that California car accident victims make that can jeopardize their chances of obtaining a favorable settlement offer.
Mistake 1: Failing to Contact the Police
Any auto accident that involves property damage or injuries should be reported to the police. The responding officer will collect statements, gather contact information, and compile a police report that provides an overall picture of the factors contributing to the accident. When you start the process of filing an auto insurance claim, the police report will serve as a useful resource. Without a police report, it leaves just your word against the other driver’s word. A police report can go a long way in supporting your claim and obtaining you a fair and favorable settlement.
Mistake 2: Neglecting to Document the Scene
While a police report is helpful, so is any information or documentation you can gather at the scene. Of course, coping with your physical injuries should be your top priority, but if you can take pictures of the scene or document your injuries in any way, this information can strengthen your auto accident claim later on. Visuals help the insurance adjusters get a better sense of the immediate aftermath of the incident, and they can support your claim that the other driver was at fault for causing the accident.
Mistake 3: Not Seeking Medical Attention
Serious or life-threatening injuries require immediate medical attention, so call for an ambulance right away. However, many people who sustain seemingly minor injuries do not think these conditions warrant medical attention. Unfortunately, failing to visit a doctor can undermine the strength of your auto accident claim, as the adjusters may say that you didn’t take your injuries seriously or that they were not severe enough to receive treatment. Even if you do not think you need medical attention right away, schedule a visit with a physician so they can document the nature and extent of your injuries. This paperwork can strengthen your auto accident claim significantly, as many accident-related injuries may not present symptoms at first (i.e., traumatic brain injuries, internal bleeding, etc.). It’s always in your best interest to have your injuries assessed and documented by a medical professional.
Mistake 4: Admitting Fault
Most people want to express sympathy for the other parties involved in the accident. Unfortunately, even saying “I’m sorry” can be used to show that you were to blame for the accident. Even if you think you contributed to the accident in some way, refrain from admitting fault and leave it to the insurance adjusters to determine each driver’s role in the accident. Admitting fault leaves you vulnerable and can prevent you from collecting the compensation you need to support your recovery.
Mistake 5: Going Through the Process Alone
While California law does not compel auto accident victims to retain an attorney to file an auto accident claim, doing so can maximize your chances of obtaining the total amount of compensation you deserve. The auto accident claims process can be frustrating, especially as insurance adjusters attempt to undermine or discredit your claim to save their company money. Reach out to an experienced Murrieta auto accident lawyer to discuss your case. Your attorney can step in to handle all communications with insurance adjusters and negotiate a favorable settlement on your behalf while you focus on what matters most—your physical recovery.
If you need help pursuing an auto accident claim in Temecula or Murrieta, call Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, today at (951) 489-3320 to discuss your options with a skilled attorney.