When you get behind the wheel, it’s crucial to remember to drive with care. But accidents can still occur even when you’re careful. So, what you should you do when that happens?
Drivers tend to make errors in auto accident claims, which causes them to lose compensation or avoid messy situations. Regardless of who caused the accident, you should know the proper steps to file a claim. One way around that is by knowing what mistakes to look out for.
We’ve put together seven common auto accident claim errors to guide you.
1. No Photo or Video Evidence
When you get into an auto accident, one of the first things you should do is to collect evidence. Document as much as you can immediately.
You can take videos and photos that show the entire scene, including any stoplights or signs that lead to the accident. Note that you should also record evidence before you or the other party makes any changes. This way, you get a clear picture of how the accident ended.
If you’re dealing with an auto accident case, documentation is one of the crucial parts since it’s what you can use to defend yourself.
2. Rejecting Medical Help
If you get injured due to the accident, seek medical help as soon as possible. Waiting it out can compromise your condition or health and make it harder to get treatment.
Getting medical assistance can also help identify if you have an auto accident injury that isn’t noticeable, like head trauma or traumatic brain injury.
Even if you get bruises or cuts, you should still consider visiting a doctor sooner if you want to get insurance. Most companies require you to file an insurance claim immediately after the accident. Otherwise, you won’t get coverage.
3. Taking Too Long
If it’s your first time getting into a car accident, you might not know you have a limited claim filing deadline. Every state has its own statute of limitations, meaning you should check to see how long you have to file your claim.
Some states will require you to report the auto accident immediately after it happens. So, you should contact police or authorities to be at the scene of the accident right after it occurred.
Other states allow you to wait a few days to a month to make your claim. Even so, many recommend filing your claim as soon as possible to ensure you can get proper compensation in due time.
4. Failing to Gather Witnesses
Although you have photo and video evidence, you might want to get in touch with witnesses as well. When you have a testimony from someone at the scene, it gives your documentation better support.
Other drivers who get into car accidents don’t gather witnesses in the area. But if you want better results, it’s good to have statements from people who were there to back you up.
5. Not Reporting to Authorities
Many people fail to report an auto accident case because they aren’t sure about how to file a claim. You might be able to go on with your day without doing so, but you won’t be able to get proper compensation.
If you have a police report, you can file claims for personal injury and auto insurance. Additionally, it could help protect you from a lawsuit.
Reporting the accident to authorities also prevents further complications between the people involved. This way, the situation stays as it is.
6. Accepting Offers Too Soon
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to auto accident claims is taking the first offer you get. If you’re the victim in the case, the other driver’s insurance company will likely offer you compensation before you make a claim.
As good as that sounds, you want to be sure you’re getting the proper amount of compensation. So, it’s best to wait for what the authorities have to say about it.
If you take the offer too soon, you might not get enough compensation to cover medical bills and other damages. Many suggest proceeding with the claim filing process before asking about their offer.
Moreover, if you caused the accident, avoid paying the other party out of your own pocket to compensate. Unless authorities decide you should pay them with personal funds, don’t hand over money straight up.
7. Not Getting Legal Assistance
Some people think it’s alright to file a personal injury or auto accident claim without getting advice from an attorney. But if you want to be sure you take the necessary steps, consider contacting a lawyer who specializes in it.
An attorney for the claims process allows you to ensure you aren’t overlooking crucial details in your auto accident claim documents. It also increases the chances of your claim falling under the right guidelines and gives you the compensation you deserve.
8. Defending Without a Lawyer
Most people who file an auto accident claim want to protect their money. But for a higher chance of winning the case, you want to consider hiring a car accident attorney to back you up.
When you have a lawyer on your side, they will likely lead the case to a settlement that benefits you. If your attorney has experience with auto accident cases, you can trust they know how to support your stand.
Avoid These Errors in Auto Accident Claims to Get Proper Compensation
Even the most careful drivers can get into a car accident. If so, you should file a claim to get the compensation you deserve and protect yourself from a lawsuit.
Aside from tips on how to file a claim, note the common errors in auto accident claims so you can avoid them. This way, you can focus on following the proper steps while knowing exactly what to prevent!
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