Seven Mistakes to Avoid if You are Involved in an Auto Accident
Preserve Evidence to Ensure The Best Outcome
1. Failing to call the police
In any accident, calling 911 right away is the best thing to do. Not only will the local law enforcement be dispatched to control the accident scene and make the necessary reports, but emergency medical services can also be dispatched if needed. The police report can provide valuable information when you need to recreate the accident scene or try to determine which driver is at fault.
2. Not taking photos of the accident scene and vehicle damage
You or a trusted friend or family member should take as many photographs of the accident scene and vehicle damage as possible. While it’s fresh in your memory, look at the photos and think through all of the details of what happened. Looking on Google maps to get a “bird’s eye view” of the intersection or area where the accident occurred can also help. Take extensive notes of what you remember about each photo.
3. Waiting to get medical attention / Failing to get follow up care
If you claim you are injured, the opposing insurance company will judge that injury 100% based upon the treatment that you have or have not received. Complaining of soreness that you never had checked out by a doctor will be dismissed and you will also ruin your opportunity to make a recovery. We understand that people are hesitant to go to the doctor because they are concerned about how the bills will be paid. Minnesota is a No-Fault state and as long as you have an auto insurance policy, your medical treatment will be covered. Early medical intervention is important to healing and to documenting your complaints so that you can ultimately receive a fair and just settlement.
4. Failing to keep good records
It may seem strange to take notes about an accident, but the reality is, memories fade, and key details can easily get lost over time. When you go to the doctor, you need to pay attention to how long that took, how much work you missed, how far you drove, etc. When you are experiencing pain or other symptoms related to your injury, you need to make a note of it and also make your medical provider aware of it. In the end, our job is to make a report detailing exactly how, why, when and how much you were damaged by this accident. Keeping extensive notes and accurate records can make a dramatic impact on how well you are able to do that.
5. Signing a Release or any other Agreement
Insurance companies may try to trick you into signing a release that frees them of any future claim you would have against them. This is very common nowadays and you must be careful! Do not accept any payment. Do not sign anything. Do not agree to anything, unless you first consult a personal injury attorney. Generally, the primary reason that an insurance company representative contacts you early on is to devalue, deny or trick you into closing out your claim.
6. Trying to settle your own claim
You should not have any negotiations with the insurance adjuster or any other insurance representatives from your own or the other driver’s insurance company. When you have an attorney on your side, you have someone fighting for the best outcome for you. The insurance company is working to settle your claim for as little as possible. We will fight for every dollar you are owed. Our experience working for insurance companies and against insurance companies is invaluable. We know the insurance company’s tricks and we will make sure that you get what you deserve.
7. Not taking advantage of a free initial consultation
Car accident law and insurance coverage can be complicated. Don’t take anything for granted. If you have been injured, don’t wait until you are getting calls from the insurance companies, talk to an attorney who is on your side. There is no cost for the meeting. We will handle everything for you and are only paid if we successfully secure a settlement on your behalf.
At Bennerotte & Associates in Eagan, Minnesota, we help people who have been injured in auto, truck and motorcycle accidents get the recovery they deserve. People typically assume that if they are in an accident, they will be treated fairly. Unfortunately, injury victims often have their claims devalued, delayed, or even denied. If you have questions about an accident, injury lawyers at Bennerotte & Associates are ready to answer your questions and fight for you until we have reached the best possible outcome for your case.