In cases of personal injury claims resulting from a vehicle collision, it can be easy to forget about passengers involved in the accident as their own insurance companies are not involved. Passengers also have rights to compensation and can always make a claim alongside the involved drivers. If you’ve been involved in a car accident as a passenger, don’t hesitate to give Umbrella Law a call so we can outline your legal options and recommend the best course of action.
Avoid these 7 common mistakes:
Following a collision, it’s always a good idea to contact a lawyer specializing in personal injury law as soon as possible so they can help answer questions on what needs to be done in your specific case. However, there are several things that all victims of vehicle collisions, regardless of the circumstances of the accident, should definitely not do:
1. Don’t delay – seek medical attention immediately.
If you’ve been injured in a collision, make sure you go to a hospital or see a doctor as soon as possible. Being stoic and “toughing it out” at home can delay vital treatment, possibly making the injury worse and can compromise an accurate documentation of your injuries and how they develop in the days after the accident. This is especially true for minor injuries as the longer you wait before seeking medical help, the more difficult it can be to prove that your injuries are a direct result of the car accident.
2. Don’t ignore or avoid your doctor – follow your treatment carefully
When you’ve received medical advice to take medication, get physiotherapy, do exercises and/or attend follow-up appointments make sure you follow such instructions carefully. Failing to follow medical advice can jeopardize your claim, as insurance companies can argue that you failed to properly mitigate your losses resulting from the injury, which could reduce the compensation you receive from your claim. Even after the initial treatment, make sure you see your doctor regularly as you recover, and make sure that you explain every symptom you’re experiencing at each appointment. While this may seem repetitive, ‘objective records’ from medical professionals are very important in personal injury claims and lawsuits. Omitting symptoms or failing to see your doctor regularly can be interpreted as a sign that you are not in pain or that you have fully recovered.
3. Don’t be chatty – say as little as possible.
At the scene of your collision, make sure that you do not discuss anything surrounding the accident to anyone except the police. Make sure you gather witness information as well as the license, registration, and proof of insurance of all involved drivers. If you have a camera on hand, take photos of the scene and try to document all aspects of the incident as best you can. Do not give any statements to anyone (except the police) without consulting your lawyer first. After the accident, make sure you don’t give a statement or even have a discussion with the other drivers or their insurance companies – they are not on your side and may be working against your best interests.
4. Don’t Post on Facebook or Blog about the accident
Just. Don’t. This can provide insurance companies with evidence that could be used against you.
5. Don’t lie – tell the whole truth as you know it.
Make sure you’re entirely truthful with the police, insurance companies, and medical professionals when asked about your accident and injuries. Records of the incident will be compared and any inconsistencies will be scrutinized and could compromise your claim.
6. Don’t apply for compensation too late.
There are laws in place that limit the period of time actions that can be taken in response to an incident. If you miss these deadlines, you will have no chance of receiving compensation.
7. Do not represent your self – seriously, hire a lawyer
While you may think you’ve got a handle on how the legal system works from watching Law & Order or Matlock, trust us when we say that the easiest way to screw up any claim is to not hire a lawyer. Find a lawyer that specializes in car accidents or personal injury, such as those here at Umbrella Law.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle, car, or pedestrian accident, contact Umbrella Injury Law today!