Things To Avoid If You Have An Auto Accident Claim
You have to work to get the compensation you deserve after an auto accident. Your actions and inactions determine your case's strength. Here are some things you shouldn't do.
Don't Admit Fault
You should never admit fault after an accident for several reasons. For example, you cannot be sure that you caused the accident at this time since you don't have all the facts. In addition, the adrenaline and shock can confuse you and lead you to make erroneous statements.
Note that you don't have to explicitly claim fault for others to consider your statements an admission of guilt. Apologizing for the crash or explaining the accident's cause might constitute fault admission. Even an erroneous admission might prove difficult to overturn.
Avoid such complications by limiting your words after the accident. Don't discuss the crash with others except for relevant parties, such as your lawyer.
Don't Overinflate Your Damages
An auto accident claim is a negotiation process. The adjuster expects you to start with a high offer so they can counter with a low offer to kick-start the negotiation process. The process' nature doesn't give you the leeway to overinflate your damages. For example, you shouldn't claim a million dollars if your injuries total a few hundred dollars.
Otherwise, the adjuster will know you are lying. Once the adjuster knows you are lying about the damages, they will doubt all your statements. The increased scrutiny will delay negotiation and your settlement.
Secondly, the adjuster expects you to prove your damages. You can use car repair estimates, lost wages, and medical records and bills as proof. You won't prove your overly inflated damages because you won't have the relevant evidence.
Don't Assume You Will Get Full Compensation
Lastly, do not assume you will automatically get the maximum compensation you deserve. The negotiation process is a tug-of-war between you and the adjuster—each side expects to pull the other toward their figure. You have to work to get the compensation you deserve. For example, you should:
- Mitigate damages by towing the car to a safe location and seeking prompt medical care
- Preserve evidence, for example, by taking pictures of the accident scene and injuries
- Sharpen your negotiation skills and stay sharp during your discussions with the adjuster
- Get relevant eyewitness and expert testimony
Let an auto accident lawyer review your offer before acceptance. Hopefully, you will get the settlement you deserve for your injury. Remember that you must prove every element of your case to maximize our damages.
Contact a local personal injury lawyer to learn more.