If you’ve been hurt in a motor vehicle accident because of the carelessness of another driver, you have a right to pursue that driver for full and fair compensation for all your losses. However, you need to be careful that you don’t do anything that could negatively affect your claim. Let’s look at the common mistakes to avoid so that you can get the compensation you’re entitled to.
Hello, my name is Michael Galyen, I am a personal injury attorney at the Texas law firm of Bailey & Galyen. For 40 years, we have fought to protect the rights of motor vehicle accident victims across the State of Texas.
Rule # 1 – Don’t talk to anyone you don’t know.
In the immediate aftermath of a car crash, when the adrenaline is coursing through your veins, there can be a tendency to talk too much. Your brain is trying to process what just happened, but the truth is that you probably don’t know all the details. Remember that anything you say may be of consequence. It’s not the time to speculate about what happened. Focus on getting the medical care you need. If it’s a police officer, try to keep your responses brief and to the point, and be willing to say, “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember,” if you don’t know or don’t remember.
Rule #2 – Keep all contacts and communications with your insurance company to a minimum.
You may think your insurance company is there to help you, but their bottom line is their primary concern. They are always looking for a way to minimize what they have to pay to settle your claim…it’s how they maximize their profits. The best thing to do is hire an attorney as soon as possible and let them be your liaison in all your dealings with insurance companies.
Rule #3 – Get the medical treatment you need as soon as possible
If you are unable to leave the scene under your own power, be willing to travel to the hospital in an ambulance. If you leave the scene on your own, go immediately to the nearest hospital ER or to an urgent care facility. Even if you think your injuries are not severe enough to warrant emergency care, that may just be the adrenalin talking. Also, the longer you wait to seek medical treatment, the greater the likelihood that opposing counsel will allege that your injuries were not serious. Last, when a doctor prescribes a regimen of medical treatment, listen to them. Be willing to see a specialist, if recommended.
Rule #4 – Don’t take your accident to social media platforms
Even if your social media pages are private, you should expect that the insurance company will obtain access to anything you post on social media, including pictures that seem to suggest your injuries were insignificant. It is, however, a good idea to keep a private journal of your day-to-day life after the accident, so that you can document any ways that the injuries changed your daily routine.
Rule #5 – Make your first call to your attorney
Your lawyer can help prevent many of the mistakes that can sabotage a personal injury claim. The sooner you retain experienced legal counsel, the sooner you can turn to them for advice and counsel.
If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.