5 Mistakes You Must Avoid after an Auto Accident
Posted in Car Accident on October 29, 2018
If you were recently hurt in an auto accident, getting compensation for your medical bills and lost wages is one of your biggest priorities. That’s because auto accidents can be financially devastating for victims. Ambulance rides, surgeries, overnight stays in the hospital, and physical therapy costs can all quickly add up, and you may be unable to afford your medical bills even if you have good health insurance. It’s even more difficult to stay on top of your accident-related expenses when your injuries prevent you from return to work.
In Tennessee, auto accident victims who were hurt because of other people’s or parties’ negligence can file claims for compensation. Those claims are typically filed against insurance companies, which are reluctant to pay any damages to victims. Unfortunately, insurance companies leave countless innocent victims out in the cold with no compensation every year by denying their claims. They’re able to get away with doing that because they often sit back and wait for victims to make mistakes that can jeopardize or even nullify their claims.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville car accident lawyers know how insurance companies take advantage of people who are in stressful and often desperate situations. Because most crash victims are unfamiliar with the legal system and how compensation claims work, it’s common for them to make mistakes—and those mistakes can cost them every penny that they otherwise might be eligible to receive. Don’t risk the money you deserve for what you’ve gone through—get in touch with our legal team today to protect your rights.
The Insurance Company Is Counting on You to Make These Missteps
If insurance companies paid out every claim they receive every year, they’d go out of business very quickly. Fortunately for them, they’re able to reduce or deny otherwise claims because of minor oversights, delays, or mistakes, including these five common missteps:
- Waiting too long to get medical treatment—Your health may be at risk after your auto accident, and going to the hospital or a doctor’s office is the most important thing you can do to treat your injuries and prevent or rule out further complications. If you wait too long to get medical attention, you not only risk suffering from more serious health problems, but you also may weaken your claim. That’s because the insurance company will view your claim with more skepticism and it may even assume your injuries were caused by something other than the car accident. Getting prompt medical attention is the best way to protect your health and leave no doubt about what caused your injuries. Whether you go straight to the hospital via ambulance or arrange your own transportation, get treated right away to protect yourself.
- Admitting fault for the crash—It’s common for accident victims to believe they were partially or even fully in the wrong after crashes. That’s because it can be difficult to piece together what happened in the minutes or hours after accidents occur. In addition, other drivers and witnesses may persuade victims into believing they were at-fault. But admitting fault for a crash before a full investigation has been completed is a big mistake. If the insurance company sees that you admitted fault for your accident, whether it was directly to an adjuster, to police, or to the other driver, it may refuse to give you any compensation—even if evidence later proves you didn’t cause the crash. It’s best to avoid talking about who or what caused the accident until your lawyer can investigate what happened.
- Being dishonest about your injuries—When it comes to auto accident settlements, honesty is the best policy. You can be sure that the insurance company will do everything in its power to reduce or deny your settlement, and that means carefully evaluating your accident, your medical records, and your claim for any inconsistencies. If you exaggerate your injuries or claim existing injuries were caused by your crash, your claim may be rejected. Injuries don’t have to be catastrophic to make victims eligible to receive large settlements—especially when those injuries prevent them from being able to work and earn the paychecks their families depend on. Whether you’re speaking to your doctor, your lawyer, the police, or the insurance company, always be honest about how you were injured in the crash.
- Accepting the insurance company’s initial settlement offer—Insurance companies prefer to deny claims, but they can’t always get away with that. When they know that victims have strong claims, they may offer lowball settlements in the days or weeks after crashes occur. Those settlements may appear substantial to victims who are in desperate need of money due to the big medical bills that are piling up, but they’re usually not nearly enough money to cover full crash-related expenses. Unfortunately, if you accept the insurance company’s settlement offer, you’ll be stuck with whatever amount you received and unable to pursue additional compensation—even if you need more for lost wages and additional medical costs. Having an experienced lawyer on your side can help you avoid accepting a settlement that is far less than what you and your loved ones deserve.
- Waiting too long to get a lawyer—Tennessee’s statute of limitations on auto accident claims is one year after the date that they happened. Only Kentucky and Louisiana share one-year statutes of limitations for injury claims—most states offer victims at least two years. That makes it extremely important to call a lawyer right away. In addition to avoiding the clock running out on your claim, calling early also maximizes your chances of getting a favorable outcome. That’s because evidence can quickly disappear, witnesses may become harder to contact or locate, and the insurance company will have more time to mount its defense against you. Finally, the longer you wait to get in touch with a law firm, the longer you’ll have to wait for your claim to settle and for your compensation check to finally arrive.
You’ve Been through Enough—Our Legal Team Is Here to Handle Your Claim.
In addition to maximizing your chance of getting full compensation, our legal team will also handle all of the details involved with your claim. That means you won’t have to worry about small mistakes, such as late submissions or missing paperwork, from derailing your case or even voiding your claim.
We’ll also handle all communication with the insurance company after we take over your claim. And because we know all of the tricks that insurance companies and their adjusters use to reduce or deny payments to victims, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your settlement is in good hands.
You shouldn’t have to worry about handling phone calls, letters, and emails from the insurance company—not to mention the constant demands for medical records, police reports, and other reams of paperwork. Instead, you should be focusing on your recovery and spending time with your family.
Get in touch with us today—we’re here to take the stress of the accident off your shoulders. Call us at (615) 200-1111 or complete a free initial consultation form to get started.