Most everyone will have some experience with a car accident at some point in their lifetime, whether they are involved with one, or a loved one. And, anyone who has already been in one can tell you that even a minor fender bender can be a real pain to overcome, including having to obtain police reports, deal with insurance companies, and most importantly, heal from injuries.
If you are involved in a car crash and sustain injuries, it’s important to avoid mistakes that are commonly made right after an accident. One of the biggest perhaps is to not speak with an auto accident attorney. However, before you even make that call, make sure you don’t commit the following common mistakes.
Not Contacting the Police – Anytime you have been in an accident, make sure that the police are notified, no matter how insignificant the damage might seem. Typically, the police will come to the scene of the accident to interview the parties involved, survey the situation, write a report, and most likely issue a ticket.
If there is a civil suit, a police report is important to have in hand. An experienced car accident attorney will be asking for one as well.
Not Calling Your Insurance Company – It’s a common mistake, but a mistake all the same. The thought by many is that if they call their insurance company, their rates will go up, or they will be dropped altogether. One way they try to avoid that is to make a settlement between each other, with a handshake.
However, this is not a good idea. Trusting someone who will not necessarily be looking out for anyone but themselves is never good. You might not ever see any funds they promised to give, and then what? If you fail to report the accident, it could jeopardize your chances to have your claim get anything but denied.
Your best shot at getting your damages covered is to follow proper protocol. If you have any concern about what the proper protocol is for compensation for damages, contact an experienced auto accident attorney. The legal team at Walton Telken of Kirkwood can answer any questions you might have, and work to get the right solutions for you.
Failure to See a Doctor After the Accident – Many people make the mistake of thinking they are just fine after a car accident and do not seek medical treatment. However, there are conditions that often do not produce symptoms immediately, such as whiplash, which can take 24-48 hours to produce symptoms, or longer. Other injuries that might take a while to show symptoms, and can be more severe include:
- Closed head injury
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
These could all be life-changing injuries, if not deadly, especially if you don’t seek immediate medical attention.
Not only could it have a negative impact on your health, but also any civil suit you might consider filing against the other party. Simply by getting checked out by a physician right away, will show in court that you took the accident serious enough, even if nothing shows in the exam right away. An auto accident attorney will tell you that it will help your case.
Hastily Accepting a Settlement for an Auto Accident in Kirkwood
An insurance company will try to settle for as little as possible and might pressure you to settle quickly. That amount might be significantly less than you are entitled to receiving. If you have been in an accident, make sure you speak with an attorney specializing in auto accidents before agreeing to any settlement.
Once you have agreed to a settlement, that is it. You cannot go back for more, even if you find out that you could have received a much higher compensation amount.
Also, you could also forfeit any chance of filing a lawsuit later to recoup any loss, such as lost wages and medical expenses. Always…ALWAYS consult a car accident lawyer before signing anything, or agreeing to be recorded in an interview.
Not Seeking Help from an Auto Accident Attorney in Kirkwood
After getting into an auto accident, there is a slew of legal matters that need to be navigated carefully to receive fair compensation. Not only will you need to understand your insurance policy, but the laws on auto accidents in Kirkwood as well. There may be responsible parties and defendants that you might not even fail to realize exist. An example would be if you are hit by a delivery truck, it wouldn’t just be the driver or the insurance, but it is likely the trucking company that could also be liable, depending on the circumstances.
You will also have to be careful to not say anything to any of the parties involved, such as the other driver or the insurance company. Other things to consider are:
- Gathering evidence
- Interviewing involved parties
- Filing the lawsuit
- Meeting legal deadlines
These are all things that a seasoned attorney skilled in auto accidents can do easily while making sure all bases are covered. In addition to making sure everything is done correctly and timely, having a car accident lawyer will let the other parties know that your case is to be taken seriously. Having an attorney on your side will drastically increase the odds of getting a fair settlement, and what you are entitled to get for your case.
If you have been in an auto accident in Kirkwood, contact the team of skilled attorneys experienced in auto accidents in the Kirkwood area.