Filing an insurance claim is supposed to allow you to pay medical bills, make up for lost wages, and compensate you for other damages. But the wrong turn during the claims process could derail your chances of recovering a fair settlement â€“ or even prevent you from recovering a settlement at all. Let Dallas car accident lawyer Julie Johnson file your claim and negotiate a settlement. And always avoid these common car accident claim mistakes that could damage your case.
Mistake 1: Giving the Insurance Adjuster a Recorded Statement
Some insurance adjusters are looking for any way to diminish your right to recovery, and that often starts with the recorded statement. The more you tell the insurance adjuster about how the accident happened and the injuries you suffered, the more fodder he or she has to use against you.
Stick to just telling them the facts; do not embellish or downplay your injuries, and do not give a statement on record until you talk to an attorney.
Mistake 2: Accepting the First Settlement Offer
Some insurance adjusters try to get you to accept a settlement even before you are able to see a doctor and realize the full extent of your injuries.
Some injuries, like a herniated disc for example, can cause long-term pain and may require more surgeries in the future to correct the injury. Other injuries, like the loss of a limb, will create a life-long need for assistive devices. Head trauma, meanwhile, may lead to brain damage, which could prevent you from working and could contribute to emotional disorders like depression.
Do not accept a settlement offer until you have a good idea of your prognosis and the damages you will experience in the short- as well as long-term. Work with your doctor and attorney to determine your prognosis and account for all of your damages.
Mistake 3: Ignoring Symptoms or Procrastinating Doctor Visits
A lot of accident victims say they feel fine at the scene and refuse medical treatment. This is a mistake. Some symptoms do not show up for a few days and even when they do show, some people do not think they are anything to worry about.
A doctor should always evaluate you after a car accident, even if you feel okay. For one, accepting a settlement offer could prevent you from reopening the claim, so make sure you get a full medical evaluation. And do so in a timely manner â€“ if you wait too long, the insurance adjuster might argue your injuries are not serious or that they are unrelated to the accident.
So if you have not yet seen a doctor, do so immediately.
Mistake 4: Not Keeping Up With Medical Appointments
Make sure you follow up with your doctor, keep your appointments, and follow all of the doctorâ€™s orders. The insurance company can use your failure to do so as evidence that your injuries are not as serious as you claim. Or the adjuster might argue that your failure to tend to your recovery worsened the injuries.
Mistake 5: Not Seeking Legal Help
If you suffered any injury in your car accident, hire an attorney. Do not risk dealing with the insurance adjuster yourself. Work with the Law Offices of Julie Johnson for help with every step of your claim, including:
- Filing your claim
- Collecting and preserving evidence
- Evaluating and demanding damages
- Negotiating a settlement
- Litigating in court, if necessary
Contact the Law Office of Julie Johnson, PLLC today to schedule a free consultation regarding your case: 214-290-8001. There is never any cost to you unless we help you recover a settlement.