5 Ways to Mess Up Your Auto Accident Case
The first step after an automobile accident is ensuring that everyone involved is unhurt or receives adequate medical attention. However, soon after injuries are assessed and help is called, the parties involve turn to assessing property damage and the costs related to the accident. Insurance companies quickly get involved, and it becomes apparent that the aftermath of an accident has significant financial impact.
If you were injured or your vehicle damaged in an auto accident, you want to receive full compensation from the at-fault driver or insurance company. To ensure this happens, avoid these 5 ways to mess up your auto accident case.
Not Obtaining a Police Report
After immediate and life threatening injuries are assessed, individuals typically contact the local police. In Virginia Beach, it is essential that the attending office completes a traffic accident report. This report will be filed on the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles website and provides the cornerstone for evidence in court.
Eventually, you will need to submit information and evidence to an insurance company, the other party, and, possibly, the court. A traffic accident report is a detailed account of the accident, taken down at a time when all facts and circumstances were fresh in the memories of those involved. This becomes invaluable if the parties proceed to court.
Lack of Medical Attention or Not Seeing a Doctor
One of the first steps after an auto accident in Virginia is seeking appropriate medical attention. Most importantly, failure to receive medical treatment could jeopardize your health, but it could also damage your auto accident claim. The failure to promptly obtain medical attention can result in causation and evidence issues down the road.
This includes skipping follow up appointments, later consultations, or physical therapy programs. An insurance company will closely review your medical treatment after an accident, and gaps indicate the need to ask further questions or deduct a certain amount of funds from the claim amount.
Lying and Dishonesty
The necessity of honesty begins long before you are in an auto accident. When you complete insurance paperwork and forms, you must be upfront and truthful about all information provided. Any dishonesty could result in the denial of a claim or the cancellation of a policy in Virginia.
Another way lying and dishonesty can truly mess up your auto accident case is by withholding information from your doctor or medical professional. At every doctor’s visit, but in particular if treated by emergency services after an accident, you must disclose all symptoms, prior conditions, pain, and concerns.
Full disclosure to your medical professionals includes providing information on previous auto accidents or pre-existing conditions. These facts should not preclude recovery, but if not disclosed could snowball into a much larger problem. As discussed above, having an accurate medical record is essential.
Not Engaging a Qualified Attorney
Legal advice is most helpful and robust when provided early on in your auto accident case. it allows the lawyer better opportunity to develop a strategy, assess gaps in information or evidence, and build a stronger case on your behalf. Failing to engage a lawyer soon after your accident can have a substantial impact on the outcome of your auto accident claim.
Discussing Your Accident
Talking about your accident and what occurred can feel therapeutic, and after a traumatic experience, it can be helpful to reach out to family and friends. However, there are certain forums where discussing your accident could be detrimental to your case.
First, until discussed with your attorney, you should not provide a statement and account of the accident to an insurance company. All information you provide to an insurance company will be analyzed and questioned. Of course, your insurance provider must be informed of your accident, but before providing a recorded or official statement, speak with an attorney on your rights and what you do not need to disclose.
Second, avoid posting a lot of information about your accident on social media or other online accounts. Representatives for the insurance company and opposing party will do some due diligence around your social media accounts and online information. Anything these representatives see or find could be utilized for their own objectives and goals.
Speak with an Attorney
If you were involved in an auto accident and need advice on compensation or a claim, contact Scott R. Barney Esq., PLLC. Our office handles auto and trucking accidents in and around Virginia Beach. We find innovative ways to help people recover financially after these unfortunate accidents. Scott R. Barney Esq., PLLC would be honored to help you. Contact us today for a consultation.