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As someone who has represented car accident victims for 20 years, I have seen cases where people will unknowingly do things that can be fatal for a personal injury claim. These are the 5 biggest mistakes that either ruin or significantly reduce the deserved compensation when injured in a car accident.
After getting into a car accident, it is not unlikely that the other party’s insurance company will contact you after the accident for information. It’s important to be careful about what information you give them. You have three years to file a lawsuit against the company and you are not obligated to speak with them during that time at all. Insurance companies are only going to be looking out for themselves.
Anything you say to them they will try to use against you if possible. They want to justify handing out as little money as possible. This is especially true if you speak to them early on and your injury ends up being worse than it initially seemed. Therefore, the general rule of thumb is to not speak to the insurance company if there is any kind of injury involved. Additionally, if you have hired an attorney, let them speak on your behalf.
When an accident initially occurs, your body is going to naturally kick into “survival mode” because of the shock of the accident. Your body might initially use adrenaline to subdue any kind of pain or injury. You might initially think that you are ok and any pain you feel really isn’t bad. The problem is the injuries could be much worse than you realize but may take some time for you to notice. Therefore, if you feel any pain after a car accident, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Even though you have three years to sue the insurance company if you have a serious injury following a car accident, your case may be adversely affected if you waited to seek medical attention. The insurance company can make the claim that your injuries are not resulting from the car accident. They will try to say that something else after the accident caused your injury.
In the state of New York, you can get your medical bills and lost wages paid for if a car accident, whether or not it is your fault. What you may not know is that if you do not complete a no fault application within 30 days of the accident, the insurance companies do not need to pay for those bills.
The application, known as Form NF-2, can be downloaded from the New York State Department of Financial Services’ website. The first portion of the form asks for basic information, such as your name, address and phone number. You will also describe the events of the accident. Use the police report for reference when describing the accident.
You should provide a complete list of your injuries. You should even document minor injuries, like scrapes or bruises. Then you should record the health care providers that are treating you along with the claim number so that the insurance companies can pay the correct healthcare providers. Additionally, you should record your proof of employment and proof of disability. The time you missed from work will be incorporated as lost wages.
This is extremely important. Insurance companies will be keeping track of all of your social media trying to gather as much information as possible to use against you. Even if you are private or think you have the correct accounts blocked from your social media, there really is nothing stopping them from being able to see anything you post…even if you delete it. It is actually possible for the judge to allow all of your post history (including deleted posts) to be provided if the insurance company requests it.
The most obvious things you need to avoid is talking about the case at all or talking about the financial struggles the accident has caused you. Don’t post pictures of the scene or pictures of your injury. Don’t even talk about how you are feeling regarding your injury; it can be used against you. You even need to be very careful about posting your day to day activities as it will cause the insurance companies to question how the injury has affected you. A simple night out of dinner with your family could potentially encourage insurance companies to undermine your injury. If you post something like this, there could be little the lawyer can do to help you.
The closer you speak to an attorney after a car accident, the better. And there are many reasons why. You can remember the events clearly. You can record pictures of your injuries and the scene of the accident. They will also make sure you will receive good medical treatment and ensure that you have the necessary documents. Right when an accident occurs, the insurance companies are already likely building there own investigation to protect themselves. You need an attorney to warn you of the things an insurance company will use against you.
As you can see, a lot can go wrong if you want to file a personal injury claim. A lot of these things you might not even think about as hurting your case. The initial steps are very important and an experienced lawyer will help you build your case. If you have been injured on Long Island, New York, let us help you secure your compensation.