When it comes to making a car accident claim, there are certain mistakes that you should avoid at all costs. Failure to do so could result in a reduced settlement or even the dismissal of your case altogether.
An experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer will discuss in detail the common mistakes that could hurt your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
Mistake 1: Admitting Fault
Be careful of what you say after an accident. Any statement that could be taken as admitting fault may hurt your case.
Pennsylvania is one of several states in the US that uses a modified comparative negligence rule when it comes to car accident claims. This means that you have to be less than 51% at fault for an accident in order to be eligible to seek compensation.
Moreover, the total amount of your economic and non-economic damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
It’s important to keep this rule in mind when pursuing a car accident claim. Insurance companies will often try to shift blame onto the victim in order to reduce their own liability.
An experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer can make all the difference between receiving fair compensation or not getting any at all.
Mistake 2: Accepting a Private Agreement With the Other Driver
One of the biggest mistakes you can make after a car accident is accepting a private agreement with the other driver. While it may seem like an easier and quicker solution, doing so could potentially hurt your chances of receiving fair compensation for any damages or injuries sustained.
When you accept a private agreement, you are essentially agreeing to settle outside of court and without involving insurance companies or legal representation. However, this means that there is no official record of the incident or exchange that took place. This lack of documentation can be detrimental if complications arise later on in regard to liability or compensation.
Additionally, private agreements often involve only partial payment for damages and medical expenses, leaving victims with significant financial burdens down the line. It’s important to remember that insurance companies exist precisely to cover these costs and ensure that those injured receive proper compensation.
To avoid making this mistake, always report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible and consult with a trusted Philadelphia car accident lawyer before settling on any agreements privately with another driver.
Mistake 3: Not Collecting Evidence and Insurance Information at the Accident Scene
Being in a car accident can be a stressful experience, but it’s important to stay calm and focused on gathering evidence at the scene. Failing to collect sufficient evidence can have serious negative consequences for your car accident claim.
One common mistake is not collecting insurance information from the other driver involved in the accident. This information is crucial because it helps ensure that you are able to file a claim with their insurance company and receive compensation for your injuries or damages.
Another mistake is failing to take pictures of the damage caused by the accident, such as vehicle damage or property damage. Without this visual evidence, it may be difficult to prove fault and liability in court.
Additionally, witnesses can play an important role in supporting your side of the story. Not obtaining contact information from any witnesses present at the scene may make it more challenging to build a strong case later on.
Failing to gather enough evidence at the scene of an accident could result in significant financial losses down the road when trying to get compensated for medical bills and lost wages due to missed work time resulting from injuries sustained during these accidents.
Mistake 4: Not Reporting the Accident to the Police
One of the worst mistakes you can make after a car accident is failing to report it to the police. Even if the crash was minor and no one appears injured, calling the authorities should still be a top priority. Reporting the incident creates an official record of what happened, which will be useful later when filing your insurance claim or pursuing legal action.
Failing to report the crash to the police is also illegal if anyone was injured or killed and/or any of the vehicle sustained serious damage.
When reporting an accident, provide as much detail as possible to law enforcement officers who arrive at the scene. This includes information such as weather conditions and any statements made by other drivers involved in the crash.
Mistake 5: Not Seeking Medical Assistance Immediately after the Crash
One of the biggest mistakes that can hurt your car accident claim is not seeking medical assistance immediately after the crash. Even if you feel fine at first, it’s important to get checked out by a medical professional to ensure there aren’t any underlying injuries.
Some injuries, such as whiplash or concussions, may not show symptoms right away and could worsen over time if left untreated. Plus, getting immediate medical attention creates a record of your injuries that can be used as evidence in your claim.
If you wait too long to seek treatment, insurance companies may argue that your injuries were not caused by the accident or that they are not as severe as you claim. This could significantly impact the outcome of your case and reduce the compensation you receive.
It’s also important to follow through with all recommended treatments and attend all appointments with healthcare providers. Failing to do so can give insurance companies cause for doubt about the severity of your injuries or whether they were actually caused by the accident.
Remember: even minor accidents can result in serious injuries, so it’s always better to err on the side of caution and seek prompt medical attention after an accident.
Mistake 6: Talking to an Insurance Adjuster Without a Lawyer
If you want to maximize your chances of getting fair compensation after a car accident, it’s essential not to make the mistakes we have outlined in this article. Remember that Pennsylvania operates under modified comparative negligence laws and that insurance companies are always looking for ways to pay out as little as possible.
While it can be tempting to try and handle everything on your own, seeking the help of an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer will give you the best chance at securing just compensation. They can guide you through every step of the claims process, negotiate with insurance adjusters on your behalf, collect evidence, and represent you in court if necessary.
Let an Experienced Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer Help You Win Your Claim!
The best option for anyone who was injured in a car accident is to hire an experienced Philadelphia accident lawyer. We have the experience and knowledge of the law to evaluate the merit of your case and estimate your damages.
While you are focused on recovering from your injuries, a lawyer will work tirelessly to win your car accident claim. In most cases, we manage to obtain the maximum settlement out of court, through negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Call us as soon as possible to schedule a free case review with us: 267-314-8024!