The daily struggle for recovery after an accident is already difficult enough between doctor visits, physical therapy, and loss of wages. There’s no reason to make the situation harder on yourself by dealing with the legal side of the accident on your own. Without the help of an experienced Virginia car accident lawyer, victims frequently make six common (and costly) errors.
Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Car Accident Claim
If you aren’t familiar with the inner workings of insurance carriers and court proceedings, it’s all-too-easy to accidentally hurt yourself by making any of these six mistakes:
Not seeking medical attention
Even if you don’t lose consciousness or feel hurt after an accident, always go to the doctor. Traumatic brain injuries in particular aren’t always apparent to the casual observer. No matter what type of injury you have, you need a solid paper trail started early that specifically shows it was directly caused by the crash.
Failing to contact an attorney as soon as possible
The quicker, the better. An attorney can perform an investigation into the crash, gather evidence proving negligence, and help you deal with insurance.
Negotiating with insurance on your own
To make money, insurance carriers need to deny claims. An adjuster may try to trip you up and get you to admit fault, even when the accident was clearly caused by the other driver. Never agree to give a recorded statement, even if specifically asked. Decline and politely refer them to your legal counsel instead. Your attorney can gather the relevant details of the case and provide them to the insurance adjuster on your behalf.
Releasing full medical records to insurance
Previous hospital stays or pre-existing conditions that have no bearing on your car crash injuries can be used against you. Have your attorney provide only the relevant medical records to insurance that relate to injuries sustained in the collision.
Using social media after the accident
Insurance carriers or the at-fault party in a lawsuit will use any tools at their disposal to cast doubt on the severity of your injury— and that includes anything you post on outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Seemingly innocent photos may be taken out of context to make a case that you aren’t actually injured, and anything you post about the accident could be taken out of context to hurt your claim.
Waiting too long to take legal action
Virginia has a two-year statute of limitations for bringing a personal injury or wrongful death case involving vehicle collisions. Have a lawyer help you early so you don’t miss this deadline.