Whenever a person is injured in an accident, they will have to deal with multiple doctor’s appointments, a lot of pain, various medications, and hours missed away from work. They might even have to pay for maid service, ridesharing services, and child care. Auto accident insurance should pay medical bills and for damages to property. However, there are a few mistakes people make that may prevent them from getting their due.
1. Not Following the Proper Legal Protocol
When you are involved in any car accident, it is very important to follow the proper legal protocol. You will want to call the police and wait at the scene for them to arrive. You should take pictures of the cars and the road if you can and collect the names and telephone numbers of any witnesses who might be there. You should also ask for the other driver’s insurance information.
The Golden State requires you to report an accident to the police if there are injuries or damages to a vehicle. If there are no injuries, you are not technically required to report the accident to the police, but it is a very good idea.
2. Admitting Guilt at the Scene
There are two kinds of insurance rules in the United States; fault and no-fault. In a no-fault state, a person’s own insurance company will pay for their medical bills and damages to their car no matter who caused the collision.
In a fault or tort state like California, the driver who caused the crash is responsible for paying its bills.
California is a pure comparative fault state. This means that if more than one person is responsible for an accident, each party must pay for the percentage of the accident that they caused. For example, if you are involved in a two-car accident, and you are 90% responsible for it, you should still be able to recover 10% from the other driver’s Insurance company.
If you admit to guilt at the scene, you are basically volunteering your insurance company to pay all the bills of the other driver. Even if you think the accident was your fault, it is not a good idea to say anything because there may be circumstances of which you are unaware.
3. Not Going to The Doctor
You should go to the doctor right away after an accident. Your injuries may seem very mild at first, but they may worsen after a while.
You should have any treatment the doctor recommends, including surgery, and save all of the receipts from any prescription or non-prescription medicine you take.
4. Not Documenting Time Off of Work
If you have missed time off of work due to your injuries, you should get a note from the human resources department of your company documenting how many hours you have missed. You should also document any important life events you were unable to attend because of your injuries.
5. Not Hiring an Attorney
You may think that you can talk to your insurance company without the assistance of an attorney. Although it is fine to make the initial call by yourself, you should never accept a settlement without at least consulting with a lawyer.
A personal injury attorney can tell you if an insurance company settlement offer is fair or if you need to negotiate to get a fair amount. They can talk to the insurance adjuster on your behalf and will have a good chance of convincing them to give you more money. They can also represent you in court in the unlikely event that your case goes before a judge.
A car accident can disrupt your life. Taking the proper steps after an accident will give you a better chance of getting back to normal. This page will give you more information.