If you are in a car accident, it is important that you handle the situation as well as possible. Accidents are never a good thing; and handling your car accident incorrectly could very well significantly diminish your chances of recovering for your damages (medical bills and property damage).
Although it can be difficult to remain calm after an accident, it is important that you do your best to avoid making costly mistakes. One way you can do this is by being prepared. Know ahead of time what steps you should take after a car crash. Handling your situation properly can be crucial ensuring that ultimately you are able to recover all the compensation you deserve.
Here are 4 things you should NOT do after an accident:
- Refuse to get medical treatment. After an accident, no matter how minor it may be, it is important that you seek medical advice. Why when you don’t feel injured, you ask? Because in many situations, physical problems do not show up immediately. Especially in what are perceived as “minor” accidents or fender benders, it can day several days or weeks for injuries to manifest themselves. If you fail to seek medical treatment immediately after the accident or within a few days, if it turns out that ultimately you do need medical treatment for your conditions, you may be denied compensation because you did not seek medical treatment right away.
- Rely on the Insurance Company. Another thing you should not do is believe that the insurance company adjuster is on your side. Regardless of how nice the adjuster seems, or whether it is your insurance company or that of the at-fault driver, it is a mistake to believe that the insurance company representative has your best interests in mind. They don’t. Insurance companies make money by paying out as little as possible on claims. And it doesn’t matter how valid those claims may be. At any point in the aftermath of an accident, it is the insurance adjuster’s job to protect the company’s bottom-line and if at all possible, deny a claim. That is why you should probably never give a recorded statement to the insurance company unless you consult with counsel first. In fact, it is best to immediately engage counsel after an accident and then allow your attorney to handle all communications with the insurance company.
- Wait Too Long to file a Claim or Lawsuit. If you are injured in a car accident, you don’t have forever to bring your claim or lawsuit. All insurance companies (yours or that of the “at-fault” driver) require that notice triggering a claim, or a claim be filed “promptly.” Generally that means within a matter of days of the accident, or a few weeks at most. For cases where a lawsuit is filed to recover for damages (usually in more severe situations or in wrongful death cases), the law requires that you file your case within the applicable statute of limitations. A statute of limitation sets the deadline by which you must bring your lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, you are forever barred from pursuing your legal rights in court. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for personal injury or wrongful death cases is 2 years.
- Fail to Hire Counsel. If you are involved in a car accident, especially if there is significant property damage or severe injuries, it is a mistake not to hire counsel to represent you. Immediately after an accident is when you most need solid advice from someone who knows and understands the law and the insurance companies. As you can see from the points above, you also don’t have a lot of time to make a claim or get your lawsuit filed. An experienced accident attorney can help you understand your legal rights, handle all work on your behalf, and fight for the compensation you deserve. Plus, since most personal injury attorneys take injury cases on contingency, you’ve got nothing to lose. You pay nothing up front, and your attorney does not get paid if you do not win your case.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Cumming, Georgia.
The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C., are here to help you. We serve clients in Atlanta, and in a number of counties throughout Georgia, including: Clayton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Douglas County, Fulton County, and Paulding County, among others. To find out how we can help you, call us at: 770-888-7707. Or contact us here.