Author: Gordon Heuser, Esq., Colorado Springs, CO
Car accidents can be some of the most stressful events of your life. With so much that could go wrong, it’s important that you know what actions to take if you’re ever involved in one. The immediate moments after a car accident can impact your future for quite some time, so it’s always best to be prepared and to always call a Tennessee car accident lawyer.
You’ll find plenty of tips on what to do, but the most important thing is making sure you and everyone else is safe and uninjured. Then you need to collect contact information, take pictures and more. A lot of this stuff has become common knowledge, but you need to educate yourself on all sides of the issue. Learn about five common mistakes people make after car accidents and how you can avoid them.
Not Calling the Police
In the aftermath of virtually every car accident, you need to call the police. Even minor accidents need to have a police response for a variety of reasons. First, you need to make sure everyone involved is okay. The police can divert traffic away from the accident and make sure emergency responders get everyone taken care of.
In addition, police are necessary to officially document the accident. It’s always a good idea to take pictures of any damage yourself for additional evidence, but having an official report is absolutely essential if you have to take any issues to court. Some drivers are also particularly irritable after an accident, so you need police to keep everyone safe.
This may be hard to accept, but the last thing you should say after a car accident is “I’m sorry.” Even if you’re just trying to be polite, it can be interpreted as assuming liability for the accident. Be sure to act in accordance with the facts. It’s not your job to assign liability in the aftermath of an accident.
Imagine you’re involved in an accident that was clearly the other driver’s fault. If you apologize or even act apologetically, they could use that against you to pin responsibility solely on you. Your position in court is severely diminished should they choose to sue for damages, even if you’re not at fault in reality.
While there is no legal deadline for getting medical care, you need to make sure you seek treatment as soon as possible. Even if your injuries seem minor, there can be serious consequences down the line if you leave them untreated. Keep in mind, however, that there are some legal deadlines you have to deal with.
When you’re making a claim to an insurance company, there are specific rules you’ll have to abide by regarding timeliness. Make sure you submit everything on time to avoid losing your chance for a settlement. Remember, insurance companies are going to do everything they can to avoid paying anything. Their business model depends on it.
Trusting Insurance Companies
Even if you do everything right, taking insurance companies at their word can destroy your chances of getting the damages you’re owed. Insurance claims agents are not on your side. They work for the insurance company, not for you, and insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible.
Sometimes, they’ll try to get you to make a recorded statement or have you settle for something far less than you deserve. Never let this happen. Insurance companies will bend over backward to get the better of you, but won’t budge at all in your favor unless you force them to.
Settling for Less Than You Deserve
Settling for less than you deserve is essentially admitting defeat. If you’ve been injured after a car accident, you need to get the damages you’re owed, so you can focus on recovery. Anything less will put you at a serious disadvantage and can negatively impact many aspects of your life.
Don’t accept checks that don’t cover all your losses as a full or final payment. The insurance company will rule the matter resolved, and you’ll miss out on your chance to get what you’re owed. Additionally, don’t sign anything at all without having your attorney review it first. Insurance companies make a living on tricking people to sign away their settlements and accept far less than they need.
Tennessee Car Accident Lawyer at McMahan Law Firm
For a Tennessee car accident lawyer, you can count on, be sure to check out McMahan Law Firm. Our experienced professionals know how to handle insurance companies and ensure you get the compensation you’re owed for your injuries and other losses. Insurance companies are adept at making people settle for less, so you need a lawyer in your corner to fight back. Contact us today for a free consultation, and learn more about everything we can do for you.
About The Author
Gordon Heuser is a car accident lawyer in Pueblo, Colorado and has been practicing personal injury law at Heuser & Heuser, L.L.P. for more than 30 years. Gordon is a member of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, the Colorado Bar Association, and is also licensed to practice law in the states of California and Utah.