Being involved in a motor vehicle accident is often a traumatic experience that can leave you confused and likely to make mistakes. Some mistakes can end up costing you a significant amount of money when it comes time to settle your claim and greatly limit your opportunity to obtain the medical treatment you need down the road.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, avoid these mistakes to improve your chances of getting the settlement you deserve.
Mistake: Settling too soon after an accident
After an accident you may want to settle your claim as quickly as possible to get cash in hand and put the whole incident behind you. However, this is a mistake that can end up costing you money.
There’s a good reason to delay settlement after a car accident. Some conditions, like whiplash, muscle and joint pain, and traumatic brain injury, may not show up until days or even weeks after the accident. If you settle your claim too quickly, you won’t be compensated for the medical expenses required to treat the conditions that appeared later on.
Read more about why delaying settlement after an accident is smart.
Mistake: Not seeking medical care within 72 hours
Do not assume soreness or discomfort will completely go away a few days after an accident. Take the time and go to the doctor as soon after the accident as possible — preferably within 72 hours. Insurance companies look at whether you sought medical care quickly or whether you delayed treatment when evaluating your claim and determining a settlement amount. If you don’t visit the hospital, doctor, or chiropractor within that time, the settlement offered will likely be lower. Some conditions requiring long-term care may not timely be diagnosed if treatment or evaluation is not sought right away.
There’s no downside to visiting the doctor within three days; you’ll only be protecting your own health while, in the meantime, you may be putting yourself in a stronger position to negotiate a better settlement later. Seek medical care without delay.
Mistake: Dealing with the insurance company yourself
When it comes to settling, the goal of the insurance company is to pay you as little as possible and close the claim as fast as possible. They know that when they’re dealing with the injured party directly, they can typically settle for a lower amount than if there were dealing with the injured party’s attorney. That’s why it’s a mistake to deal with the insurance company yourself. You may think you’re saving money on an attorney, but you’ll likely end up with a much lower settlement and enter into a one-sided release that will not protect your future interests. Instead, a skilled car accident attorney can build and present your case to the insurance company and help you get the compensation you’re entitled to.
Work with a car accident attorney at The Carolina Law Group
If you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident that has resulted in bodily injury or property damage, rely on the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Carolina Law Group to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call today to schedule your free consultation.
The Carolina Law Group has four offices in upstate South Carolina for your convenience: Greenville (principal office; call 864.312.4444), West Greenville (864.312.4444), Greer (principal office; call 864.757.5555), and Spartanburg (principal office; call 864.757.5555). Call today.
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