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How to Ruin Your Car Accident Claim in 8 Easy Steps
Failing to Call Law Enforcement
If you’re in a motor vehicle accident, always call law enforcement. The accident report provided by law enforcement will contain evidence that helps your claim. The quickest way to damage your auto accident claim is by not having a law enforcement provided accident report.
Never admit fault at the accident scene. If law enforcement asks you questions, give short and factual answers. Don’t offer information or speculation that wasn’t requested. Don’t embellish. Let law enforcement draw their own conclusions based on the facts and circumstances of the accident.
Failing to Seek Medical Attention in 14 Days
In Florida, you are required by Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance law to seek medical attention within 14 days of your accident. Failure to seek medical treatment within the 14-day window will prevent you from filing an injury claim against your own PIP policy.
Hiding Symptoms from Your Doctor
If you’ve been in an accident, tell your doctor everything, regardless of how minor it may seem at the time. It is common for auto accident injuries to worsen over the days and week afterwards. If the symptoms are not listed in your post-accident medical evaluation, rest assured, the insurance companies will try to deny them in an accident claim.
Not Disclosing Pre-Existing Conditions to Your Doctor
Many people have pre-existing conditions from a prior injury or accident. It’s not uncommon for people to hide these pre-existing conditions out of fear it will hurt their accident claim. Tell your doctor everything. While you may have a pre-existing condition, the auto accident may have worsened it, entitling you to fair compensation. If you’re caught in an untrue statement during an accident claim, you may get nothing.
Not Following Your Medical Treatment Plan
Most auto accident claims rely on the fact that someone was seriously injured. If you fail to show up for physical therapy or appointments with your doctor, you give the impression that you aren’t injured, or your injuries aren’t serious. Both can and will reduce the compensation you are entitled to. Attending all scheduled medical appointments helps protect your claim from being damaged and get you on the road to recovery much faster.
Talking to Insurance Companies Without a Lawyer
Despite how friendly the insurance adjuster seems on the phone, they’re interested in one thing. They want information that will allow them to deny your claim or greatly reduce the compensation they offer to you. This includes your own insurance company. If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, do not speak to any insurance companies, without having your own attorney with you.
Failing to Talk to an Attorney
Most personal injury attorneys will handle a car accident claim on a contingency fee basis. This means you only pay attorney’s fees if they win your case. There are no out-of-pocket expenses. They also offer free consultations to determine if you have a car accident claim worth pursuing. If you’ve been injured in an accident, there’s no reason not to contact an injury attorney.