Five Mistakes that Could Jeopardize Your Car Accident Claim
Car accidents and injuries can happen to anyone, regardless of how safe a driver you are. While you may make a habit of practicing defensive driving behind the wheel, avoiding reckless behaviors such as speeding, distracted driving, or driving under the influence, other motorists may not be so careful.
When a car accident does occur you need to be prepared, but it is also important to know what not to do to protect your rights to compensation. The following are five common mistakes that drivers often make, which could jeopardize your car accident claim:
- Not exchanging information with other drivers.
In a minor accident or fender bender, you may be tempted to underestimate the impact and to overlook damage to your vehicle after only the briefest of inspections. Unfortunately, even minor collisions can result in major injuries and property damages that are not always immediately apparent. Anytime an accident occurs, exchange personal contact, insurance, and vehicle information with the other drivers involved.
- Failing to notify the authorities.
Even seemingly slight injuries or minor damages to your vehicle can end up costing you thousands of dollars. Under the Florida Motor Vehicle Statutes, drivers are required by law to notify authorities of accidents involving injuries or more than $500 in property damages.
- Not documenting damages.
While it is natural to be shaken in the aftermath of an accident, it is important to document any evidence that could be used to support your claim. Using your cell phone, take photographs of the outside, inside, and undercarriage of your vehicle, of the accident scene and the other car involved, and of any injuries you suffered. If there are witnesses to the accident, be sure and get their names and contact information.
- Failing to get medical care and treatment.
Anytime an accident occurs, regardless of how minor, you should get medical care immediately. There are many types of potentially serious and even disabling car accident injuries that have symptoms which take hours or even days to appear.
Whiplash is just one of many examples. As one of the most common types of car accident injuries, the Mayo Clinic advises that symptoms such as neck pain, headaches, and dizziness can take up 24 hours to manifest, while the injury itself can require months of medical treatments and physical therapy to recover from.
- Not speaking to a car accident attorney.
It is important to realize that insurance companies have a financial motive for undervaluing or denying car accident claims, and any statements you make can and will be used against you. Once you have accepted a settlement, you will be forfeiting any future rights to compensation.
Call or contact the Wexler Law Firm, P.A., online and request a free consultation at our West Palm Beach office before making any statements or signing any documents. In addition to the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle, you want to be sure any current or future medical costs and lost wages you suffer are covered. Gregg Wexler can advise you on the types of damages you may be entitled to, while helping to ensure your rights in any settlements are protected.