Auto collision injury victims, in the confusion of dealing with injuries, claims adjusters, car repairs, and everyday life, often say and/or do certain things that adversely affect their bodily injury cases. Here are a few common mistakes that can plague a bodily injury case. Keep in mind that this article is for informative purposes only, and is not intended to provide legal advice:
1.) Unnecessary Communications
In the wake of a collision, the combination of shock, fear, and frustration can often overcome a driver. As a result, emotion-fueled words are often exchanged with the adverse party. Whether the words are intended to place blame on oneself, the other party, or just to express anger, those words almost never help a bodily injury case. While it is very important to exchange necessary information (e.g. contact information, auto insurance details, whether any involved parties require immediate medical attention, etc.), refrain from letting emotion dictate speech. Keep communication with the other party to a minimum.
The same principle applies when dealing with insurance adjusters. The other party’s insurance adjuster will usually place the injured party a phone call at some point after an injury claim is generated. The adjuster will attempt to lull the injured party into making unfavorable statements. DON’T fall prey to these adjusters. DON’T agree to any recorded conversations. DON’T give the adjusters any information regarding how the collision happened. If you haven’t already done so, contact a personal injury attorney to help you deal with the claim.
2.) Declining Medical Treatment
If you’ve been injured in a collision, it is imperative to get medical treatment as soon as possible. Depending upon the severity of the injury, this may require emergency room or urgent care treatment. In the event that immediate medical treatment is required, never try to “tough it out”, as this generally exacerbates an already-painful condition. Additionally, in the process of rehabilitating from your auto collision injury, you may end up treating with a chiropractor or physical therapist. Make sure to stay consistent with your appointments. Treatment gaps of more than 1 week can adversely affect your recovery and your case. Bottom line: follow your medical professional’s advice as far as duration and frequency of treatment.
3.) Failing to Get Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage (UIM) In Your Auto Insurance Policy
In my last blog entry, I explained in detail the benefits of UIM coverage. Suffice it to say, if you’re injured at the hands of an uninsured driver (which happens quite frequently in California), you will surely be better off by having UIM coverage. Deciding against UIM could save you $50 or so on your policy, but could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential recovery for your injury case. My recommendation: at minimum, get UIM bodily injury coverage of $100,000 included within your auto insurance policy.
4.) Waiting to Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Simply put, don’t wait to contact an attorney. No matter how small you may think your claim is, an attorney can provide immeasurable aid in dealing with these auto injury cases. Furthermore, the earlier you retain a personal injury attorney, the earlier that attorney can get to work on the various details of your case. Most importantly, this allows you to get back to your daily life. If you have any questions regarding your particular case, please contact The Law Office of Aman N. Shah at 714-312-3974 for a free confidential consultation.