5 things that can wreck your car or truck accident case
Here are five things the insurance companies or the negligent driver may try to do that you should avoid:
1. The negligent driver may encourage you not to call the police, claiming that there is no need because they admit liability.
You should always call the police after any car or truck accident involving injury. All too often, what you are told at the scene will change once the insurance companies get involved. You need the police to come and investigate the crash so an independent party makes a written record of what happened.
2. The negligent driver may encourage you not to get the names and contact information for witnesses.
This is a mistake as well. The more witnesses you have, the easier it will be to prove your case. Again, stories often change once the insurance company or defense lawyers get involved.
3. Not getting timely medical care.
Insurance companies love this. When you don't get immediate, or timely, medical care, they claim you couldn't possibly have been injured. If you think you or anyone in your car is hurt, seek medical care in a timely fashion.
4. Giving a "recorded statement" to the insurance company.
Many times, the insurance company will try to get you to give a recorded statement, where they ask you questions and record your answers to those questions. They want to do this before you get a lawyer.
Why? Because without your own lawyer, the professional insurance adjusters may be able to trick you into saying things that will hurt your case. They will be nice and friendly most of the time, but in reality, they are often trying to trick you into hurting your own case without you even knowing it.
5. Accepting a quick settlement in a serious injury or death case.
When liability is clear, the insurance company may try to offer you money quickly, before you've recovered or had a chance to talk to your own lawyer. These offer are almost always way too low and unreasonable, and are unfair. However, with the stress and uncertainty of a serious injury, you may be tempted to take their first offer.
Not a good idea. Most lawyers will be glad to discuss your case and the offer with you for free, to determine whether the offer is in fact a fair one. Since an initial consulation is free, it doesn't make much sense not to go ahead and get independent, professional advice on the offer.