Protect Your Rights: Avoiding Mistakes After a Car Accident
Car accidents can be frightening and overwhelming experiences, but the steps you take immediately after an accident and in the following days, weeks, or months could make the difference for your health. It can also make the difference in your personal injury case - should you choose to file one - and your ability to recover financial compensation for your damages, including your pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost work wages.
At Joey Gilbert Law, our Reno car accident lawyers receive many calls from people who have been hurt in all types of auto accidents, and we’ve seen how their actions can set the tone for their legal journeys. To help ensure you and your loved ones know how to react after a car accident, our team has put together a list of some common mistakes to avoid:
- Not notifying police - After an accident, parties involved may choose to not notify the authorities. This, however, can be detrimental to a personal injury claim, as police can act as neutral third parties that record objective information about the crash. Police reports can also record witness statements and contact information. Calling the police after an accident is a wise decision, but when they come, you should never admit fault. There may be factors at plan you don’t know about, and the other driver may be the one at fault, even though you may initially think you contributed to the crash.
- Not getting timely medical evaluation - Not all car accidents necessitate ambulance rides or emergency room visits. In fact, some victims may not feel pain until hours or days after the crash, especially when their adrenaline is running. Others may simply not want to go to the doctor. Whatever the case may be, it is important to seek timely evaluation from a medical professional to ensure you receive the care you need. Seeking timely treatment also prevents you from having to explain why you waited to seek evaluation when you were experiencing pain.
- Believing the insurance company will help - Insurance companies are in business to make money and protect their bottom line, not pay compensation to victims hurt by their policy holders. As big businesses, insurance companies are always concerned about their profits, and will often do whatever they can to pay victims as little as possible. When you trust the insurance company or their initial offers, you risk receiving far less compensation than you deserve. To level the playing field, you can work with experienced attorneys who know how to fight back against insurance company tactics.
- Not knowing your rights - One of the best things you can do after an accident is to understand your rights. Many accident victims who make crucial mistakes often do so simply because they are unaware of their right to pursue justice and compensation from the party that caused their accident - as well as their right to a lawyer. Take the time to learn more about your rights, or better yet, consult an experienced lawyer who can personally explain your rights given your unique situation.
- Waiting too long to file a claim - Some victims make the unfortunate mistake of waiting too long to file a personal injury lawsuit, and therefore become barred from receiving compensation for their damages. At our firm, we always advise victims to contact us as soon as possible after their accidents - not only to avoid problems with statutes of limitations, but to also give us the time to build a strong and effective case.
What you do in the short- and long-term after a car crash is important, but it’s not always easy when you may be struggling with injuries, setbacks, and stress. That’s why our team of personal injury lawyers is available 24/7 to help victims and families. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident in Reno and want to learn how we can help you, contact Joey Gilbert Law today for a FREE consultation.