Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid After a Car Accident in Oregon
After a car accident, people often make mistakes that can negatively impact their ability to file a claim or to receive the compensation they deserve. Often times, a person may feel that they are not hurt or that they want to apologize for what took place. It is human nature to make these types of mistakes when involved in a car accident, which can be a stressful situation. However, these mistakes can impact a legal case.
For this reason, it is important for a person to contact an Oregon car accident lawyer, who can help a person understand the biggest mistakes to avoid after a car accident in Oregon, as well as how to avoid them.
#1 - Admitting Fault at the Scene
Any statement made by any party at the scene can be introduced into evidence in a later civil trial or civil claim, and it one of the biggest mistakes a person should avoid after a car accident. It is important to not say anything about fault because the statements may not actually be accurate and may be introduced as evidence.
It is human nature to apologize after an accident depending on the seriousness, but it can hurt a person’s case. There is a great deal at stake and it is best to not to make any statements as to fault. The most important thing is to make sure everybody is okay medically and to render assistance in getting emergency responders to the scene as soon as possible.
#2 - Refusing Medical Treatment
Some people are worried that if they go to the hospital, they will be there all night, however, it is important to get checked out. If a person later finds that they are experiencing pain and must receive medical treatment, the insurance company may use the fact that they did not seek medical treatment at the accident as evidence to suggest that they might not have been hurt as badly as they now claim. If a person feels like they may be hurt, they should be checked out by the doctor and note that they were involved in a car accident.
Additionally, insurance companies may offer settlements or payment of some portion of the medical bill early, which people often agree to. However, this is considered settling a claim, which means the person signs off for any claim and cannot pursue a case later if they have an issue that they cannot recover from.
#3 - Failing to Follow Medical Advice and Treatment
Failing to follow medical advice or having a large gap in a person’s treatment can negatively affect their claim because it is evidence the insurance company can use to suggest that a person might not have been hurt as badly as they claim. Also, the injuries the person is now complaining about may not be related to the car accident they had because there is a gap in time from when the accident occurred to when they sought medical treatment.
This can impact a case by reducing the value of their claim, so a person wants to make sure that they do not give the insurance company any reason to reduce the value of their claim, which is one of the major mistakes a person can make after a car accident in Oregon.
Additionally, real-world constraints can affect care as indicated by folks who are unable to obtain health insurance. The costs of copays and deductibles may discourage someone from following-up as they need to for their care. Someone who needs physical therapy may not file an insurance claim to avoid higher co-pay amounts. That decreases the individual’s ability to follow-up properly with their care.
When they are in an accident and hurting, they may not be receiving any type of disability payment, in which case many people have to continue working and that may interfere with their ability to treat appropriately for their care.
#4 - Making Recorded Statements
Insurance companies often call someone involved in a car accident within hours of their accident and ask for a statement. Many times these statements are designed to lead someone into making statements that give the insurance company the ability to deny the claim based on contributory negligence. Therefore, it is important to talk to an attorney quickly after an accident and certainly before giving any type of statement to an insurance company.
The attorney first determines whether or not to give the insurance company a recorded statement. If the attorney decides that he or she wants to allow the client to give a recorded statement, they prepare the client as far as being clear and truthful and accurate with their statements so that there are no mistakes that can later come back and be detrimental to the client.
#5 - Cashing a Check
A person has to be careful if they are given any type of check that is designed to pay for any part of their claim because by signing those checks, they may be giving up their rights to further payment. It is usually fine to accept property damage checks or checks related to the repair or replacement of your vehicle, however, it is always good to check with an attorney.
Many attorneys give free consultations so a person can run the situation by them to make sure that you are not making any mistakes that will later harm their claim.
Have You Been Injured in a Car Accident?
Be sure to contact an experienced car accident attorney soon after an accident to best avoid mistakes down the road such as giving a statement to an insurance company that gives a person the ability to deny their case or not being informed about the importance of following-up on their medical care. By not being able to navigate the complicated insurance process that relates to coverage, a person may be giving up their rights or leaving money on the table. That is one of the reasons why it is important to get an attorney involved very soon after a serious car accident.
Initially, an attorney can help when insurance companies are requesting information such as medical bills or asking a person to return phone calls. An attorney can help by taking over all the work and the business claims so that the individual can focus on medical attention. A lawyer can also help in making sure that witnesses are interviewed, facts are gathered, and medical records are requested. They can take care of all issues related to the business of the claim so that the injured client can recover quickly from their injuries.
Additionally, an experienced attorney can help advise a person on how to avoid making common mistakes in an Oregon car accident in order to ensure the person has the best possible outcome in their claim.