What you say and do following a car accident can make the difference when you file a personal injury claim to recover your damages. Because victims often struggle with the physical, financial, and emotional burdens created by accidents, remembering the right things to do can be difficult. That’s why working with an experienced lawyer can help ensure the correct steps are taken as you navigate your legal journey and pursue the compensation you deserve.
At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our Washington, DC car accident lawyers provide step-by-step legal assistance to victims and families as soon as they reach out for help. You can also do your part to protect your rights by avoiding some common mistakes:
- Not Filing A Police Report – A police report is an objective record of what took place, and it may end up being a vital piece of evidence in proving what really happened in your wreck. Police reports can also help prevent people from giving false identifying information.
- Not Exchanging Information – Always exchange information with all parties involved in an accident, as well as any witnesses. This includes contact information, driver’s license number and license plate, insurance company and policy number, and the make and model of the vehicles. This is crucial information that can help you as you pursue a recovery for your injuries. You should also still collect information even if you don’t think anyone is injured at the time of the crash. Victims may not immediately feel pain or injuries.
- Not Seeking Timely Medical Treatment – Seeking timely medical treatment is important for both your health and your future claim. If you feel pain, prompt medical attention is crucial. Even if you don’t feel pain right after the accident, it’s important to have a physician properly assess you, as pain and injures may not manifest until hours later or the following days. By seeking timely medical treatment, you can ensure any serious issues receive the attention they need. You also protect yourself by having a clear record of your injuries and treatment, without the need to explain why you waited.
- Trusting the Insurance Company – Insurance companies are in business to collect premiums, not pay out claims to victims. Because they have an interest in protecting their bottom lines, insurers devote a lot of resources and effort toward minimizing or denying claims. This means they’ll often try to quickly settle for less than victims deserve, or look for ways to avoid paying anything at all. You can level the playing field by working with attorneys who know the tactics used by insurance companies.
- Not Working With an Attorney – One of the biggest mistakes victims make is attempting to handle their claims on their own. While there is no requirement to have a lawyer, having an experienced legal representative who is familiar with the process and how to produce the best results can make the difference between full compensation and less compensation than you need, or even none at all. Unfortunately, we often hear from victims who accepted low settlement offers from insurers or had their claims denied because they did not contact an attorney first.
After any type of traffic accident, you can minimize the risk of mistakes and increase your risk of a successful case by working with proven lawyers. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has leveraged over 90 years of combined experience to help our clients recover millions of dollars in compensation. If you or your loved one has been hurt in a crash, let us make the difference for you.