Are You Wrecking Your Motor Vehicle Accident Claim?
Yes, we meant to use the pun in the title — are you “wrecking” your motor vehicle accident claim. The steps you take after a Georgia motor vehicle accident can “wreck” your accident claim and reduce the amount of compensation you receive for your damages. If you have been injured in a car crash, make sure you closely follow the do’s and don’ts below to avoid wrecking your motor vehicle accident claim.
Do’s and Don’ts in a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim
Below are the top three do’s and don’ts for Georgia auto accidents.
- DON’T Try to Deal with the Insurance Adjuster Yourself
This is a huge mistake that many people make after an auto accident. Insurance adjusters will “act” like your friend — they are not your friend and they are not acting in your best interest. Adjusters work for the insurance company and the insurance company wants to pay you as little as possible to settle your motor vehicle accident claim. If you choose to deal directly with the adjuster, you will likely give the insurance company something it can use against you to deny your claim or lower the compensation amount.
For example, the adjuster will ask you to sign a medical release so he can verify your injuries to cut you a check. Do NOT sign a medical release without consulting with an attorney. The release may allow access to your entire medical history. Insurance companies love to find pre-existing medical conditions it can use to argue your current injuries are not from the accident.
Another example is a recorded or written statement. Do NOT provide any statements to the insurance company before you meet with an attorney. You may say something you believe is completely innocent but the insurance company can use your statement against you but turning it around or taking it out of context. It is best to tell the adjuster to contact your attorney — period.
- DO Document the Accident Scene
If possible, document the accident scene as it is at the time of your car crash. Use your cell phone to photograph the street, intersection, vehicles, position of the vehicles, weather conditions, and traffic signals. Capture as much as possible now because the accident scene will change within minutes of the accident is cleared. If you do not have a cell phone with a camera, keep a disposable camera in your glove compartment.
Obtain the names and contact information for all eyewitnesses. Eyewitness testimony is extremely helpful in car accident cases. Your attorney will want to contact the witnesses to obtain statements before memories and facts fade.
Obtain a copy of the police report providing the other driver’s information. If the police do not respond to the accident, you need to exchange information with the other driver. Snap a picture of the person’s driver’s license, registration, and insurance card.
- DO go to Your Family Doctor As Soon as Possible
In order to receive compensation for your physical injuries, those injuries must be documented. If you are not transported to the hospital, follow up with your family doctor as soon as possible. Insurance companies will use your lengthy period between the accident and your doctor’s visit to argue your injuries were not sustained in the accident. Your motor vehicle accident claim relies on you proving you were injured and suffered damages because of the car accident. To do this, you need medical records to substantiate your claims. Some symptoms may not present themselves for a couple of days or you may mistake the symptoms as something else. Your doctor needs to perform a full exam and possibly diagnostic tests to determine your injuries from the car accident.
DO CALL Council and Associates, LLC for a Free Legal Consultation on Your Motor Vehicle Accident Claim
The Georgia motor vehicle accident lawyers of Council & Associates, LLC can help you navigate your motor vehicle
Call (404) 526-8857, (844) 909-2273, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.