Car accident scenes are often rife with confusion, shock, and anxiety. It may seem impossible to think clearly, but it’s important to remember that your statements and actions at the crash scene––and in the weeks and months that follow––may have a profound impact on your ability to present a personal injury claim.
While an injury from a car accident that resulted from another driver’s negligence may entitle you to pursue damages from those who are liable, you must also avoid making critical mistakes throughout the proceedings, starting from day one. Let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes that can jeopardize even the strongest claims.
Factors That Can Negatively Impact A Personal Injury Claim in Colorado
It’s important to note that just because you didn’t play a role in the accident doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a payout. To secure a settlement, you must present sufficient evidence of liability, causation, and damages. You must also sidestep some of the most significant and common blunders that often plague individuals in this very situation. Avoid these post-accident mistakes at all costs:
Delaying Medical Care or Ignoring Your Doctor’s Plan of Care
When you don’t seek medical care immediately after an accident, insurance companies have room to argue that your injuries weren’t serious or might have happened elsewhere. Not all injuries are visible or cause immediate pain, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t serious or life-threatening.
Seeking medical care immediately after your accident isn’t your only health-related obligation. It’s also important that you follow your doctor’s plan of care and show up for follow-up appointments. Completely ignoring these steps can imply that you may not be as injured as you initially claimed.
Of course, in addition to damaging the value of your claim, not following your doctor’s orders can also impact your recovery time and potentially your long-term health.
Remaining Active on Social Media
It may feel like second nature to share what’s going on in your life with family and friends on social media. But if you’re in the midst of an ongoing personal injury settlement, it would be smart to exercise great caution. What you post on social media can provide the opposing counsel’s research team with fodder that can be used against you. For example, if you post an image at the ski resort after you claimed you had your broken leg—even if you weren’t actually skiing—it could be portrayed as inadvertently showing what you’re physically capable of doing after your injury. Inconsistent social media posts like this can completely ruin your case.
Likewise, even if you’re superbly careful with what you post, Aunt Susan might publicly comment something contradictory to your injury claim. You’re also out of luck there. In general, most attorneys advise their clients to stay off social media while their case is still pending. It may be in your best interest, as well, to continue to monitor your account to make sure well-meaning friends and family don’t mention you in their posts.
The only way to determine what happened in the moments leading up to a wreck is by conducting a thorough investigation. As such, you shouldn’t apologize, accept blame, or admit fault in the aftermath of the crash, even if you think you may have played a role.
Accepting a Quick Settlement or Signing Away Your Rights
If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, you likely have costs associated with vehicle damage, medical care, and lost income piling up. The other driver’s insurance company knows you’re stressed, which likely means they will try to get you to accept a quick settlement so your case closes before you even know the full extent of your injuries and damages.
If you accept a quick settlement without taking into consideration future medical expenses and all of the monetary damages you need, you may be forced to pay out of pocket. Don’t sign or agree to anything without consulting your lawyer.
Not Hiring a Car Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you’re likely to benefit immensely from an experienced personal injury lawyer’s support and guidance. Many people think they can handle these complicated legal proceedings on their own and end up losing out on potential compensation and support.
A car accident attorney will review the details of your accident and explain to you your legal options. If you have a significant claim due to injuries and other losses, an attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and take the matter to court if necessary. They’ll be with you every step of the way as they fight for your rights.
Contact an Expert Denver Car Attorney at Mintz Law Firm
If you’ve been injured in a car accident as a result of another driver’s negligence, you need the help of an experienced car accident lawyer who can help you receive the compensation necessary to pay off any medical bills, lost wages, and emotional trauma associated with the crash. For help avoiding some of the common pitfalls that injured victims experience, look no further than the trusted and compassionate lawyers at Mintz Law Firm.
With more than 150 years of combined experience, the attorneys at Mintz Law Firm understand the specifics of Colorado car accident laws and will help you achieve the best results possible based on the circumstances of your injury. Our team of lawyers is dedicated to achieving justice for all of our clients. For a free consultation, give us a call at (303) 462-2999 or complete our online contact form today.