When you are involved in an auto accident, there are several steps you need to try to take as soon as possible—including steps you should ideally take at the scene of the accident. We provided an overview of these steps in a previous article. However, there are mistakes you need to avoid as well; and, in many respects, avoiding these mistakes can be just as important for protecting your legal rights.
10 Mistakes to Avoid After Being Injured in a Car Accident in Texas
You were involved in a car accident. You were injured, and your injuries require medical treatment. You are going to miss time from work, and there is a chance that you could suffer from chronic pain and/or long-term physical limitations. In order to protect your legal rights, here are 10 critical mistakes you need to avoid:
Mistake #1: Not Seeing a Doctor Promptly
If you intend to seek financial compensation for your injuries, you need to see a doctor promptly. Recovering financial compensation requires proof that your injuries are accident-related; and, the longer you wait to seek treatment, the more of an opportunity the insurance companies will have to argue that your injuries could have resulted from an intervening cause.
Mistake #2: Not Following Your Doctor’s Advice
In addition to seeking medical treatment promptly, you also need to carefully follow your doctor’s medical advice. Another common insurance defense tactic is to accuse accident victims of failing to do what is necessary to promote their own recoveries. If you skip follow-up appointments, decide not to fill your prescriptions, or return to work too soon, these are all mistakes that could jeopardize your financial recovery.
Mistake #3: Assuming the Insurance Companies Will Treat You Fairly
While it would be nice if you could simply file your insurance claim and wait for a check to come in the mail, this is not how the claims process works. The insurance companies utilize a variety of different tactics to deny accident victims’ claims; and, as an accident victim, it is up to you to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Mistake #4: Assuming that You Were Partially at Fault
At some point during your claim, the insurance companies may try to blame you for causing your own injuries. If this happens, you should not assume that you were fully – or even partially – at fault. Rather than relying on the insurance companies to tell you if you have a claim, you need to hire a lawyer to conduct an investigation and assess your legal rights with your best interests in mind.
Mistake #5: Failing to Appreciate the Extent of Your Injuries
Car accidents can result in serious injuries; and, even if you feel relatively okay initially, this does not necessarily mean that everything is fine. If your symptoms change, worsen, or simply do not go away, you need to make sure that you are receiving the treatment you need in order to recover.
Mistake #6: Failing to Understand the Costs of Your Injuries
In addition to ensuring that you have a clear understanding of the extent of your injuries, you need to ensure that you have a clear understanding of the costs of your injuries as well. If the other driver (or anyone else) was at fault in the accident, you are entitled to full compensation for the financial and non-financial costs of your injuries under Texas law. This includes costs such as:
- Medical expenses
- Prescription costs
- Other out-of-pocket costs
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Post-traumatic stress
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of society, companionship, and enjoyment of life
Mistake #7: Giving Too Much Information to the Insurance Companies
Beyond the basic information required in order to file your claim, you generally should not be giving any additional information to the insurance companies—at least not right now. When it comes to dealing with the insurance companies, you should rely on your attorney to decide what information to provide and when to provide it. At this stage, any information you provide will only be used against you, and you do not want to make any guesses or assumptions that could end up jeopardizing your financial recovery.
Mistake #8: Posting about the Accident on Social Media
While your auto accident claim is pending, you should avoid discussing your accident on social media. Anything you post is fair game for the insurance companies; and, even if you think that what you are posting is harmless, there is a good chance that the insurance companies will find some way to try to use it against you. For now, keep the details to yourself, and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve before you post about the accident online.
Mistake #9: Settling Your Insurance Claim Too Soon
When it comes to recovering your losses after a car accident in Texas, you only get one opportunity. Once you accept a settlement, your claim is over. With this in mind, you need to be careful to avoid settling your insurance claim too soon. You need to have a clear and comprehensive picture of the costs of your injuries; and, before you settle, you need to be certain that the settlement amount reflects just compensation for your financial and non-financial losses.
Mistake #10: Not Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Given the challenges involved with recovering your losses after a car accident, and given the risks involved with making mistakes while your claim is pending, it is strongly in your best interests to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you. At The Law Office Of Joel M. Vecchio, P.C., we do not charge any up-front fees or costs, and we do not charge anything unless we recover just compensation.
Request a Free Consultation with Plano, TX Personal Injury Lawyer Joel M. Vecchio
Have you been injured in a car accident? If so, we encourage you to contact us promptly so that we can help you recover just compensation. To discuss your case with Plano, TX personal injury lawyer Joel M. Vecchio in confidence, call 972-380-4444 or request a free consultation online now.