Mistakes To Avoid When Filing A Car Accident Claim

Filing a car accident claim is about protecting yourself, easing the burden of costs and damages, and allowing the proper parties to determine fault and liability. Don’t hesitate to start the claims process immediately so you can recover physically and financially from your accident as quickly as possible. Justice and fair compensation will be served, allowing you to move on from this challenging life event.

Let’s take a look at the most common mistakes you should avoid when filing a claim and why you should consult with an Indianapolis car accident attorney before starting the process.

1. Rushing to Settle Without Understanding Your Claim

In the aftermath of an accident, you may feel pressure to settle quickly with the insurance companies involved. However, settling too fast could mean leaving money on the table or not fully understanding the implications of your injuries. Step back and don’t feel rushed into a settlement before you’ve had time to evaluate your options.

Rushing into a settlement could mean leaving thousands of dollars on the table and not recouping what you’re truly owed. Take your time, understand your options, and make sure any offer you accept fully and fairly compensates you for your accident-related losses. Your patience and diligence will pay off in the end.

2. Failing to Report the Accident Properly

Many times, people involved in minor car accidents want to avoid the hassle of reporting it to the police. However, failing to report the accident properly can end up causing major issues down the road. Even for a minor fender bender, you should always call the police to report the accident.

Have the officer fill out an official police report documenting details like the time and location of the accident, contact information for the other driver, license plate numbers, and insurance details. This report will be crucial evidence for your insurance claim and help establish fault. Without it, you have no official record of the accident occurring.

3. Not Getting Proper Medical Care After the Accident

Getting checked out by a doctor right after a car accident should be one of your top priorities. Even if you feel fine, see a doctor as soon as possible. Injuries like whiplash or internal bleeding can take time to manifest, and without prompt diagnosis and treatment, they may become permanent.

Seeking medical attention also provides documentation for your claim. The records from your initial visit establish injuries and conditions caused by the crash, not any pre-existing issues. This “baseline” report will be necessary for connecting your treatment costs to the liable party’s insurance.

do not argue with the other driver after a car crash

4. Neglecting to Document Evidence From the Scene

Right after an accident, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and forget essential details in the chaos. However, documenting evidence from the accident scene is critical to supporting your claim. Grab your phone or camera and start collecting information as soon as it’s safe.

Take photos of both vehicles involved, documenting damage from multiple angles. Get images of the license plates as well. Photograph the location of debris on the roadway, which can help determine the point of impact. Look for any skid marks or other notable marks on the pavement. Also, document road conditions like traffic signs, traffic lights, visibility obstructions, or anything relevant to the accident.

5. Trying to Handle Your Claim Without an Attorney

After a car accident, you may be tempted to handle your insurance claim yourself to save money on attorney fees. However, this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Insurance companies have teams of attorneys whose goal is to pay out as little as possible on claims. As an individual, you are no match for their experience and tactics.

Without proper legal counsel, you could severely damage your case and lose the maximum compensation you deserve. An attorney specializing in car accident law has the knowledge and skills to negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. They know how to document medical expenses, calculate lost wages, and determine a fair settlement amount for your injuries.

Before Filing Your Car Accident Claim, Contact Rowe & Hamilton

When you’ve been in an auto accident, the last thing on your mind is dealing with insurance companies and paperwork. However, taking the proper steps to protect yourself legally and financially is critical. The biggest mistake people make after an accident is not contacting an attorney for guidance and representation.

At Rowe & Hamilton, our Indianapolis car accident lawyers have years of combined experience helping injury victims. We’ve seen firsthand how insurance companies try to exploit unrepresented claimants. Let our legal team handle the complicated details of your claim so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Call our firm today at 317-482-7888.

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