Top 10 Mistakes after a Car Accident
North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers
There are a number of mistakes that a driver may make after a car accident. Without a North Carolina car accident attorney to advise a driver of his or her rights, he or she may unintentionally do something that harms their chances of a successful case result.
Here, we have prepared the following list of the top 10 mistakes drivers make following a car accident so you can avoid them:
1. Failing to go to the doctor, hospital, or urgent care clinic immediately following the accident. It is not enough to claim that you have been injured. You must have some sort of medical record that proves you were not only injured, but also that your injuries were caused by the accident.
2. Allowing the at-fault driver's insurance adjuster to visit you in person. Remember, the adjuster from the other insurance party is not on your side. It is in your best interests to refrain from speaking with this person until you have first discussed your case with an attorney.
3. Signing a release shortly after the accident or before completing medical treatment. In doing so, you may limit or lose your right to file a claim in the future.
4. Giving a recorded interview to a liability adjuster. There is a good chance the adjuster will be able to take something you said and use it against you. Again, this person does not have your best interests in mind; their goal is to limit the insurance company’s liability and payout.
5. Failing to use your health insurance. Because the auto insurance company usually does not pay for medical coverage until you have reached maximum medical improvement, using your health insurance can help offset the costs associated with treating your injuries until you receive a lump sum payment from the auto insurance company.
6. Missing out on medical payment coverage. It’s important that you examine all available options to take advantage of all compensation that is available to you.
7. Failing to take advantage of free professional advice. At Lanier Law Group, we offer a free consultation to all potential clients who have been injured in a car accident in North Carolina. The insurance companies have an army of seasoned attorneys and adjusters working for them. By contacting an attorney at our firm, you can make sure you have a skilled legal professional looking out for your best interests and protecting any rights you may have to compensation.
8. Failing to continue to seek medical treatment due to inconvenience or expense. In many cases, doctors require accident victims to complete physical therapy before they will conduct an advanced diagnostic test. Therefore, it may take weeks—sometimes months—before the doctor orders an MRI or CT scan. These tests may reveal additional or more serious injuries that the victim was unaware of. However, many people stop going to physical therapy because they cannot afford to miss work or because they do not have health coverage. If this is something you are concerned with, please don't hesitate to contact an attorney at our firm. We can help you with this.
9. Missing compensation for punitive damages. In addition to compensatory damages, you may also be able to recover punitive damages if the at-fault driver was charged with DWI or reckless/careless driving. Punitive damages can be thousands of dollars more than what you will receive in compensatory damages. This is something the insurance company will never tell you about.
10. Settling with the liability carrier for policy limits and waiving rights to underinsured motorist coverage and excess liability coverage. Adjusters usually require a Release of All Claims when paying any claims. If you suffered a serious injury and the liability adjuster is paying all available coverage (usually $30,000 if minimum limits), and you have a claim against an Excess Liability Carrier (if the owner and driver of the at-fault driver are different) or Underinsured Motorist Coverage, DO NOT SIGN A RELEASE OF ALL CLAIMS. If you sign a general release, you will release all future claims under other policies.
It is not uncommon for people who have never been involved or injured in a car accident to make mistakes. The first thing you should do after a motor vehicle accident is contact an experienced North Carolina car accident lawyer who can advise you of your rights and legal options. Remember, it costs nothing to speak with an attorney at our firm and there is no obligation to work with us after your initial consultation. If you do work with us, you will owe nothing unless/until we recover compensation on your behalf.