Car accidents can be traumatizing and inflict varying degrees of pain and suffering on the victim. Unfortunately, the process of filing a car accident claim isn’t always straightforward. You may have heard strikingly contrasting accounts of how the system works, which may have confused you. These misconceptions can hinder the proceedings and place you at a disadvantage.
Reach out to an automobile accident attorney to find the legal assistance to help you get a fair settlement. Don’t risk mistakes due to misconceptions. They may cost you hard-earned money. Here are some common myths regarding filing a car accident claim that you should steer clear of:
Compensation is legally guaranteed
Even though it may seem obvious that the other driver is at fault, getting compensation for your suffering isn’t always guaranteed. The process isn’t cut and dry, and you may have to fight dearly to get a fair settlement. Some problems that you may face include the driver being uninsured, insurance companies claiming that you were responsible for the crash, and refusing to pay.
The insurance company will provide fair compensation
The main goal of insurance companies is to save money. To protect their best interests, they will offer you the smallest settlements possible. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that the insurers are looking out for you—they may misconstrue your words and try to prove that your injuries aren’t as severe you allege.
In this scenario, the only person you can trust is your attorney, who can make sure that your case is being portrayed fairly, and your words aren’t being taken out of context. Legal assistance can help you negotiate for more settlement than what has been initially offered by the insurance company.
You can’t file a case if you don’t feel any pain
In many cases, victims don’t feel pain immediately after the accident. The shock of the incident can make you numb to your suffering and damage. Hence, you should visit a doctor directly after the accident to get a thorough examination done. Injuries like whiplash, knee ligament tears, and concussion can take a few hours to show the effects, but prompt medical attention can save you from extensive treatments and prolonged suffering.
Keep all your medical records safe and share them with your lawyer to strengthen your case. The longer you take to visit the doctor, the better it is for the insurance company. They can then claim that the injuries were caused due to activities that you performed after the accident and not due to the crash.
You must give a recorded statement to the insurance company
Insurance adjusters contact victims of car accidents immediately after the incident, asking them to record a statement. Even though you may feel obliged to provide a recorded message to them, you can choose to refuse as it is not in your best interest. Often, victims aren’t fully aware of the gravity of the damage caused by the injuries right after the accident, and insurance companies try to benefit from this.
A police report is sufficient to prove fault
While you should call the police immediately after the accident has taken place, a police report isn’t the only evidence sufficient to prove the other driver’s negligence. Law enforcers will inspect the site and note down the facts as they see it, but there are many different types of evidence needed to build a robust case. Some of these include witness statements, surveillance videos, accident photos/videos, road conditions, weather, traffic, and accident reconstruction. The effective use of these proofs can strengthen your case and get you closer to getting fair compensation.
If you haven’t sued immediately after the accident, you’ve lost the chance
You indeed have a limited window of time to file for compensation but that time frame varies in each state. The deadline to file a claim against a negligent driver in Arkansas is three years. This means that if you experience any aftermaths of the accident, such as arthritis or emotional and psychological distress within three years of the incident, you can ask for a settlement. If your doctor’s report documents that the cause of your suffering is the automobile accident, your claim can strengthen and the process can become relatively straightforward.
It’s better to let the insurance company handle it than hire an attorney
Since you expect insurance companies to pay for your damages, you may forget that they are for-profit corporations. Victims may think that insurance adjusters will help them out, whereas frequently they are only there to find ways to deny the claim or payout as little as possible. Conversely, attorneys are invested in figuring out the tricks and techniques that insurance companies use to undervalue claims. As insurance adjusters work hard to minimize liability, you should look for a lawyer who will work harder to get you a fair deal.
Hiring a lawyer is very expensive
This is perhaps the most prevalent misconception when it comes to dealing with car accident cases. People assume that hiring a qualified and experienced attorney will cost them big bucks. However, this is rarely true.
For car accidents, most lawyers charge their fees on a contingency basis. This means that they won’t ask you for upfront payment; instead, they’ll receive a percentage of the insurance settlement if they win the case. You can sit with the attorney and agree upon the rate while hiring them.
It doesn’t matter which lawyer you pick
No matter how straightforward your case seems like right now, hiring an attorney on time can save you from a lot of hassle. And when it comes to picking the right lawyer, keep in mind that not all attorneys are the same. Different lawyers handle different practice areas; while a family lawyer has experience dealing with divorce and child custody cases, automobile accident attorneys are adept at handling car accident cases. Hence, if you want to get a fair settlement in your car accident claim, you should look for a well-reputed automobile accident lawyer such as Lisa Douglas.