How to Avoid Hurting Your Car Accident Claim
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Sep 29, 2019 in Advice
If you were injured in a car crash caused by a negligent driver, you may be able to recover compensation for the damages that you suffered, including property loss, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
However, you need to watch what you say or do, because if you are not careful you could make it easier for the insurance company to reduce or deny your claim. Below are some important tips to help you avoid hurting your car accident claim.
One important step in protecting a claim is to contact a trusted attorney. The South Bend lawyers at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak have more than 100 years of combined experience and have recovered fair compensation for many car accident victims. During your free initial consultation, we can review your claim and answer your questions about what to expect from the personal injury claims process.
Collect Evidence to Support Your Claim
One way that injury victims can help their claim is to gather evidence right after the accident. This can include:
Photographs – Capturing images of the accident scene – if it is safe to do so – along with any injuries you sustained provides evidence that may strengthen your claim. Here are some tips on taking pictures after an injury accident:
- Photograph the damage to the involved vehicles, along with a general image of the scene to show weather and road conditions that day.
- Get pictures of all your physical injuries as close to the time the accident occurred as possible.
- Photograph your injuries again a few days, and then each week after the accident to show how they develop during the healing time.
- Ask for a copy of the surgery video or pictures from medical professionals who treat you.
- Ask someone to record you in your daily life to show how the injuries have affected you.
Personal Injury Journal - Keeping a daily and accurate journal that details your pain and suffering will add more meaning to your images and provide details that may help to build your case. Important journal entries include:
- Your daily level of pain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Physical or mental limitations related to your injuries
- Medical appointments and physician instructions
- Unpleasant side effects of prescribed medication
- Depressive episodes or other mental health effects
- Effects on your daily life
Tell Your Doctor About a Pre-Existing Medical Condition
Accident victims sometimes worry that a pre-existing medical condition aggravated by the car crash may prevent him or her from receiving compensation. With this thought in mind, the injured victim may believe that withholding this information from his or her doctor is the right decision. However, this is a big mistake. Physicians need to know about your prior injuries and any ongoing medical conditions in order to provide the most effective patient care.
Additionally, medical records for a personal injury plaintiff are typically pulled for all attorneys to review, so any previous injuries will likely be discovered during the claims process. The end result is that withholding information may not only damage your credibility, but also your claim.
Take Your Attorney’s Advice
An attorney provides legal advice based on his or her knowledge, skill and experience. Ignoring that advice may put your claim at risk. Additional advice an attorney may provide you with at the start of your claim:
- Refrain from discussing the accident – or your claim - with anyone except your attorney
- Do not give a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster
- Avoid social media
- Do not sign a medical release
- Keep all original documents pertaining to the accident and your treatment
Follow All Prescribed Medical Treatment
Missing medical appointments or neglecting to follow a physician’s prescribed medical treatment while you are still recovering may jeopardize your health and your claim. The insurance adjuster may argue that you were never seriously injured or that your injuries were made worse because you did not follow treatment and the insurance company should not be responsible for your damages.
Call an Experienced Lawyer to Discuss Your claim
If you were injured in a car accident, the South Bend car accident attorneys at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak offer a free initial consultation to review your claim and discuss your legal options. We accept car accident cases on contingency, so there are no upfront charges. We do not get paid unless we are successful in recovering damages on your behalf.
Call us today to learn how we may be able to help. (844) 678-1800