#1 - Not calling the police
Always report car accidents to the police. Even if the accident seems relatively minor or if the other driver tries to convince you not to call the police. Even if you are unsure who, if anyone, is responsible, contact the police immediately after the accident.
The reason you should call the police is not to get the other driver in trouble. Instead, it’s a necessary step to properly documenting the accident. A responding police officer will investigate the scene, interview drivers, passengers, and witnesses, and prepare a police report. The police report is often the most important piece of evidence. Memories will fade with time. The other driver, who might admit fault at the scene, will be coached by his insurance company the second time around. Not calling the police is the #1 mistake we see.
Your typical police report is a jumble of codes and jargon. Check out the Texas Instructions to Police for Reporting Crashes to make sense of your report!
#2 - Not taking photographs
You’ve heard the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words.” The same is true with car accidents – photographs can make or break the case. Photographs do not lie, do not change over time, and are hard to contradict. After the accident, take photographs of the scene, the vehicles, and your injuries. You should also take a photograph of the other driver's insurance card and driver's license.
Without photographs, it might be impossible to show the jury your bruising or swelling. This makes it much more difficult to prove that your injuries were serious. If you are unable to take the photographs yourself, ask your doctors or your family to take them for you.
#3 - Giving written or recorded statements
After the accident has been reported, you will be contacted by an insurance adjuster. That adjuster will be recording every word you say. That adjuster will be using tactics that are meant to diminish the value of your claim and will get paid a bonus if they work.
When dealing with the insurance company, you need experienced attorneys in your corner. Let Alford & Clark deal with the insurance company. Don’t let the insurance company trick you into waiving your rights or hurting your case. Make the insurance company take you seriously.
#4 - Not seeking medical attention
A car accident causes a rush of adrenaline. Most drivers are left confused and disoriented. Many drivers will simply not realize how badly they have been hurt. When the police ask if they need medical attention, many will say no. This can be a huge mistake.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. If you need help finding or paying for a doctor, call Alford & Clark to see what we can do. Do not hesitate to seek medical treatment. Any delay may worsen your injuries and give the insurance company ammunition to minimize your claim or deny it outright.
#5 - Not calling Alford & Clark PLLC immediately
Big insurance companies are out for profit and their insurance adjusters are often paid bonuses when their department pays out less than expected. As a result, insurance adjusters will use every trick in the book to minimize your claim or to deny it outright. Without Alford & Clark, the adjusters will not show you the respect you deserve. If you try to negotiate without an attorney, the insurance company will not take you seriously and will try to get you to surrender your claim for pennies on the dollar.
Alford & Clark will help you get the medical care you need, help you safeguard your rights, and help you fight to get the maximum recovery possible.
Visit www.injuredtexan.com to learn more about how Alford & Clark can help you recover after a serious motor vehicle accident. Call 210-951-9467 now for a free, confidential consultation with an injury attorney.
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Personal Injury Attorney Blog