The number one priority after being in an auto accident is ensuring the safety of yourself and those around you. This is the very first thing you need to attend to. However, after the dust has settled and people are safe, it would be in your best interests to file an insurance claim in order to ensure that you are appropriately compensated for damages and/or injuries incurred from the accident.
In today’s blog, we wanted to take a look at some critical mistakes you should avoid to protect your ability to get the money you need for your damages. There are certain things that you could inadvertently do that might cause you to miss out on the compensation you need. If you have any immediate questions about insurance claims, auto accidents, or personal injury, be sure to reach out to the experts at Hadfield Stieben & Doutt. You can schedule your free consultation at our Fort Collins office today. In the meantime, let’s take a look at mistakes to avoid on auto accident injury claims.
1. Failure to File a Police Report
In most situations, it is required by Colorado state law to file a police report after an accident. Colorado law requires that it be reported to the police if the accident:
- Caused any property damage, or
- Resulted in personal injury or death.
Since most car accidents will cause some damage, you’ll need to dial 911 after any crash to be on the safe side. As far as police reports are concerned, Colorado law requires an officer to investigate and file a report only if they have a reasonable basis to believe that any one person’s property damage exceeds $1,000, or there is a death or injury. Also, a report will be conducted if one or more of the drivers does not have car insurance.
In any case, you will want to call the police, even if the other driver doesn’t want you to. Failure to file a crash report will make your case more difficult to prove and the police report offers an official account of the accident and provides details essential to your lawsuit.
2. Waiting Too Long to File an Insurance Claim
The longer you wait to file a claim, the more difficult it will be to prove negligence and damages. Therefore, it is best to talk to a Fort Collins personal injury attorney as soon after the accident as possible.
3. Waiting Too Long to Get Medical Attention
It’s easy to put off medical attention after an accident, especially if the injuries aren’t too strong. But not only is it a good safety measure to seek medical attention as soon as possible, it also works in your favor as far as your insurance claims go. Basically, when you wait longer, it becomes more difficult to show that your injuries are directly related to the accident. It will also be difficult to show the severity of the injuries.
4. Not Following the Doctor’s Orders
After visiting the doctor for any injuries incurred from the accident, your doctor will give you directions for treatment. This will, of course, vary depending on the nature and the severity of the injuries, but if you fail to follow doctor’s orders it will be challenging to prove your injuries. If, for instance, you go against the doctor’s orders and return to work too early, this can be used against your claim as evidence that your injuries were not actually severe. Always respond to your doctor for recommended follow-up visits and follow the care instructions your physician provides.
5. Giving a Recorded Statement to the Adverse Adjuster
Giving a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster for the negligent person is rarely a good option for an injury victim. What you say can hurt you and will not help you. When asked to give a recorded statement to the other insurance company, consider speaking with a personal injury attorney first.
We will actually look at adverse adjusters and how to handle them in a future blog post. For now, keep these tips in mind. If you have any questions about insurance claims, contact HSD Law in Fort Collins to schedule your free consultation.