Taking the right steps immediately after a car accident is crucial to ensuring you receive the maximum compensation you need to cover your bills and lost wages. However, many crash survivors make mistakes that can harm their chances of receiving a fair settlement. Here are the top three things that you specifically shouldn’t do after any Missouri auto accident.
#1: Don’t Miss Crucial Evidence at the Scene
Adrenaline and general disorientation after a car crash mean that victims are often unsure of what to do first or what actions to avoid. That can cause problems down the line as you deal with insurance or pursue a personal injury lawsuit. To protect yourself legally and financially after a crash, you want to collect as much evidence as possible.
Types of Evidence
- Call law enforcement, so an officer can come to the scene and start an initial investigation. Their police report may help with your personal injury claim later.
- Snap photos of the vehicles involved in the crash and your injuries.
- Talk to eyewitnesses and get their contact details, as their testimony could be important down the line.
One of the most important pieces of evidence will be the record of your doctor visit after the crash. Always see a medical professional after any accident, even if you don’t appear to have any obvious external injuries. Your physical health should be your priority, and a trip to the ER is crucial for finding internal wounds, such as potentially life-threatening traumatic brain injuries.
Why Getting Medical Attention Is Important
- It verifies the date your car crash injuries occurred
- It’s a record of the type and severity of your injuries, as well as the specific ways they impact your life
- It provides a paper trail that can be used when negotiating with insurance or arguing your case in front of a jury
#2: Don’t Fall for Insurance Tactics to Deny Your Claim
After addressing your medical condition, eventually you will have to interact with an insurance provider, and there are many common methods that adjusters frequently use to deny or delay your claim and pay out less than you deserve.
How to Protect Yourself
- Do not provide a recorded statement. People in Missouri are often conditioned to automatically apologize or downplay their own injuries to be polite. That type of behavior is not in your best interest and can be used against you. Avoid the problem altogether by respectfully declining to provide a recorded statement, and refer the adjuster to your attorney.
- Watch what you post on social media. Even if your profile is set to private, anything you post could be detrimental to your financial recovery. Personal photos may be used to argue you aren’t as hurt as you claim, and anything you write about the accident may hurt your case.
#3: Don’t Pursue Compensation on Your Own
Your ability to recover financially in the aftermath of a serious wreck centers on having an experienced attorney standing up for your legal rights. A skilled Missouri personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the claims process.
How an Attorney Can Help
- Filing legal documents within Missouri’s statute of limitations on car accident cases
- Identifying the liable party and optimal source of compensation
- Investigating the accident to determine what act of negligence led to your injury
- Placing a specific value on your damages covering lost wages, medical costs, pain and suffering, and property damage to your car
- Taking over communications with insurers and the at-fault party
Beck & Beck When You’re Injured in an Accident
After being injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you need a skilled, dedicated personal injury attorney to help ensure you receive all the compensation you deserve. The lawyers at Beck & Beck are here to help you navigate the complicated legal system and get your life back on track.
Beck & Beck is the only Missouri law firm that focuses entirely on Missouri auto accident cases. We have extensive knowledge of personal injury law, and clients can feel assured that they’ll receive excellent legal representation. If you’ve been injured in a Missouri car accident, contact us online, or call our office directly at 314-200-1229.