A car accident often causes frustration, stress, anxiety and fear for all of the people involved in the collision. However, all too often, people neglect their legal rights and make mistakes that can affect their rights to compensation. At worst, these mistakes can cost an accident victim dearly, especially if the accident victim significantly delays in exercising their legal rights or attempts to undergo the legal process with little knowledge of the law.
Here are some of the most common mistakes:
Mistake 1: Delaying in Seeking Advice from a Lawyer
Most people may think that speaking with a lawyer is unnecessary and thus, they wait to contact a lawyer for assistance in their case. Yet, this flaw can be a costly mistake for someone who is a victim in an accident. It is difficult to determine the extent of your injuries and your other losses early after an accident. Should those losses become more apparent later on, it may be too late to argue for compensation of those injuries because delays can often result in the loss of crucial evidence for your claim (e.g. skid marks that show the other vehicle was driving in the wrong lane may fade away with time or be contaminated by other external factors such as weather.)
Especially in large cities such as Brisbane, it is important that a victim of a motor vehicle accident seek a specialist in personal injury who is a reputable Queensland car accident lawyer in Brisbane to at least provide an initial assessment of their claim.
Mistake 2: Delaying in Getting Prompt Medical Treatment
Some victims refuse to go to the hospital even despite the advice from the ambulance staff at the scene of the accident. Perhaps the reason is because they are fearful that this may affect their lives somehow such as their employment.
However, NEVER allow a significant delay to elapse between your accident and seeking medical treatment!
This inaction may significantly affect your legal right to compensation because it becomes harder to convince the insurance company or the court that your injuries are serious. It may also be harder to prove that your injuries were caused by the motor vehicle accident (e.g. a subsequent injury from a separate future accident will complicate your motor vehicle accident claim.)
Mistake 3: Communicating with the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company
Speaking with the at-fault party’s insurance company WITHOUT legal representation is often a mistake. The accident victim may disclose information that may not be helpful to their claim or worse, could prove very harmful to their case and right to compensation.
It is important for a motor vehicle accident victim to understand that the insurance company is NOT thinking in your best interests and will do everything they can to get information that can be used against you. Speaking with an insurance company representative often means that your discussion will be recorded. It is not worth the risk of your claim to try and deal with the at-fault party’s insurance company without the help of an accredited specialist in personal injury.
Mistake 4: Not Recording the Names and Addresses of Witnesses
Failing to record the contact details of witnesses may mean that an accident victim may lose out on important evidence from their statement or testimony. The police may not be able to find or contact these witnesses themselves and thus, you may be deprived of key information on how the accident occurred and who was at fault.
Mistake 5: Failing to take Photos of Your Vehicle and Injuries
Always get evidence of the accident and your injuries. Pictures of your injuries and the accident scene can go a long way when it comes to arguing for your legal rights. With the widespread use of camera phones, this simple practice is not an issue to take lightly.
An accident victim who neglects in doing this may lose crucial evidence that may be needed to substantiate their claims, especially for complicated damages such as pain & suffering or for psychological injuries.
Mistake 6: Blindly Signing or Providing Documents
The insurance company of the at-fault party will immediately request disclosure of all of your information after a car accident. Often times, this should be limited to information that is relevant to the accident and your injuries. However, without proper legal assistance from a lawyer, you may inadvertently be providing documentation that is irrelevant to your claim or unnecessary.
An accident victim who does this without seeking the advice of a lawyer may strengthen the other side’s case unnecessarily by allowing them access to information that may not even be applicable to the accident.
It is important once again for accident victims to understand that the at-fault party’s insurance company is not doing you any favours and will actively do what they can to hurt your claim.
Seek an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury
The best way that a victim of a car accident can protect their legal rights is to seek the advice of an accredited specialist in personal injury. A car accident lawyer in Queensland including Brisbane and the Gold Coast who is skilled in both plaintiff claims and insurance defence will especially be helpful to your claim because they will have the knowledge and experience of how the insurance companies will act and can protect your rights accordingly.
If you have been injured in a car accident, do not delay. If you would like to know how East Coast Injury Lawyers can help you with your claim then do not hesitate to contact our accredited specialists in personal injury today! Simply fill out the case review form or contact us.