5 Common Mistakes to Avoid After Automobile Accidents
Personal Injury - August 4, 2015
As if the trauma of an accident is not enough, many accident victims have to deal with the complex legalities that often come after an automobile accident. Even when negligence seems clear, your actions during the days preceding an accident can have drastic effects. This is why it is important to consult with an Illinois injury lawyer who has experience in handling these claims.
Five mistakes to avoid during and after a car accident:
Not Involving the Police
All vehicle accidents require a police report – especially if there are injuries. Without one, your case becomes significantly weaker, and you will have difficulty proving liability.
After a collision, you should call the police as soon as possible. The Criminal Justice System explains how police involvement ensures that everyone will take your claim seriously.
Neglecting to Get Witness Information
Witnesses to the accident can play a crucial role in helping you prove liability. Be sure to get their contact details.
Witnesses can corroborate your story and may provide invaluable evidence to support your claim. Before leaving the scene, collect the information of every available witness.
Providing Statements without Legal Representation
You should never give recorded statements to anybody without legal representation. Insurance adjusters are adept at asking specific questions that lead people to understate their injuries, or implicate themselves and admit fault. If you do this, then the insurance company can and will use your words against you.
Ignoring Damage to Property
If an insurance company pays you to fix your car, then you should address the repairs immediately. You may understandably need the money to pay for medical bills, but if you do not repair your vehicle, then the insurance company may argue that the damage was not severe enough to warrant repair. This could cast doubt on the extent of your injuries.
Unwittingly Signing Releases
A big mistake that accident victims can make is to sign a release. This happens often – usually under false guidance.
In most cases, people think they are signing a release for property damage, when the reality is that they are signing a general release. If you do this, mistakenly or not, you will not be able to claim compensation. Never put a signature on any document without consulting an attorney who understands the laws relating to accidents and injuries in Illinois.
The Chicago auto injury lawyer and negligence attorney from Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates invite you for a free telephone or in person consultation to discuss your accident and any questions you may have. Most of our lawyers have more than 30 years of experience and we have an outstanding track record in helping our clients and creating a strong trust relationship, as you can see in our Success Records. Even if you do not wish to retain an attorney, we can set you on the right path for free. Call our office today at (800)-985-1819 to schedule an initial free consultation.