What to Do—& Not Do—When Building a Car Accident Claim

September 14, 2021
black car accident damage

If you were hurt in a car accident, the steps you take in the immediate aftermath—and in the days and weeks that follow—will have a major impact on the outcome of any personal injury claims you end up filing. To give your actions the best chance of success, here are a few tips for getting started:

1. Seek Prompt Medical Care

Following a motor-vehicle collision, your first priority should be your health. This is true even if you think the wreck was relatively minor and you were able to walk away from the scene.

Since not all car wreck injuries manifest symptoms right away, and your adrenaline from the wreck may mask conditions, you cannot gauge your condition accurately based solely on how you feel initially. Whiplash might not become apparent for more than a day, for example, while it could take a week for signs of internal bleeding to show up. And brain damage, which can be devastating if left unchecked, might not cause any obvious issues for months.

By visiting a doctor right away, you’ll ensure the prompt treatment of any and all injuries. You’ll also show the insurance adjuster that you’re committed to mitigating damages, which will bolster your claim.  

2. Don’t Give the Insurance Adjuster a Recorded Statement

Upon learning of the accident, each motorist’s carrier will probably reach out to all those who were involved. It’s best to avoid engaging with them at all until your legal team has conducted a thorough investigation, and you should definitely decline to give a recorded statement. The adjusters are professionals at asking tricky questions to the unwary and your entire claim may crumble on the words in a statement that you give under stress.

3. Save Receipts for All Injury-Related Expenses

Your budget is probably going to be tight in the months following the accident, especially if you’re unable to work while recovering from your injuries. Thankfully, virtually all injury-related expenses are recoverable. Examples include medical bills, the cost of alternative transportation, and expenses associated with domestic help and replacement services.

In other words, if you wouldn’t have incurred the expense but for the accident, you can probably include the bills in the settlement negotiations.

4. Don’t Post About the Accident on Social Media

Following an event as traumatic as a wreck, it’s natural to want to turn to your friends and followers online for support. Since the insurance company employees will probably be monitoring your social media activity, though, it’s best to avoid doing so.

For maximum protection, don’t publish anything that could remotely lead the opposing party to challenge any aspect of your claim.  Even something as simple as a night out to dinner may be turned around on you by the other side to argue you were not significantly injured. 

Discuss Your Case with a Car Accident Lawyer in South Carolina

At Hodge & Langley Law Firm, we know how much strain car accident injuries can place on the whole family. If you were hurt in a wreck through no fault of your own, we’ll help you gather the evidence needed to seek the maximum payout possible. To schedule a free case review with a car accident attorney in South Carolina, complete our Online Contact Form or call 864-585-3873.

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