Four Mistakes to Avoid after an Automobile Accident
Car accidents tend to leave drivers and passengers shaken and confused. However, there are certain mistakes that some of our clients make in the hours and days following a car accident that severely undercut their ability to receive compensation.
At Herbert E. Maxey, Jr., P.C., we strive to empower our clients to make the right decisions that will benefit them in the future. By following the steps below, you can protect your right to receive compensation for your injuries. For more information, contact a Chatham, Virginia car accident lawyer today.
It is very natural to say, “I’m sorry” after a traumatic event, even when you know that you are not to blame. However, saying “I’m sorry” after a car accident can hamstring your case. Anything you say can be used against you later, including an apology that sounds like you are accepting responsibility for the accident.
Virginia is a contributory negligence state, meaning that your own negligence can completely bar you from receiving any compensation after a car accident. Any statement that suggests you were to blame for the accident could come back and haunt you.
Avoid Settling this Without Involving the Police
Call the police after a car accident. A police officer can visit the scene and identify who was involved in the crash, along with any witnesses. Without the police report, it will be very difficult to establish when your accident happened and the identities of the other parties involved.
Do Not Quickly Accept a Settlement Offer
After your car accident, you might be suffering from serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, burns, or cuts. Some injuries can leave you holed up at home for months, depriving you of necessary income. The temptation to accept an early settlement offer will be immense.
Many injured motorists make a critical mistake when they immediately accept an early settlement offer. Chances are this offer will not remotely cover the full economic costs of the accident. For example, the settlement might pay for one month’s of medical bills, but what happens if you do not immediately get better?
Before an insurance company will agree to a settlement, they will require that you sign a form releasing them from liability for the accident. This means you cannot go back to court and try to sue to receive additional compensation.
Do Not Negotiate on Your Own
If the insurance company makes a lowball initial offer, you will need to negotiate an increase in compensation. We strongly suggest you do not do this on your own. You probably have not accurately valued your injuries and do not know what a fair settlement amount is.
By hiring an attorney, you have a better chance of getting all the compensation you need. Attorney Herbert Maxey has represented motorists injured in car accidents for several years. He understands what evidence you will need to establish that a driver is at fault, and he can maximize the amount of compensation you receive.
To schedule a free consultation, please contact the firm today. We serve clients throughout Virginia, including Chatham.