If you have been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you may find it all too easy to sit back, get well from your injuries, and allow the insurance companies to deal with the claim. You should know, however, that failing to keep a close eye on your claim could end up causing you to accept a less-than-fair settlement. Read on to learn more about the 4 car wreck fallacies to avoid.
Fallacy 1: "The other driver was clearly at fault, and I will be properly compensated." Insurance companies are not in the business of handing out checks without a very good reason, so even if you feel the question of fault is obvious, you should not count on a quick and fair settlement check. Use due caution when dealing with insurance companies; you can seriously jeopardize your right to fair money damages by speaking on the record with the insurance adjuster or by taking the first offer to settle.
Fallacy 2: The other driver appears to be a good, honest person and they have been just as traumatized by the accident as you. Undoubtedly, the accident was horrific for all involved parties, but don't let your sympathetic nature cause you to put your claim at risk. The other driver may openly admit guilt, but be careful how you handle such news. Admitting even partial fault in the accident could come back to haunt you later on. Admissions of partial fault will lessen your money damages considerably.
Fallacy 3: Fault has already been determined, and the accident report proves it. The police officer who responded to the scene always files an accident or police report with the local agency they are attached to, be it the town police, the county sheriff's office, or the highway patrol. While this report does contain some valuable information, including the responding officer's opinion as to the cause of the accident, that report alone is not enough to prove your claim, and if your case goes to trial, it is not admissible as evidence.
Fallacy 4: I have waited too long to file a personal injury claim. While it is true that there is a statute of limitations for filing your claim, it is usually at least a year, and in some cases you have up to 6 years to file a claim. You must, however, act as quickly as possible, since it's much easier to collect evidence and interview witnesses if you do so soon after the accident.
Be sure to contact a personal injury attorney to learn more about getting the most compensation you can for your injuries. If you want to learn more about your options after an accident, you can find out here.