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SILVA & SILVA
ATTORNEYS AT LAW
205 E. STATE ST.
REDLANDS, CA 92373
7 MISTAKES TO AVOID AFTER A CAR CRASH
1. Not Calling the Police
The police officer that arrives on the scene can collect valuable evidence that can work to your favor. Even though the police aren’t really there to help you build your case, their work can be invaluable as a launching point for your claim for recovery. They track down witnesses, take photographs, and look at the scene on the road. The police often collect evidence on the scene that no one else can duplicate.
The police prepare a crash report that documents critical information. Also, if the other side gets a traffic ticket, that can be a great start to proving that they’re at fault for the crash. If you don’t call the police, the insurance companies and the jury may wonder why you didn’t think you should ask for a police investigation.
2. Admitting Guilt
It’s natural to want to resolve things as quickly as possible. One of the ways that you may try to do that is by apologizing for what happened. You may want to make yourself, or the other people involved feel better by saying “I’m sorry.”
Apologizing is highly inadvisable after a car crash. California court rules allow the other side to tell the jury about things that you say. You may not even realize how something you say might negatively impact your case. Your best bet is not to say anything to anyone. Your lawyer can do the talking.
3. Failing to Gather Evidence
You can get your case off to a fast start by gathering any evidence that you can at the accident scene. Of course, if you have serious injuries, medical treatment should be your number one priority. After that, you should do everything you can to gather evidence.
Snap photos of the scene with your phone’s camera. Take pictures of your injuries. Write down names of witnesses and their contact information. Gathering evidence at the site of the accident gives your attorney a great place to start when they launch their investigation.
4. Skipping the Doctor
In addition to going to the doctor for your own health and well-being, it’s important to go to your physician in order to document your injuries. Your claim for recovery comes from your verified injuries. It isn’t enough just to say that you got hurt.
The better the job that you can do with creating a record of the exact nature of your injuries and prognosis, the better your recovery is going to be. Thoroughly documented injuries also make it more likely that the other side will agree to pay you a fair settlement without needing a trial.
5. Taking the Insurance Company’s Word For It
For every dollar that the insurance company refuses to pay you, they keep a dollar in profit. The insurance companies have an incentive to deny quality claims. They also have a reason to try to convince you that you’re getting a significant settlement when they’re getting away with paying you only pennies on the dollar.
It’s worth your while to ask an injury lawyer to evaluate your claim. They can give you the confidence to know that you’re getting a fair deal, or they can explain why you should continue to fight for justice.
6. Settling Too Quickly
The first settlement offer usually isn’t the best. Although it’s tempting to want to resolve your case as quickly as possible, you’re more likely to get a fair settlement if the other side believes that you’re serious about pursuing your case to the fullest extent of the law. Taking the time to build your case can convince the other party that you deserve much more than what they first offered to pay.
7. Not Keeping a Diary
If your case has to go to trial that may be 1 to 2 years down the road and you will not be able to remember all the nuances of the accident. You can keep a simple diary by grabbling a simple spiral notebook which you dedicate to the note taking process. You will need to document; all conversations you had with anyone regarding the case, gather pictures, document your physical and mental conditions, document how you feel each day, document dates/times and names of people who can testify as to your condition. Before the accident you might have been on a weekly bowling team and then after the accident you stopped bowling because it caused you too much pain. Well, those bowling partners could make great witnesses as to your prior condition and activities.
Silva & Silva Attorney's at Law
205 E. State St. Redlands CA 92373