If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, it can be a frightening and overwhelming experience. As such, you may still be in shock in the immediate aftermath of a collision, causing you to forget the essential steps to safeguard your legal rights. Without realizing it, many accident victims make mistakes that hinder their ability to recover monetary compensation for their damages. Knowing what to do and not to do after an accident is crucial to avoid jeopardizing your case. If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident due to another driver’s negligence, it is in your best interest to contact a determined Santa Clara County Auto Accident Attorney who can help you fight to obtain the maximum compensation you are entitled to for your damages.
What are the most common mistakes made after an auto accident in California?
Unfortunately, without realizing it, accident victims make critical mistakes that hamper their ability to recover monetary compensation for their incurred damages. Therefore, knowing what mistakes to avoid after an auto accident is crucial to protect your legal rights.
Following a car accident, victims may make the mistake of not calling the police. In California, if anyone is injured or there is substantial property damage, the police must be notified. Failure to alert the police can result in significant consequences. Therefore, you must remain at the scene of the accident until the police have arrived at the accident scene. It is also important to wait for the police to file a police report. The police will collect valuable evidence through a police report to help you establish fault later.
Another common mistake accident victims make after an auto accident is refusing or delaying medical care. If you refuse or delay medical treatment, this action is dangerous to your health and can hurt your chances of your claim being approved. Insurance companies may deny your claim as they could argue that you were not injured as you did not require medical treatment or that you contributed to the severity of your injuries. Accident victims must mitigate the risk of further damage, such as seeking medical attention to ensure a speedy recovery. If they refuse or delay medical care, they can bear some degree of fault for their injuries.
Should I consult an attorney?
After an auto accident, it is crucial to seek the legal assistance of an experienced attorney. One accident victims’ most significant mistake is waiting too long to file their claim. In California, injury victims have two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit against a negligent party. Failure to meet this strict deadline will result in the absolute bar of recovery. Missing the deadline means accident victims relinquish their right to pursue legal action.
Furthermore, accident victims often make the mistake of not hiring an experienced attorney. Insurance adjusters usually approach victims quickly after an accident to offer them a lowball settlement before they’ve had a chance to learn how much they may be entitled to for their damages. An attorney can help negotiate on your behalf, investigate the circumstances of the collision, and collect evidence to help you prove your claim.
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, contact the Law Offices of Brian J. O’Grady, who can help ensure you file your claim within the correct time frame. Our firm is prepared to represent your interests today.