Being involved in a crash, even a seemingly minor one, can become complicated. If you have never filed a car accident claim before, you may not be fully aware of the legal options available to you.
There are some myths surrounding car accident claims that insurance companies may take advantage of. Playing into these myths can harm your ability to pursue a fair and strong legal claim.
Here are common car accident claim myths to watch out for.
1. You must have sustained a serious injury to file a claim
No two injuries are alike. Some injuries may seem minor at first or may not produce any immediate symptoms. Whiplash, mild traumatic brain injuries, hairline fractures and soft tissue injuries often worsen over time. You may not feel any pain immediately after a crash, but pain and discomfort may set in days later.
It's important to get medical attention promptly after a crash. Your doctor can identify your injuries early on and provide the right treatment before it worsens. In addition, your medical evaluation would be documented and can support your claim.
2. You must talk to the insurance company of the other driver
If you were involved in a crash, you will be contacted by the other driver's insurance company. Insurance companies want to talk to you and record the phone call in order to use your statements against you. You may unknowingly admit to fault, which can harm your ability to obtain compensation.
You must report your crash to your own insurance company, but it's important to keep your comments to a minimum. If you are contacted by the other driver's insurance company, simply decline to speak to them. Instead, speak to an experienced Alabama car accident attorney who can do the talking on your behalf.
3. You can only be reimbursed for financial losses
Not all car accident losses are financial. If you have suffered ongoing physical pain, emotional anguish or mental trauma, you can be compensated beyond financial losses.
You can also be compensated for punitive damages if your crash was caused by reckless behavior, such as road rage, aggressive driving or drunk driving. Punitive damages don't necessarily reimburse you for any crash-related losses, but rather, punishes the at-fault driver.
4. The at-fault driver's insurance company will pick up all costs
You should never trust the at-fault driver's insurance company. They may come across as friendly and helpful in the beginning, but they have no interest in compensating you. In fact, they will find any reason to downplay or deny your claim.
Even if they compensate you, it will likely only be a small fraction of your medical costs, wage losses and other damages. That's why you need an experienced Alabama car accident attorney on your side who can negotiate for a fair settlement.
To find out how, contact Dean Waite & Associates, LLC or call our Mobile office at 866-434-5840. We offer free, confidential case evaluations.