Being involved in a car crash is a terrible experience. If you have sustained serious injuries as the result of an accident, it can be difficult to know what to do next. While you’re concentrating on getting better, the insurance company is trying to figure out how to get out of paying you the money you deserve. Most people assume that if they’re seriously injured the insurance company will do the right thing. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Here are the top three ways to protect yourself when you are injured in a car accident.
If you’re hurt…
- DO go to a hospital or see a doctor as soon as possible.
- DON’T try to tough it out!
The insurance company is looking to pay as little money as possible for your injury claim. They are in the business of making money, not giving it away. An insurance adjuster is looking for any reason to refuse to pay. Many car accident victims try to tough out their injuries, hoping they will get better on their own. But what if you try this, and you only get worse? If more than a week or so has passed since your crash, you might have a hard time getting the insurance company to even believe you’re injured. They will say if you were hurt, you would have seen a doctor sooner.
- DO report all of your injuries to your doctor.
- DON’T just focus on only one injury if you are hurt in multiple places.
When you go to the hospital or see a doctor after your accident, be sure to report all of the injuries you sustained in the crash. Before they will pay any money for your injury claim, the insurance company has a right to review the records from your medical treatment. If you don’t report an injury to a specific body part until several weeks or even months after the accident occurred, the insurance company is going to question whether or not the car crash really caused that injury. Of course, it makes sense that if your most serious injury involves debilitating neck pain, you are going to focus on that more than on your other injuries such as your knee pain. But as time goes on and your neck heals, maybe your knee keeps giving you trouble. If you didn’t initially report your knee injury, the insurance company is going to fight you on it.
- DO continue seeking treatment until you are healed.
- DON’T settle your claim until you are well.
The insurance company will want to wrap up your claim as soon as possible. This will mean pushing you to finish treatment and settle your case right away. If you sign a release and settle your case, you are giving up your right to ever pursue a claim for your accident injuries again. If you settle your claim right away and find later that you’re still injured, there is no way to receive additional compensation for your injuries. If you are going to settle your claim, make sure you are well before you sign a release, or you will never be able to be compensated for any later medical bills or pain and suffering.
To learn more about how the insurance company operates, read Ty’s article, What You Need to Know About to Insurance Adjusters.
Ty Wilson is an Atlanta personal injury attorney and a Savannah personal injury attorney who strives to provide the injured with as much information as possible to better help them understand their claim. Call Ty at 1-866-937-5454 to get his FREE book, 10 Secrets of Georgia Car Wreck Claims or to speak to Ty about your claim.