Getting into a car accident is scary, and so is deciding how to proceed after the accident. Should you accept the insurance company's settlement offer? Reach out to an attorney? Contact the person who hit you? Sadly, many people believe some common car accident legality myths that cause them to take the wrong actions following a collision. So that you do not suffer the same fate, take a look at a few of these myths.
Myth: If the insurance offer covers your costs, you should not sue.
You might figure that as long as the insurance company's offer covers the cost of your medical bills and lost wages, there's no reason to file a lawsuit against the driver or their insurance company. But this is not always the case. Insurance claims do not usually account for pain and suffering. If you were badly injured and the accident caused you to suffer a great deal, either physically or mentally, you may want to file an insurance claim to seek compensation for your pain and suffering.
To file a lawsuit against the other driver or their insurance company, it's important that you do not accept the insurance offer. Most insurance offers come with the stipulation that in accepting the offer, you are agreeing not to take legal action. Take the offer to the attorney; they will review your situation and tell you whether you have a valid personal injury case to seek additional compensation.
Myth: If you did not seek medical treatment right away, it won't be covered.
It is true that your best move is always to seek medical treatment immediately after an accident. This is because when you wait, it is harder to prove that your injuries were sustained during the accident and not afterwards. However, you should not take this to mean that if you delayed medical treatment, there is no hope of getting it covered.
Just be vigilant in gathering evidence of your injuries and the fact that they did occur during the accident. Ask the doctor you visit to mention the accident in their medical reports, call your insurance company to report your pain and injury as soon as you notice it, and keep a diary of how your injury progresses. If you end up filing a lawsuit, these pieces of evidence can be used to prove to the judge that your injuries were sustained during the accident.
Myth #3: The process of filing an auto accident lawsuit is so long and drawn out that it's not worth it.
So many accident victims avoid taking legal action because they don't want to be in and out of the courtroom for years to come. But while it is possible that your case could involve many years of intricate work and court hearings, it is very unlikely. Most cases are settled out of court before they even reach a judge. Your lawyer and the defendant's lawyer will negotiate and arrive at a settlement offer that satisfies both parties. For instance, you may ask for $600,000 in compensation, they might offer $500,000, and you and your lawyer may agree that amount is fair. This usually takes months rather than years, and since there is usually a pretty big settlement involved, it is well worth the time and effort.
If you have been injured in an accident, always consult with an attorney before accepting an insurance offer, contacting the other driver, or making any other moves. What you think you know about car accident cases may not be true, but your lawyer can offer valuable guidance to make sure you make the right choices. For more information, contact a local lawyer like Teresa P Williams.