If you have been involved in a car accident in Houston or anywhere around Texas, you should know that you will be dealing with insurance companies. Be aware that insurance companies are in the business of collecting profit and will engage in tactics to minimize, delay, or deny your claim altogether. Insurance companies are only out to protect themselves; that is why you must hire a car accident attorney to help protect your interests and fight for your rights so that you can claim the compensation you are owed.
Joe I. Zaid & Associates are here to protect your rights; give us a call at (281) 990-5200 to schedule a free consultation so that we can immediately get started on your case.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
To have a successful car accident claim, you need to follow these steps:
- File a police report; make sure you and all passengers are included in the report.
- Seek medical attention immediately.
- Be consistent with your treatment.
- Mention all areas of pain.
- Don’t downsize your pain.
- Don’t be afraid to receive the proper treatment.
- Beware of “friendly” insurance adjusters.
- Don’t wait to file a claim.
File a Police Report
This is the first and one of the most critical steps you need to take. Call the police and file a report with them. Let them know what occurred and the parties involved. This report is crucial when filing a successful car accident claim. If there were any witnesses at the scene of the accident, get all their contact details.
Don’t forget to take photos and videos of the accident scene and your injuries, these are crucial evidence when filing a claim.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Even if you are not feeling any symptoms right after the crash, you should still seek medical attention because the adrenaline you are experiencing may hinder your ability to address any symptoms. Furthermore, if you wish to file a claim, you need a medical record stating that the injuries you sustained were the cause of the accident. Failure to do so will jeopardize your claim, and you will not be able to recover any compensation for your damages.
Be consistent With Your Treatment
Your attorney can help get you the treatment to avoid diminishing your claim. If you stop your treatment, the insurance company will evaluate and offer a low settlement. Also, it is best to continue your treatment for your safety and health.
Mention All Areas of Pain
Even if you have slight pain, you should still mention all your injuries because you did not have those injuries before the accident. Let your doctor know of all the areas of pain you are experiencing so that they can be recorded into your statement. Failure to mention all areas of pain may cause severe issues in the long run. Your attorney can, in turn, use this evidence to get you the compensation you deserve. Also, insurance companies will state that your injuries were sustained by something unrelated to the accident, which can deeply hurt your claim, so that is why you should mention all areas of pain as soon as possible.
Don’t Downsize Your Pain
Some people are afraid to mention the injuries’ severity for fear that the doctor may recommend surgery or injections. If you are experiencing severe pain, but minimal pain is recorded, the insurance company will consider that, and the offer will be low. Also, lying to your attorney and the doctor will hurt your case.
Don’t be Afraid to Receive The Right Treatment
MRIs are critical evidence to prove your injuries after a car accident. If you refuse to take an MRI, you risk having the insurance company claim that you aren’t injured. They believe that you will receive treatment if you are genuinely injured since no one wants to be in pain.
If you have to get surgery or injections, your insurance company is obligated to pay for those expenses.
Beware of Friendly Insurance Adjusters
Insurance adjusters are trained to benefit themselves and offer a meager settlement. They may seem friendly, but they are not your friend and do not have your best interest. It may be tempting to accept the insurance companies offer, but the offer will be a lot lower than you expect and will not be enough to cover all your damages. Always consult with your attorney before talking with an insurance company.
Why You Should Not Speak With an Insurance Company
Do not speak with the at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster. Instead, you should have your lawyer deal with the insurance company. It is also best to have your lawyer deal with your insurance company on your behalf.
Here are four reasons why you should not speak with an insurance company:
- Everything you say matters
- What you say about what happened at the accident scene matters
- What you say about your injuries matters
- Anything you say about your past health matters
Your choice of words matters because the insurance company could say that you were also at fault for the accident and say that the injuries you sustained were injuries you had before the accident. The insurance company might also ask you to sign a medical release document, say that your injuries are not fully covered, and will offer a meager settlement. That is why it is crucial to have your attorney speak with the insurance company to negotiate on your behalf.
Never accept a settlement offer or speak to the insurance company without your attorney present because once you accept the offer, you case closes and you will not be able to bring the claim against the at fault party in the furture.
Don’t Wait to File a Claim
Consulting with our attorneys is free, and you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case. Even if you are not sure you need to open a claim, it is still best to consult with our attorneys as they know the best treatment you need. Our job is to keep you safe and offer the best course of treatment while we handle the legal aspect of your case. Moreover, you severely reduce your chances of recovering anything for your injuries and damages the longer you wait to file a claim.
The sooner you contact us the more likely you are to receive the best treatment, a better settlement offer, and a smooth recovery process.