Last month, we published an article with a checklist of steps to take after a serious car or truck accident in Louisiana. This month, we’re focusing on the mistakes you need to avoid.
There are several mistakes you need to avoid after being seriously injured in a collision. Not only can these mistakes potentially limit the amount you are able to recover, but in some cases they can prevent you from recovering just compensation entirely. As a result, it is extremely important that you keep these mistakes in mind as you move forward.
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10 Costly Mistakes to Avoid After a Serious Collision in Louisiana
So, what should you not do after a serious car or truck accident in Louisiana? Here are 10 costly mistakes you should try to avoid:
1. Waiting to See a Doctor
If you are in pain after a car or truck accident, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Many types of traumatic injuries can get worse without proper treatment, and accidents can cause serious internal injuries that might not have symptoms you can see or feel. As a result, you should not assume that your pain is insignificant—even if you aren’t currently experiencing any other effects.
Seeing a doctor promptly is also important for protecting your legal rights. When you see a doctor promptly, your medical records will link your injuries to the accident, and this is critical for proving that you are entitled to just compensation.
2. Not Filling Your Prescriptions
If your doctor gives you any prescriptions, you should get them filled at the first available opportunity. When you have an insurance claim after a serious accident, the insurance companies will be looking for any excuse to blame you for your own costs. If you don’t fill your prescriptions, this will give the insurance companies the opportunity to say that you aren’t taking your injuries seriously and that you don’t deserve compensation for your pain and suffering.
3. Working if Your Doctor Tells You to Rest
With many types of traumatic injuries, rest is essential to recovery. If your doctor tells you that you need rest, you should rest. This includes staying home from work if necessary. While working through your pain might seem like the best thing to do, this can delay your recovery, and it can give the insurance companies another excuse to blame you for your own losses.
4. Failing to Report the Accident in a Timely Manner
When you are involved in an accident that results in personal injuries, you are required to report the accident to the police under Louisiana law. You must also report the accident to your insurance company. Failing to timely report an accident can lead to a variety of unnecessary challenges—so it is best to report the accident right away.
5. Giving a Recorded Statement to Your Insurance Company
When you report your accident to your insurance company, you should avoid giving a recorded statement. You do not have to give one; and, if you do, your insurance company will only use it against you. Simply state where and when the accident happened, provide the other driver’s insurance information (if you have it), and then let your representative know that your lawyer will be handling your claim from there.
6. Relying on the Insurance Companies’ Determination of Liability
Once you report your accident, the insurance company will (or, at least it should) investigate the accident promptly. Based on the outcome of its investigation, the insurance company will then make a determination of liability.
If the insurance company determines that you were fully or partially at fault, you should not accept this determination as final. Instead, you should rely on your lawyer to conduct an independent investigation, assess fault with your best interests in mind, and help you protect your legal rights.
7. Relying on the Insurance Companies’ Calculation of Your Damages
Just as you should not rely on the insurance company’s determination of liability, you also should not rely on the insurance company’s calculation of your damages. Unless and until you submit proof of your financial and non-financial costs (including the costs you will incur in the future), the insurance company has no way of knowing how much you are entitled to recover. Here, too, the insurance company is making decisions with its best interests in mind, and this means that it is trying to settle your claim for as little as possible.
8. Posting On Social Media
While your accident claim is pending, you should not post on social media. If you do, you will give the insurance companies another chance to use your own words (or photos) against you. Even if you aren’t posting about the accident, posting a photo of yourself on your feet or out of the house could be used as evidence that you aren’t doing everything you can to recover.
9. Settling Before You Know Your Long-Term Costs
One of the biggest mistakes you can make after a serious car or truck accident is settling before you know your long-term costs. From medical bills to lost earnings, serious injuries can be incredibly expensive. Louisiana law allows for recovery of damages for future pain and suffering as well—and, if you settle before you know how much you are entitled to recover, you won’t get a second chance.
10. Trying to Handle Your Accident Claim on Your Own
Finally, when you are dealing with serious injuries from a car or truck accident, you should not try to handle your accident claim on your own. There are too many risks, and there is no reason not to hire a lawyer. You can hire a lawyer to handle your claim at no out-of-pocket cost; and, with contingency-fee representation, you pay nothing at all unless you win.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation in Alexandria, LA
Have you been seriously injured in a car or truck accident in Louisiana? If so, we strongly encourage you to contact us for more information. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call 318-413-6660 or tell us how we can reach you online today.