“I was in a car accident recently. I already gave the insurance adjuster a statement and have not hired a personal injury attorney yet.”
Q- “Have I messed up my case?”
A- YES, NO, MAYBE…DEPENDS!
You, like most people in your situation, have been through a traumatic event. Maybe the accident was relatively minor, maybe you felt no immediate pain after the accident or maybe you just wanted to get your car fixed and get on with your life? You are not alone, most people dread having to deal with all these inconveniences and it just makes life messy.
So what did you do after the accident? You probably exchanged insurance information with the other party in the accident and then thought more about getting your car fixed. It is common for people to be more concerned for their car than they are for themselves. Many people think in terms of missing work and the inconvenience of doctors’ visits, in addition to the hassle and stress of dealing with insurance companies. “I just want to get it over with! What do I have to do to move past this quickly?” If you have thought anything like this and acted accordingly you probably already gave a statement on the phone or in person to an insurance adjuster. This statement is a slick tool that the insurance industry uses to discredit you and make light of any subsequent complaints you might have in relation to your claim.
Well, now a few days have passed and your neck is sore, you cannot sleep and you have some numbness in your arm (or similar symptoms). In your statement you already stated that you were fine and not worried about any injuries. What to do?can a statement to an insurance company ruin your case?
Once the insurance company has taken this statement, likely digitally recorded, they may use your earlier version of your physical condition statements against you. It is human nature to want to explain ourselves, especially to those who make us feel that they are there to help and expedite the claims process, we say much more than we intended and sometimes things that are said in open honesty can be used against us as the claim progresses.
STOP TALKING to anyone about your claim or injuries NOW!
Most people do not feel the physical effects of a car accident immediately, some injuries take weeks or even months to manifest themselves. In this situation, continued communication with an insurance adjuster will only serve to diminish your claim. The insurance industry is built on the premise of maximum premiums in and minimum payments out. Stop talking about what you are going through to all but your doctor.
SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION and seek it NOW!
If you have pain attributed to your recent car accident you need to get yourself looked at and treated. There are many types of doctors for many types of pain, ask a friend or family member or even your primary care provider for a referral to a doctor who specializes in automobile personal injury accidents. You are not a doctor, and if you were you should not treat yourself, so get yourself to someone who understands the components of car accident injuries.
DOCUMENT YOUR PAIN and do it starting NOW!
Pain is a very subjective thing to describe. You are the one feeling what you feel and it is important for you to keep a pain journal, a place to write down how this event has affected you and your life. This journal will be very helpful to your medical providers as well as in the future for you to refer to as the claim may progress. Be realistic, do not exaggerate and make things up, this is for your physical and mental benefit, not for your memoirs.
CONSULT WITH A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY, and yes, you guessed it, do it NOW!
A competent personal injury lawyer is one skilled all aspects of the claims process. A good personal injury attorney understands both the business side of the insurance company and the legal options that are yours to explorer. These legal professionals, especially those who specialize in the PI field, understand how to mitigate what has been said in the original statement, and work it to your benefit. It is imperative that you place all of your trust in your attorney, be confident in his recommendations and follow them carefully. The great personal injury attorneys are not there to take advantage of the system and help you scam an insurance claim. The best personal injury lawyers are concerned with your wellbeing, first and foremost, and the claim will take care of itself.
Claim values vary and each case is different, so each outcome is different. Once a competent personal injury attorney is at the helm of your case, you can concentrate on your job; getting well and getting on with your life. If you need any help, please do not hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help.