Important myths and truths to know about auto accidents, and what happens in their aftermath.
Myth # 1: If the Accident is Minor, the Parties Don’t Need to Exchange Information or Call the Police
TRUTH: Every auto accident, from a small fender bender to a 5-car pileup, needs to be reported to both the police and insurance companies. Failure to do so can hinder any future settlement negotiations.
Myth #2: You Have No Obvious Injuries, So You’re Not Hurt.
TRUTH: Auto accident related injuries aren’t always obvious on the surface and can often take days, weeks, or months to become apparent. Just because you have no initial cuts, bruises, scrapes, or pain, doesn’t mean you won’t develop related injuries in the future. Seek immediate medical attention after an auto accident, and follow up with any treatments your doctor may recommend.
Myth #3: Citation = Fault
TRUTH: Police officers don’t necessarily determine fault. They make observations, ask questions, and create a report. They might even cite one of the drivers with a traffic ticket. But ultimately, and especially in a personal injury case, insurance companies and attorneys will battle over the percentage of liability (fault). Don’t forget, even if you are partially at fault, you may still be able to receive compensation for injuries sustained.
Myth #4: Insurance Will Cover Everything
TRUTH: Unfortunately, there is no such thing as one “full coverage” policy, so there is no guarantee insurance will cover all the damage of an auto accident. Making sure you at least have liability, collision, and comprehensive policies will enhance your chances of greater coverage. It’s also a good idea to have underinsured and uninsured coverage, to protect you from the drivers with little to no insurance.
Myth #5: You Must Give the Insurance Company a Recorded Statement
TRUTH: You absolutely do NOT have to do this, though insurance companies are masterfully skilled into convincing you to do so. Such a statement can be used against you during your settlement/litigation. If the other driver’s insurance company keeps hounding you for a recorded statement, contact an attorney immediately.
Myth #6: You Can Handle the Whole Settlement on Your Own
TRUTH: Insurance companies have teams of experienced adjusters, investigators, and lawyers trying to settle your case for as little money as possible. If you hire legal representation, you are more likely to receive a higher settlement than if you attempt to handle the case on your own.
If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you should always consult with an attorney to see what your options are. Don’t let false information prevent you from receiving compensation for your injury. Consult with an experienced attorney such as the car accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ locals trust.
Thanks to our authors at Kamper Estrada for their insight into Personal Injury Law.