Just as there are steps that you should take after getting into a car accident in Nebraska, there are also things that you should not do. Avoiding common mistakes is just as important as saying and doing the correct things after a car accident. A single misstep could hurt your ability to recover fair financial compensation for your medical bills and property repairs. Watch out for these mistakes if you get involved in an auto accident in Omaha.
Failing to Call 911
Nebraska law makes it mandatory to call the police immediately to report any motor vehicle accident that causes injuries, deaths or at least $1,000 worth of property damage. Failing to call 911 from the scene of a car accident can significantly hurt your claim. An auto insurance company relies on the information and evidence that a police accident report contains. The failure to call the police and obtain an accident report – especially when state law requires you to do so – won’t be viewed favorably by an insurer, making it more difficult to collect a fair settlement. Always call the police after a car accident in Omaha, big or small.
Never say you’re sorry to the other driver or admit to causing the crash. While you should be polite to the other driver involved in your accident, apologizing can be misconstrued as an admittance of guilt. Do not admit fault to the other driver, the police or an insurance representative. Admitting fault can place the blame on you even before a car accident investigation, taking away your ability to recover compensation.
Underestimating Your Injuries
It is common for a car accident victim to underestimate the extent of his or her injuries immediately after the crash, as adrenaline can mask pain. Do not answer any questions about your injuries until you have been to a doctor. Otherwise, you may downplay your injuries and unintentionally reduce the value of your car accident claim.
Not Going to a Doctor
Failing to go to a doctor or hospital after a car accident can significantly reduce your odds of obtaining fair financial compensation for your injuries and related bills. Car insurance companies generally require proof of your car accident injuries in the form of medical records and supporting documents, such as letters from a doctor.
Failing to get professional medical care after a car accident will mean no official injury diagnosis on the record, giving an insurance company a reason to reject your claim. If you wait too long to see a doctor or fail to follow your treatment plan, this can also hurt your car accident claim, as the insurance company may argue that you failed to mitigate your injuries with proper medical care.
Trusting the Insurance Company
During a car accident insurance claim, it is important to realize that the insurance company you are dealing with will always put itself and its profits above you. When speaking to an insurance claims adjuster or representative, keep your responses short and do not offer any information that is not specifically requested. Do not agree to give a recorded statement and never sign anything sent to you by the insurance company. Do not accept the first settlement offer, as it may not be adequate for your past and future losses. Instead, bring the offer to an attorney for a case review that you can trust.
The car insurance claims process can be confusing – especially if the insurance company is attempting to save money on your payout by mishandling your claim. Representing yourself rather than hiring a car accident lawyer in Omaha could be a critical error. This is particularly true if the defendant you are going up against is a large or powerful party, such as a trucking company or major corporation. Consult with an attorney as soon as possible after a car accident for professional assistance with the claims process.