Mistake # 1 : Failure to Call the Police
Failure to call the police will kill your car accident injury claim. Say goodbye to receiving compensation for your medical bills or compensation for your permanent injuries. Why is this the first mistake of all mistakes people make in a car accident case? While documenting the car collision with taking pictures on your cell phone is always a good idea, a formal documentation by the police department with adequate information will always be the go to for insurance companies. Documentation is also especially important when the other driver happens to be uninsured, as your own insurance will want proof of this to provide you with your uninsured motorist benefits.
Furthermore, leaving the scene of a car collision where there is property damage is a Class C Misdemeanor. Calling the police on scene can insure that the other driver will most likely stick around so you can obtain their information.
Even calling 911 to document the accident, letting the dispatcher know the other person’s name, license plate driver license number will help significantly.
Mistake # 2: Not Seeking Immediate Medical Attention.
Don’t be the tough guy who doesn’t think they need to receive immediate medical attention after a collision. This can end up being a regrettable mistake people make in car accident cases. Granted, don’t’ take an ambulance to the ER room for anything. Yet, you should follow-up with your family practice medical doctor for a solid head to toe medical examination and proper medical record documentation soon after the accident. Once those injuries do present themselves later on from the impact, they were documented from day one, in which the insurance companies will have a harder time denying the cause of your injuries.
There is nothing wrong with taking a day on moderate to minor injuries to see if they will go away before seeing your family practice doctor. However, waiting even one month and then deciding to document your injuries that you have been fighting the entire time can be detrimental to your case. Document your injuries, just in case they turn into something more serious later on.
Remember, without proper medical documentation of your Utah car accident injuries, it is as if they never existed as far as insurance adjusters are concerned.
Mistake # 3: Gaps in your Medical Treatment.
Just like waiting to see the doctor too long for the initial visit after a collision, a mistake people can make in car accident cases is also having large gaps in your medical care. If you decide to stop physical therapy for two months, the insurance carrier will claim you did not sustain any serious injury, because if had you actually been injured you would have continued with regular medical treatment. As there may be some truth to this defense from the insurance adjuster, unfortunately, the adjuster will also most likely not care if your reasoning for pausing or stopping treatment had to do with car issues, family emergencies, or simply not having the money to pay for the medical treatment.
However, If you have a legitimate reason for your gap in medical treatment, your medical provider should note the issue in your medical records for the insurance company to read. You will most likely need to insist they note your struggles and then follow-up with the records to see if it was documented as requested.
Mistake # 4: Not Following Doctor’s Orders.
A great way to communicate to the insurance company that you are not hurt is to disregard your doctor’s recommendations. If you disagree with your doctors recommendations, have your doctor document that in the treatment records. If you agree to 20 sessions of physical therapy, make sure follow through. Self-discharging because you feel you can is one of the major mistakes people make in car accident cases. In a case like this you could be your own worst enemy. If you agree that your doctor’s home exercises are appropriate, then do them regularly. Take your medication as prescribed, not as you want to. In the event of a trial, or your deposition if your case enters litigation, it can ruin your case if it comes off that you were not serious about getting better.
Mistake # 5: Thinking You Can’t Afford Medical Treatment.
A tragic mistake people make in car accident cases, is not seeking appropriate medical care due to the fact they don’t have the money to afford the medical treatment. This often happens with the working poor who don’t have private health insurance. A good Utah personal injury attorney can help you obtain medical care so you first and foremost get better, but also most likely obtain compensation.
Mistake # 6: Seeing the Wrong Specialist.
If you are seeing a chiropractor for your foot injury, you will be receiving treatment from a medical professional who does not qualify in the eyes of an insurance adjuster. Seeing the right type of doctor for your injuries is critical. Insurance companies look down on chiropractors who treat elbow injuries because they are not qualified in elbows. Instead you have your elbow evaluated by a physical therapist or orthopedic physician.
Likewise, physical therapists can diagnosis a head injury, or even treat a mild traumatic brain injuries. But the better treatment is by a neuropsychologist or neurologist. Chiropractors are experts in spinal muscle skeletal diagnosis and treatment. They should diagnosis all injuries to other body parts, but then refer out to specialists when needed. Don’t be make the mistake people make in car accidents by not receiving the treatment by the appropriate specialist, which you should have done in the first place for your health.
Mistake # 7: Waiting to Get an MRI.
The rule is to get an MRI earlier, rather than later when it comes to documenting your Utah car accident injuries. When you wait to get an MRI later, it is reason to give the insurance carrier an excuse to say that something else hurt you other than the accident. The longer you wait, the harder it is medically to determine what caused your injuries.
Mistake # 8: Not Contacting a Personal Injury Attorney.
Hesitating to contact a Utah personal injury attorney early after the car collision can be a mistake people make in car accident cases. This is because an attorney can help guide you through the wide maze of insurance. Good personal injury attorney regularly practice car accidents cases and will have been down this road before, start to finish, over and over again. Trying to navigate the world of insurance by yourself without specialized knowledge will lead you into one of the several insurance traps you don’t want to find yourself in.
Understanding the interplay with policy stacking, PIP benefits, how to apply for first party benefits, the UIM exhaustion rule and many more issues are best handled by an experienced personal injury attorney.
Mistake # 9: Not Choosing a Jury Trial Attorney.
When selecting your personal injury attorney to represent you in your Utah insurance claim, the first question to them should be “ when was your last jury trial?” Hiring a Utah attorney who does not have the skill, experience or money to try a personal injury case one of the mistakes people make in car accident cases. Why? You may end up needing to file in civil court to force the insurance to pay your medical bills.
Hiring an attorney or law firm that doesn’t have the financial resources to hire the best expert witnesses is also a problem. Utah personal injury cases cost money to litigate and those costs are fronted by the personal injury attorneys. Small firms, or firms that only do one or two cases per year generally will not have the resources to carry expert witness costs.
Insurance companies know which attorneys will try a lawsuit and which personal injury attorneys will always settle before the jury trial. Those attorney who always settle receive less compensation, than that of personal injury attorneys who try lawsuits.
Mistake # 10: Accepting Settlement Too Soon.
It is common practice for car insurance companies to mail you a check with a release for $1,500 and call it good, hoping you will take it. People who make mistakes in car accidents, wish they had talked to a Utah personal injury attorney to evaluate the real value of the injury claim, which is often three times what they initially offer.
Mistake # 11: Giving the Insurance Company a Medical Release.
You have no obligation to give the at-fault insurance carrier a medical release so they can look at every single medical treatment record since your birth. One purpose of obtaining a medical release is to help the at-fault carrier obtain the correct records to evaluate and adjust the claim. Often people without Utah personal injury attorneys have difficult times obtaining the correct records needed by the adjuster to make an offer. Other times the medical release can be used to fish for pre-existing injuries or other causes of the subject injuries.
Mistake # 12: Allowing an Adjuster Interview with the other Insurance Company.
You have not duty to give an adjuster interview to the at-fault insurance company. Although, you may want to give an interview to speed up the claims adjustment process, but that is a decision you may want make with an attorney. The time of the interview is up to you, not the adverse insurance company.
THE IDEAL WAY TO HANDLE YOUR UTAH CAR ACCIDENT INSURANCE CLAIM
–Hire a Utah personal injury attorney early to handle your Utah car accident personal injury claim.
–Seek appropriate medical documentation early, not later. Receiving an early head to toe diagnosis is critical.
–Seek the right type of doctor for your injuries.
Don’t get stuck by the mistakes people make in car accidents. If you have been in a Utah car accident, call Utah personal injury attorney Jake Gunter at for a free consultation.