- October 24, 2023
- Car Accidents
The aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming, between seeking treatment for your injuries and making a legal claim. The steps you take after your accident are essential, however. In fact, they can significantly help or hurt your car accident claim.
Avoiding common mistakes after your collision is crucial if you want to increase your chances of recovering your losses. In addition to hiring an experienced Kansas car accident attorney, it is important that you know what to do and what not to do after your accident. Avoiding the following five common mistakes when filing your car accident claim can give you the best chance of receiving maximum compensation for your injuries and other losses.
Common Mistake 1 – Not Filing a Police Report Immediately After Your Car Accident
It is important that you call the police or 911 at the time of your car accident. According to Kansas law, you are required to report your accident immediately if any of the following circumstances applies to your accident:
- A person involved in the accident was injured or killed.
- There is at least $1,000 in property damage as a result of the collision.
- The driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident is not present at the scene or in a condition to exchange contact and liability insurance information.
The consequences of failing to file an accident report can vary. First, you may face legal penalties, including fines, prison time, or revocation of your driving privileges. Second, you can hinder your car accident claim.
Hurting Your Car Accident Claim
Choosing not to file an accident report can hinder your car accident claim because the information contained in police reports can be used to support your assertions. For example, the sections regarding violations charged and substance use can corroborate your liability allegations. The areas concerning injury severity and vehicle damage can back up your personal injury claims.
Common Mistake 2 – Failing to Collect Evidence at the Scene of Your Car Accident
The more evidence you can gather at the scene of your car accident, the better. If you are medically able, you should take photos of the scene and get contact information for any witnesses to your accident. Having photos and witness information will make it difficult for the responsible party or insurance companies to dispute your claims.
Once the accident scene has been cleared, some of the proof that supports your claim will be gone. Focus on getting photos of the locations of the vehicles involved, skid marks or vehicle parts, and the conditions of the scene. Also, take photos of any injuries you may have suffered in the accident.
Taking photos of the accident scene can also help you remember details about your car accident later in your claims process. The photos may help you provide accurate information to your personal injury lawyer and testify honestly and confidently in a deposition or at trial. Preserving evidence relating to your collision will help your accident claim.
Common Mistake 3 – Not Seeking Medical Treatment Right Away
You should seek medical care as soon as possible after your car accident, even if you do not feel pain immediately. You may have internal injuries that are not visible, or your heightened adrenaline may be masking your pain. Obtaining medical attention as soon as possible can help your Kansas car accident attorney demonstrate the validity of your injury claim.
It is also important to see a medical professional right away because you only have two years to file a personal injury claim for negligence in Kansas. Insurance companies will often try to convince a judge or jury that your injuries were pre-existing, caused by something other than your collision, or are not severe enough to collect compensation for. Having documentation of your injuries from the time of your accident will make it easier for your personal injury lawyer to substantiate your injuries.
When you see a doctor or therapist for your collision injuries, be sure to save copies of your medical records and bills. Send them to your car accident lawyer so they can keep an accurate record of your medical expenses and treatment. They will use these documents to support your claim for damages.
Common Mistake 4 – Giving a Statement to the Insurance Company
After a car accident in Kansas, you must seek action from your own insurance company first. This is because Kansas is considered a no-fault state. Even if you were not at fault for your accident, your insurance company is responsible for compensating you for your damages before the responsible party’s insurance is.
The Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance policy you are required to have provides payment for your medical bills up to your policy limit. If your damages exceed that limit, the at-fault party’s insurance company may be responsible for paying the rest of your losses. You must also rely on the other party’s insurance company to compensate you for your pain, suffering, and emotional distress. PIP coverage will not cover non-economic damages.
Because the compensation for your losses is largely dependent upon either your insurance company or the responsible party’s insurance, it is important that you do not provide them with a statement. If you inadvertently say something that hurts your claim, it becomes difficult to support your case. Insurance companies want to settle your claim for as little money as possible and will use any opportunity they can to use your statement against you, so it is imperative that you direct the insurance companies to speak to your accident attorney.
Common Mistake 5 – Not Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney After Your Car Accident
If you have been injured in a car accident, your focus should be on recovering. The intricacies of filing a car accident claim in Kansas can be stressful and challenging. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer can relieve the pressure of fighting against insurance companies and other attorneys trained to dispute your claims.
One of the first steps you should take after your car accident is to consult with a skilled car accident attorney who can take charge of your case from the beginning. They will investigate your claim, determine what damages you are entitled to, and begin putting together the evidence to support your assertions. They know the tactics insurance companies use to try to minimize your damages and are prepared to negotiate with them to get you the maximum amount of compensation possible.
The car accident claims process is complex and is certain to be a challenge for you to handle on your own. Collecting evidence that supports your claim, negotiating with experienced insurance companies, and litigating your case can quickly become overwhelming. One procedural mistake or inaccurate statement can destroy your entire claim and ruin your chances of receiving compensation for your losses.
What to Do if You Have Already Made a Mistake in Your Car Accident Claim
If you have already made one of these common mistakes, or any other, when filing your car accident claim, do not panic. It may not be too late to fix it. A skilled personal injury lawyer can review your claim and the actions taken to date and work to fix any errors already made.
The best way to know if your mistake is fixable is to consult with a car accident attorney as soon as possible. It is important to be honest with them. Succeeding in proving your accident claim and recovering damages on your behalf is their goal – they are on your side.
Stop all communications regarding your car accident claim immediately and reach out to a qualified lawyer. They are familiar with the laws in Kansas, and the car accident claims process. They can investigate your accident, review the evidence, and take over discussions with the insurance companies and other opposing parties to fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
How Palmer Law Group Can Help with Your Car Accident Claim
The car accident attorneys at Palmer Law Group have considerable experience negotiating with insurance companies and attorneys who represent negligent drivers. We have proven results, recovering over $1,000,000 for our valued clients. Hiring our personal injury lawyers is one of the best steps you can take in recovering the most for your losses.
From the moment you retain us as your car accident lawyer, we will fight for your rights and your best interests. We will investigate your claim, gather supporting evidence, and communicate with the insurance companies and opposing parties on your behalf. While we will work diligently to get you the highest compensation for your losses as quickly as possible, we are not afraid to try your case in court if necessary.
Contact the award-winning personal injury lawyers at Palmer Law Group today. We will work hard to provide you with personalized guidance and assistance in filing your car accident claim. Call us at (785) 233-1836 to schedule a free consultation and to discuss how to maximize your chances of recovery after your car accident.