Biggest Mistakes to Avoid in DC Auto Accident Cases

If you have been involved in an auto accident and are considering filing a claim, here are the mistakes you need to avoid according to a DC auto accident lawyer. To discuss your case in more detail call today and schedule a free consultation.

Not Going to a Doctor Immediately

Sometimes people think that they can grin and bear the pain or problem they’re having and don’t need to go to a doctor right away. That’s not good because you have the defendant and insurance company on the other side attempting to use that against them. 

If they didn’t get treatment right away, then they’re not that injured, or if they haven’t documented a body part that has been injured, then it’s not related to the claim. So it doesn’t benefit the client to delay going for medical treatment when they have injuries or symptoms that they are suffering. They need to document it, they need to seek help so that there’s a consistent course of treatment and that the injury is established from the beginning of the case to be the cause of the symptoms that they’ve been experiencing.

Talking to the Insurance Company 

They should not talk to the insurance company. People want to be cooperative and they think that this is just going to be a very objective process and the insurance company will do the right thing. Many people get burned by that and they learn the hard way that the insurance company is not representing them, they are not there for them, they are not there to do them any favors, and, in fact, just the opposite: that they are trying to gather information for purposes of using it against them and in favor of their own client.

Admitting Fault

One of the biggest mistakes to avoid after a DC car accident is admitting fault. A person involved in a motor vehicle collision typically will get out of their vehicle and approach the other driver and, either as a matter of course or to be polite or for any number of reasons, simply says they are sorry.

This can be taken to mean that the person was sorry that the situation occurred or that damage had ensued because of this situation. This is something that happens repeatedly, but it is not dispositive of the issue of liability.

However, if there is a question as to who is at fault and, ultimately, that case is tried before a jury, then the jury will undoubtedly hear that the first words out of this person’s mouth were that they were sorry. It will be up to the jury to infer what was meant by that statement, and whether it was the admission of some liability.

Not Getting a Police Report

Another area of concern is not having the police come to the scene. Maybe they don’t call the police and it’s just the two of them involved in the accident and it’s word against word, and later on down the line the person that would ordinarily be considered at fault has had the opportunity to think about things and may change the story to come up with some other version. So it’s important to document things on the scene.

Not Following The Treatment Plan of the Providers

And the most important thing is for the client to follow the treatment plan of the medical providers, to have coordinated care, and to follow through with what is recommended, no matter what kind of case it is. In other words, the client has to be aware that they have to look out for their own interest. No one else in the process is going to do that except themselves, and an attorney they hire on to represent them. And the sooner they hire the attorney the better their interests are protected.

Waiting to Contact An Attorney

It is always a mistake not to contact an attorney. If the person cannot get to the attorney, then most attorneys will be willing to go to the client.

Legal consultation can provide valuable information to the injured person even if the injured person does not retain that particular attorney. It is always advisable to consult with an attorney before any decisions are made. 

The best time to contact an attorney is immediately.  Before information or witnesses or evidence is lost, it is best to consult with and retain an attorney so that this information can be preserved.