Insurance Following a Bethesda Car Accident

After an auto accident, there are many things an individual suddenly has to worry about. It can be easy to get lost in the complexity of filing a claim, and an individual can sometimes make harmful mistakes that could affect the settlement of their claim. In order to avoid such mistakes, especially those dealing with insurance companies, you should contact an experienced attorney immediately after a car accident in Bethesda.

Mistake 1: Talking to the Other Driver’s Insurance

Giving recorded statements to the other driver’s insurance company following an accident is not advisable. The insurance company is not entitled to it, and there is no reason to do it. The purpose of taking the statement is not to help the individual involved in the accident, but to potentially help the insurance company for the party at-fault.

Normally, the insurance companies will try to contact the other parties involved in an accident, so that they can memorialize the situation before they know what is going on. Insurance companies do this for their own purpose, and to potentially help the outcome rule in their favor. Talking to the other party’s insurance company is one of the biggest insurance mistakes an individual can make in the aftermath of their Bethesda car accident.

People tend to think that being cooperative with the insurance company will help wrap things up; that the insurance company will do the right thing, that it will resolve the situation in their favor, and that everything is straightforward. That thinking is how many people get into trouble unwittingly. It can potentially affect the outcome of their case, especially by not knowing their rights upfront. People do not realize that they do not have to give a statement to the other party’s insurance company, and that this does not mean they are being uncooperative. It is different than giving a statement to their own insurance company, which they are obligated to do. Giving a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company is not required and is not the responsibility of the individual. This is a crucial mistake that should be avoided in Bethesda car accident cases.

Mistake 2: Cashing an Insurance Check

There are insurance companies that try to write a check to get the case settled shortly after the accident. These should not be accepted by the injured individual, because there has not been enough time to accurately understand the evidence involved in the case. The extent of the injury, the treatment that is necessary for this injury, and the outcome of the injury to the party must all be considered before any further action is taken.

The insurance company is looking to settle a case for as cheap as possible, and once the release is signed, there is little to nothing that can be done if anything continues by way of injury, treatment, or losses. Accepting a check is a detrimental mistake to make when dealing with a car accident in Bethesda. An individual should not try to handle matters on their own, and should only deal with an insurance company with the assistance of an attorney.

Mistake 3: Failing to Contact an Attorney

Many people contact a lawyer after they have learned that insurance companies are not going to resolve the claim to their satisfaction. This is a mistake, as it makes it potentially more difficult for the attorney to undo what has been done unnecessarily and unwittingly, perhaps minimizing the recovery. For this reason, it is not advisable for individuals to deal with the insurance company on their own, and to not get an attorney immediately after the accident to protect their interests. One of the first things that should be done after an accident and seeking immediate medical attention is calling a Bethesda attorney for representation.

Once the attorney is involved, he or she can do a number of important things for the client. These include:

  • Investigating the events leading up to and following the accident
  • Contacting the insurance company on the injured party’s behalf
  • Seeking compensation for things like medical bills, economic loss, and lost wages for any other harms suffered
  • Making sure that the claim is pursued properly and legitimately in order to maximize the recovery

Other Mistakes

There are a few other mistakes people commonly make after being in a car accident. One is not documenting things as best as possible while on the scene. Sometimes, the vehicles are moved before pictures can be taken, or before the police arrive who can memorialize important evidence. Another mistake is not seeking any immediate medical care to document symptoms that an individual is having.

A further misstep individual’s make related to not getting an attorney is that it is going to cost too much for them to have representation. Because of the nature of these kinds of cases, they are taken on a contingency fee basis, meaning that there is no cost or fees unless there is a recovery in the case. Money should not be a barrier or obstacle to obtaining experienced legal help to represent an individual’s best interests when involved and injured in an automobile accident.

Retaining an Attorney

Once an attorney is retained, the insurance company must stop talking to the individual. Once they have been notified verbally, by the individual or by the attorney’s office that they are being represented, the insurance company must cut ties. It then becomes the attorney’s responsibility to deal with the insurance company, so that the injured party can focus on getting medical attention and treatment to recover from their injuries.

At this point, the individual should not worry about the legalities of the claim with the insurance company. Not contacting an attorney is arguably the worst mistake an individual can make in dealing with insurance companies after a Bethesda auto accident.