Montgomery County Car Accidents: Common Mistakes

A car accident is not an easy experience. Someone may suffer intense injuries as a result or they may be in shock after the accident. Often times, because people are disoriented and aren’t thinking about potential consequences, they will say or do things that later hurt them down the line when they want to pursue damages against the other party involved in the accident. However, with the help of an experienced car accident attorney in Montgomery County, a person can learn what actions might damage their claim.

Apologizing After an Accident

It is polite to speak with the other person involved in the accident, if you can, and it is polite to exchange information and ask if they are okay. Anyone involved in an accident should avoid using phrases that might be later taken out of context and used as proof that someone was accepting liability or responsibility for the accident.

When someone apologizes at the accident scene, it’s typically used as a mechanism to open up a dialogue to exchange contact information and they also use it as a way of saying that they’re sorry that the accident occurred, but not as an admission of liability. People who are involved in motor vehicle accidents need to be cognizant of the fact that statements that they made at the accident scene can be repeated. More importantly, statements that are seemingly innocent can still be used against them in a negative context further down the road. A common mistake people make is speaking to a car insurance company thinking that their statement will help the claim reach a resolution smoothly and to their benefit. However, car insurance companies will use a person’s statement against them to avoid paying damages.

Refusing Medical Treatment

The decision to seek medical treatment lies with the injured party. Most Montgomery County car accident attorneys will tell people that it is best to seek medical treatment if there is any doubt as to whether or not the person has been injured in the accident. It is important to understand that if they are injured but refuse medical treatment at the accident scene and eventually present a claim, then the defense will likely argue that they were not in fact injured by the motor vehicle accident because they did not seek medical treatment at the scene but instead they sought medical treatment after retaining an attorney. That fact is used to denote that they are seeking medical treatment simply for litigation purposes.

Anyone involved in a motor vehicle accident, who is injured, should be mindful of the fact that at some later date, an independent third party will be evaluating their actions immediately following the accident and could question the severity of their injuries when they don’t seek medical treatment immediately following the accident.

Failing to Follow Up on Medical Treatment

In terms of following up with medical treatment, it’s always important to follow a doctor’s instructions. What can happen in these types of cases: if a person deviates from their doctor’s instructions or fails to return for follow-up visits, then anyone opposing the claim can use this information as evidence that either the treatment rendered is not really necessary because the injured person doesn’t deem it important enough to continue to follow up on their care.

In another case, if there is additional medical treatment required after the injured person has missed an appointment, it generates a gap in treatment and anyone opposing the claim will use that gap in treatment as evidence to show that the subsequent treatment after the gap is not actually related to the subject incident, but instead related to either some intervening trauma or some underlying existing condition.

Everyone’s case is different and each person comes into their case with a unique set of circumstances, but anyone involved in these types of cases should understand some of the negative implications of missing treatment or causing a gap in their treatment. When a person meets with a Montgomery County car accident attorney who has helped clients with these types of cases before, the attorney will advise the person to follow doctor’s orders so as to not complicate their own claim unnecessarily.

Potential Impact on Your Case

Failing to follow a doctor’s medical treatment will impact a case by allowing the defense to argue that either some or all of the treatment that a person received in their case was not actually caused by the trauma in question. If someone has either a gap in treatment or they fail to return to get medical care when instructed by a doctor to do so, then the defense may argue that the person wasn’t injured at all or perhaps not injured to the extent that they are claiming.

Difficulties of Maintaining Medical Treatment

It is a common scenario with cases like this where someone is involved in a motor vehicle accident and is under a physician’s care and the physician has instructed that injured person to go to physical therapy three times a week for at least six weeks. This means that a person has to take off time from work, three times a week for the next six weeks. Some people may not be able to do this because they’re fearful that they may be fired from their job. Or if they don’t work, they won’t be earning enough to keep a roof over their head and food on the table.

There are many different reasons people may not follow-up on doctors’ advice. Regardless of the reason, it is best to speak to a Montgomery County car accident attorney representing your case to discuss how it may end up impacting a case and if there are ways to mitigate negative consequences.

Why Montgomery County Drivers Make These Mistakes

People offer their apologies on to the other parties involved after a car accident because they want to be polite and express their concern for the well-being of the other person. However, despite the good intentions that go behind those apologies, it is very possible that such statements can be taken out of context and used against a person in their case.

When an accident occurs, it is certainly a jarring and surprising incident and not something that anyone anticipated, a lot of times the person’s adrenaline is running very high and they may not recognize the fact that they’re injured. Other people feel embarrassed or self-conscious about requesting medical attention at the accident scene. They may feel as though they are perceived as being needy or blowing the situation out of proportion, if they request for medical attention. Further, sometimes an injured person may be on the way to pick up a young child from school or a sporting event and if they simply do not perform this task then that young child will be left there waiting. Again, under those circumstances, the injured person may think it’s more important to perform their task than to seek medical attention immediately.

While these reasons all seem very valid and appropriate in the moment, people often don’t consider the adverse side effects until their case is well under way and the other side brings these mistakes up. An experienced Montgomery County car accident lawyer has handled enough of these cases to know what actions will come back to hurt someone’s case and can thus advise clients against making those mistakes.