5 Biggest Mistakes To Avoid in Virginia Auto Accident Cases
We asked Virginia auto accident lawyer Thomas Soldan what he thinks the Top Five Common Mistakes to Avoid in Virginia Auto Accident Cases are. His answers are excerpted from an interview.
What Are 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Accident Cases?
- Not contacting their own insurance company right away; that is a big one.
- Giving a statement to the other driver’s insurance company prior to talking to counsel.
- Not getting medical treatment they feel they need immediately because they think the pain might go away.
- Not following up on medical treatment orders. For example, if the person is transported by ambulance or otherwise taken to the emergency room and the emergency room doctor recommends that the person follow up with their family care provider but the person fails to follow up, it gives them ammunition to lesson or reduce the potential claim. People need to make sure that you don’t leave any gaps in treatment. They need to follow up. That is probably the biggest mistake that people make in the initial process.
- Not consulting with an attorney as soon as possible. Oftentimes, there may be a case where the person does not need an attorney right away, but that’s probably not something the injured party is in the state of mind to determine. An experienced Virginia auto accident attorney is in a much better position to tend to these cases and can help the person to determine whether or not they need representation right away. Otherwise, we can explain their options and follow up with them as they receive treatment. There are a lot of different options there and certainly a person would be best served by contacting an auto accident attorney as soon as possible.
Will it Impact My Case If I Do Not Immediately Seek Treatment?
That is really a case-by-case question. If the person did need treatment in the beginning it could have a very negative impact. If they needed treatment and then didn’t seek it, it could impact how their case is viewed by an adjuster, the defense counsel, or even a judge or a jury. But it is really a case-by-case basis because every case is different and is evaluated in its own way.
If An Injury Does Not Manifest Until Later, What Are My Options for Filing a Claim?
Oftentimes someone who has sustained a whiplash injury or back injury may feel fine at the scene and even drive themselves home or receive a ride home, but then that evening, the next day, or a couple of days later they may experience a whole lot of pain. That is not uncommon and, in fact, the medical literature says a person’s body compensates for such injuries, so then later when things start slowing down and their adrenaline levels go down, they may experience serious pain and realize that they have a serious injury. If that has happened to a person and they have suffered a whiplash injury, a back injury, or a sprain type of injury, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as they feel the symptoms come on.
They need to also explain to their medical professional that they were recently in a motor vehicle accident and then make sure they list it as a cause. For all medical diagnoses and treatments there are coding systems in the United States and these coding systems include what the medical professional believes was the cause for the accident. If a person is involved in a motor vehicle accident, they tend to receive certain care, so it is certainly important if there has been an injury that is related to the motor vehicle accident that the person seeks medical attention and tells their provider that they think their injuries are the result of an accident so that the provider can then include that information in the records.