Mistakes to Avoid After a Fairfax Car Accident

The following is taken from an interview with a Fairfax car accident injury attorney as they discuss the biggest mistakes you should avoid after being involved in a car accident. To learn more about filing a claim or to discuss your case call and schedule a consultation with an attorney today.

Admitting Fault at the Scene

One of the biggest mistakes would be to admit fault at the scene of an accident. Doing this makes it much more difficult to recover damages, so it is something nobody should do no matter how they feel at the time that the accident occurred.

Refusing Medical Treatment

Another big mistake that is pretty common is refusing medical treatment at the scene of the accident. Many times people will not realize that they are injured until the next day or even later. This is a big problem when filing an injury claim because it makes it much more difficult to prove causation, or that your injuries were a result of accident.

In order to recover damages from a car accident it needs to be shown that the injuries you suffered were actually caused by the breach of duty to exercise orinary care. If you refuse medical treatment at the scene you are making it more difficult to recover damages down the line.

Failing To Follow a Doctor’s Orders or Follow Through on Medical Treatment

Another big mistake people make regarding medical care is failing to follow through on a doctor’s orders. This can hurt you both medically and legally as the defense will have a really good shot at being able to limit your damages because you as a plaintiff have a duty to mitigate your damages.

So for example, if your doctor tells you that you need to be on light duty at work and take it easy at home and you don’t tell your employer that you were injured so you keep working the job at full duty, that may end up dictating how your case end. It makes it so much harder to establish the causation of your injuries and the extent of them because you’re giving the defense an alternate cause which might be a surfing accident or a work accident whatever it might be that occurred between the accident and your claim.

Along the same lines a treatment gap is another big thing that can be a problem. So for example, if you stop treatment at any point and then your injuries worsen, your case becomes much more difficult than it would have been if you have just continued treatment and followed the doctor’s orders.

Giving Recorded Statements To Insurance

The next common mistake that people make is to give a recorded statement to the other party’s insurance company. You have no obligation to cooperate with the other party’s insurance company at all. You don’t have to give them a statement and many attorneys advise their clients against doing that in all circumstances unless your attorney identifies a reason for giving that statement.

What the other party’s insurance is doing is they’re asking questions to get your story of events, but it both locks you into the story and provides them with all sorts of things that they can try and use to avoid liability in the case and you have no obligation to provide the statement and very little to gain. So, volunteering that information in 99% of cases cannot help you and can only hurt you.

Signing Medical Authorization Forms For Another Person’s Insurance

One last big mistake that is fairly common in car accident injury cases is signing medical authorization for the other party’s insurance company to go out and get your medical records. Similarly what the insurance company is doing is they’re trying to look for a reason to deny your claims or just say that your injuries were caused by something other than the accident.

If you sign a medical authorization they might get records going back to ten or fifteen years prior to the accident. You might have been playing college sports or something at that time and have a shoulder injury that completely resolves itself and hasn’t given you problems for any of the ten years or fifteen years in between, but if they know that you have that prior injury they’re going to try and use it against you any way they can.