Biggest Mistakes to Avoid after a Fairfax Truck Accident

There are a number of big mistakes to avoid after a Fairfax truck accident. These mistakes can be properly dealt with by utilizing a knowledgeable attorney, who can best advise you on the proper steps to take after being involved in such a collision.

Admitting Fault at the Scene

A big mistake to avoid is when someone does not believe they are at fault, but apologizes at the scene because they feel uncomfortable and awkward to be involved in an accident. A person should never admit fault for something that is not their fault.

When there is a question as to whose fault the accident was, admitting fault at the scene is not in anyone’s best interest. A person is not required by Virginia law to admit fault, especially if there is a genuine question about whose negligence led to the accident. This is one of the biggest mistakes to avoid after an accident.

Giving Recorded Statements to Insurance

Giving a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company is usually a bad idea. Those recorded statements are often loaded against the person making a statement, and only beneficial to the insurance company. The insurance representatives are not there to help the injured person or be their friend, but are there to mine the person’s statement for information to help them build a defense.

By their very nature, the insurance company’s interests are adverse to the injured party and their representatives are not there to help that person out.

Contacting Victims

It is common that insurance companies contact injured victims by phone. When insurance information exchanges take place after an accident, the investigating officer, state trooper, local police, or sheriff deputy often include both parties’ contact information in their reports.

In addition, when the parties give their insurance information, contact information is shared at that time as well. That is when and how the insurance companies get someone’s information and contact that individual later.

Cashing a Check

If an individual is offered a check from the other party’s insurance company, that individual should not cash it without knowing exactly what the check covers. While it is uncommon that the insurance company simply writes a check without discussion of what the check is for, it does happen on occasion. By cashing a check and accepting a settlement, an individual may have waived their right to seek compensation later on.

However, there may be instances in which receiving a check from the other insurance company is perfectly fine. Generally, an individual should talk to an experienced attorney before accepting any compensation, before signing any agreements, and before cashing any checks. Not doing so could result in an injury not being fairly compensated by the at-fault party’s insurance.

Personal Injury Protection

It is very uncommon for the other party’s insurance company to issue someone a check prior to the case being resolved. The more common situation is that the individual’s own insurance company issues them a check for medical payments coverage, also known as Med-Pay or Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This is an individual’s money, and Med-Pay in Virginia is no-fault, so the individual can recover that even if the personal injury case is not yet settled.

Failing to Contact an Attorney

Attorneys who practice in this area of law can greatly help a person understand their case. The attorney can help someone recognize what is positive for their client, and develop realistic expectations with better outcomes. The attorney can advise the person as to whether the offer from the insurance company is a fair offer.

It would be a mistake following an accident not to check out all available resources. Professionals handle these types of cases on a daily basis, and not everyone needs an attorney to resolve their claim.  It is always better to contact an attorney even if someone does not end up hiring one.