Five Mistakes People Make After an Accident
Taking the wrong photographs.
Try to get photos of the accident scene, taken from different distances and angles. Don’t limit yourself to close-ups, as these often don’t show important evidence. For example, if there is a pothole or heaving sidewalk, take a picture of it with a building or house in the background. This will give your attorney and the court a frame of reference. If you have fallen over something on the floor of the grocery store, take a picture of the whole aisle, so it can be clearly seen where the item fell from.
In the case of a car accident, take pictures of the scene from both directions. In addition, you should get pictures of the other driver’s license plate, registration, and insurance card, in addition to the damage on both vehicles. Skid marks, debris, and obstructions to either drivers’ view, such as bushes or cars parked improperly/illegally, are also important to capture in photographs. They’re important to establish who is responsible, and to help your attorney make sure everyone who should be involved in the case, is.
Failing to report an accident.
Sometimes you feel worse the day after an accident when the day of, you felt fine. If you fall in a retail store, be sure to tell the manager or other person in charge. They will most likely take down your information and make a report. Make sure to get the name of the person making the report. Sometimes, they will refuse; in that case, you will still need their name, as well as their physical description, so you can identify them at a later date.
Though your insurance company is going to be more skeptical of your claim without an incident report, the store is going to look suspicious if you can identify the person you reported your accident to. Also, the majority of stores now have video surveillance cameras, but they don’t save it unless they know of an incident. Without proof that your accident was reported, they can say the video for that day was erased automatically, or recorded over.
Hiring an attorney who is not licensed in your state.
Often, lawyers advertise in states where they are not licensed to practice. If you hire one of these, they will have to turn your case over to a lawyer who is licensed in your state. Click here to find out if your attorney is licensed in Pennsylvania.
If he’s not licensed in your state, why hire him? He won’t actually be handling your claim or even looking at it.
All the lawyers at Stopperich Turturice & Logue are licensed in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, or Ohio, or all of them. They all live in Pennsylvania, and Sean Logue will be personally involved in your claim.
Refusing medical attention.
Often, after an accident, victims refuse to obtain medical attention. There are two reasons to get evaluated by medical professionals immediately following an accident: first, you need to make sure there is nothing seriously wrong medically; second, the insurance company will use your refusal to be seen by a doctor against you, if you don’t go until several days later. The defendant in your case will say that your injuries couldn’t have been very bad if it took you so long to see a doctor. Also, in the case of an unreported or unwitnessed accident, a doctor’s report is likely to be the first documentation of the incident, and will make your claim more credible.
Giving a statement to the insurance adjuster for the defendant.
Many times, the defendant’s insurance company or risk management person will call you to ask for your side of the story. They might tell you that they have to investigate and that if you give them all the details, they can better help you. They’ll generally ask for either a written statement or a recorded one. However, you are not required to give one. If you do, they will use it against you. For example, they may ask how you feel, and if you say, “Fine”, they’ll cross-examine you during a hearing and try to say you weren’t injured at all. Any communication with the insurance company should be done through your lawyer’s office. If you don’t have one yet, consult one before you give any statements.