It's important to approach the aftermath of a car accident with caution. You may have far more legal options available to you than you realize. Not being aware of your rights, however, can make it difficult to pursue a successful claim.
In order to know which course of action to take, you must be aware of the myths surrounding car accident claims.
Myth 1: You're required to speak to the other driver's insurance company
You are absolutely not required to speak to the other driver's insurance company under any circumstance. In fact, doing so can hurt your chances of obtaining compensation.
The only time you must speak to an insurance company is when you're reporting your crash to your own insurance provider. Only provide the basic details about your crash, nothing else.
If the other driver's insurance company tries to contact you, simply refrain from speaking to them and hire an attorney who can do the talking on your behalf. Here's why:
- Anything you say to the other driver's insurance company can be used against you.
- The phone call will be recorded.
- Your claim can be downplayed or denied.
- The other driver's insurance company may try to argue that you were at fault.
- The other driver's insurance company may persuade you to accept a small settlement.
Myth 2: I don't always need to get medical attention after a car accident
Failing to get timely medical attention after a crash can hurt your chances of obtaining compensation, especially if you later find out that you sustained an injury.
In many cases, the shock and adrenaline of being involved in a crash can mask the physical pain of an injury. Moreover, some injuries take several days to begin showing symptoms.
Getting medical attention should be one of the first things you do after a crash. Your doctor can perform a medical evaluation, x-ray, MRI, or CT scan, and make an early diagnosis. By getting prompt medical attention, the other driver's insurance company can't argue that your medical attention was delayed. Your medical evaluation can also be documented and used as evidence to support your claim.
Myth 3: I can handle my car accident claim without a personal injury attorney
If you attempt to handle your car accident claim without the help of an experienced New Mexico attorney, it's highly unlikely that you will be fully compensated for your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other damages accrued from your crash.
The insurance company representing the at-fault driver will do whatever it takes to avoid compensating you. Without an attorney on your side, you could find yourself having to pay thousands of dollars out of your own pocket.
To learn which legal options are available to you, contact Szantho Law Firm and schedule your free case evaluation. Our law offices are based in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.