MISTAKE #1: I thought I had full coverage insurance!
By far, this is the #1 biggest mistake made by ‘most’ people who have auto insurance. We hear this statement everyday: “I have full coverage insurance — guess what, most of you don’t!” If you don’t read anything I post, please read this to protect yourself and your family. No car insurance company is the same, and neither are car insurance policies. Study your car insurance policy and speak with your car insurance agent to know exactly what your auto insurance covers.
Medical Payments Coverage: Often, when people consider the necessary car insurance coverage to buy, they worry most about the financial implications of damage to their vehicle. However, when you take a look at the bigger picture, it is easy to see that your health is far more important than your car.
What Does Medical Payments Cover?
Medical payments coverage generally pays for medical costs after you are hurt in a car accident, regardless of who is found at fault for the accident.
Additionally, medical payments insurance may help pay for:
- Funeral expenses
- Injuries sustained by your passengers
- Injuries you sustain as a pedestrian or bicyclist after a car hits you
- Necessary dental care as a result of a car accident
Benefits and restrictions of medical payments coverage will differ amongst car insurance companies.
Make sure that when you are comparison-shopping for your car insurance, you speak with an insurance agent from the company to fully understand the details of their medical payments coverage.
- Your personal injury protection coverage (if you have any).
- The cost of coverage.
MISTAKE #2: Speaking to someone who called you but you did not call them about your accident.
“How did he get my personal information so quickly right after my accident?” Illegally! That’s how! Would you believe your personal information could possibly be ‘sold’ by the: 1) Tow Truck Driver, 2) The Police Officer or even someone in the hospital…just to name a few.
If anyone, representing a law firm or doctor’s office, calls you immediately after an accident, the person has obtained your personal information ‘illegally’ and is subject to go to Jail. This type of activity can place the doctor and attorney’s licenses in jeopardy. More importantly to you, this may also jeopardize your treatment and injury settlement.
You are the victim, you have the right to call anyone. Of course if you call a doctor or an attorney ‘first’, they may call you back. If you are solicited by a phone call, text message or direct mail piece within 30 days of your accident, rest assure, the companies that used these tactics do not have your best interest at hand…ONLY THEIR OWN! Do not be a victim twice!
MISTAKE # 3: Permitting an insurance adjuster to take your declaration and record it.
If an insurance adjuster calls you and asks to take your declaration, it is for the purpose of denying your claim. It is not for the purpose of helping you. They are hoping you will make an error. Sometimes they will call you within hours after the accident, because in a soft tissue injury they know you will not be hurting for several hours. Do not even think about settling your case without being evaluated by a doctor who specializes in accident injuries.
MISTAKE # 4: Failure to act quickly for injury treatment.
If you take too long to seek treatment from an accident injury specialist, and the case goes to trial, a jury may believe the injuries were caused by something else. Some accident victims often go to the emergency room afterwards. An ER doctor may not uncover soft tissue issues. Accident victims may not develop severe pain until 2-4 days after the accident. Seeking treatment from a doctor who specializes in accident injuries immediately will reduce pain.
MISTAKE # 5: Not following your doctor’s instructions.
Accident victims have an obligation to mitigate their injuries. If you disobey your doctor’s instructions for getting better — such as by stopping treatment without your doctor’s approval — this can lower the amount of compensation you receive, since it makes insurance companies and courts suspicious of the true nature of your injuries. Don’t make the error many accident victims make of ignoring their doctor’s instructions or missing doctor’s appointments.
MISTAKE # 6: Keeping poor records of expenses and problems caused by the accident.
Accident victims are entitled to be compensated for many things, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and changes to their lifestyle. Keeping good records of all accident-related expenses and physical and other problems caused by the accident will help make sure you get compensated for everything the law entitles you to receive.
MISTAKE #7: Settling too fast — before all your injuries are known.
Many accident victims think they suffered only minor injuries and will accept a fast settlement just to end the matter. When they later discover their injuries are much worse than they first thought, they are prevented from getting more money from the insurance company. Always remember that many injuries take time to fully develop.
Don’t make the mistake of settling your claim before knowing the full extent of your injuries and financial losses. If you have not been fully evaluated by a doctor, who specializes in auto accident injuries, you may find yourself being a victim twice.
Call us immediately after an accident, even if you went to the ER, so we can help you avoid mistakes the at-fault insurance company hopes you make.
MISTAKE # 8: Waiting too long to seek legal help.
The longer you wait to get legal help, the harder it can be to find evidence and witnesses, and the more likely something will happen that hurts your case, such as giving the wrong statement to an insurance adjuster. By waiting to get legal help, you also risk losing your claim because the deadline for making claims has expired. Don’t make the mistake of waiting too long to call your lawyer. This can significantly lower your recovery.