An auto accident can be a new and shocking situation for someone, and they may be unaware of how to handle it. However, there are several mistakes that people should avoid after a Memphis car accident, such as refusing medical treatment. By working with an experienced car accident attorney, like David E. Gordon, you can avoid these mistakes and build a successful case for damages.
Admitting fault at the scene of an accident can be a big mistake. Anything that a person says at the scene of the accident could be regarded as an admission. Ordinarily, things that are said outside of the courtroom are not admissible in the case. But there are exceptions.
If a person says to the other driver that they were in a hurry, on their phone, or simply, “I just didn’t see you,” these statements will be regarded as admissions and serve to make that driver responsible for the accident. It is possible in these situations that the other driver was also at-fault in the accident, but by saying these things at the scene, it becomes unlikely that the other driver’s fault will be examined at all. Thus, admitting fault is one of the biggest mistakes to avoid at a car accident scene in Memphis.
Insurance companies will use every possible fact to minimize the payment that is owed to an injured person. If a person refuses medical treatment at the scene, or for several days afterward, then the insurance company will argue that the person was not badly hurt. If a person does not get treatment for several weeks, then the insurance company can argue that the person was never injured at all.
If an injury presents itself sometime after the accident, the defense may argue that the person injured themselves in some other way. Therefore, David recommends that a person gets medical treatment as soon as possible after the accident. Insurance companies will use any delay to their advantage.
It is common for people to refuse treatment at the scene because they believe that they are going to be okay in a few hours or days, and do not want to incur the medical expense or the time commitment of being treated. However, the medical records are critical, and an injured person will need them to demonstrate to the insurance company or to a jury that they were indeed injured in the crash.
Following a doctor’s orders is one of the ways in which to maximize a settlement. The insurance company will review the injured person’s medical records. If a person does not follow the doctor’s orders to get physical therapy, prescribed medicine, or to see a specialist, then the insurance company will argue that the plaintiff is partially responsible for their own troubles. This is a common mistake that people make after a car accident in the area.
Similarly, a treatment gap can do serious harm to a person’s claim. A treatment gap occurs when a person’s doctor recommends further visits or treatments but the patient never returns, or skips some. That gap in treatment will be used by the insurance company to prove that the claimant was not badly hurt; or that their return visit was for something other than what transpired in the car accident. This could put a claim in jeopardy.
Injured people sometimes have trouble getting the medical treatment they need because they have so many other responsibilities. A parent with young children may find it difficult to make their physical therapy appointments three days a week. A person with a full-time job might not be able to make regular medical appointments. Others do not have health insurance and do not feel that they can make the payments.
Car accident attorneys like David have associations with medical providers that will often make arrangements to treat people without health insurance. One of the responsibilities of an attorney is to get the plaintiff the medical treatment they need regardless of whether they have health insurance.
Some of the most important aspects of a civil injury claim happen long before the parties reach the negotiation table. Your response to the accident and your injuries are critical pieces of the settlement process. Refusing or skipping medical treatment can jeopardize your claim, while admitting fault for the accident makes it difficult to seek relief. David E. Gordon can advise you on the mistakes to avoid after a Memphis car accident and protect your interests. Call now for a free consultation.