Here are the eight mistakes to avoid after a car accident, as provided by our car accident lawyers in Edmonton:
1. Avoiding immediate medical attention
If you are injured, go to the hospital or see your doctor as soon as possible. Going home to “tough it out” doesn’t do you any favours, either in terms of your own medical needs or in terms of creating an accurate record of your injuries and how they have developed over time. In the event of more minor injuries, the longer you wait to seek assistance, the harder it may be to prove your injuries were caused by the accident.
2. Not following medical advice
If you don’t follow through with medical advice: medication, physiotherapy, exercise, further appointments, etc, you will be jeopardizing your claim. Failing to follow advice will allow the other side to argue you have failed to mitigate your losses and may result in a significant reduction of your claim.
3. Not Complaining to your Doctor
We get it. You feel repetitive and whiney by bringing up the same complaints to your doctor…over and over, again. Too bad. See your family doctor regularly and often. Explain every symptom, each and every time. It may seem repetitive, but those “objective” records will become very important in your lawsuit. Not going to the doctor may be interpreted as a sign that you are not in pain.
4. Talking it up
At the scene of your accident, except to the police, do not discuss the matter. Gather witness information, identification and insurance from the other driver and, if you can, snap some photos. Do not give statements to anyone except the police, without consulting with your lawyer first. Particularly, DO NOT GIVE A STATEMENT or have a discussion with the other side’s insurance adjuster. You are embarking on a journey in an adversarial system. That adjuster is adverse in interest to you – that means, he or she is NOT on your side. There is no upside to be gained from communication with that adjuster.
5. Posting and Blogging
In short, DON’T! Insurance companies will be looking for evidence to use against you and they will search online. Therefore, be careful what you post and how long you are on social media sites. Insurers can use the data it collects from those sites to reduce or extinguish your claim.
6. Not being truthful
The police, insurance adjuster, your lawyer and various doctors and treatment providers will ask you about the accident. Be sure you are always truthful about the accident and your injuries. Many records are producible in your lawsuit and your stories will be compared. Lying, exaggerating or being evasive is a great way to ruin your lawsuit.
7. Applying too late
If an action is not commenced within the limitation period prescribed by statute, you will completely lose the right to start a lawsuit. Miss these deadlines and you will have no claim.
8. Self Representation
The best way to screw up your lawsuit is not to hire a lawyer. Make sure you obtain the services of a personal injury or car accident lawyer.
Car Accident Lawyers in Edmonton
If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence or you have become disabled and are fighting with your insurance company as a result of a car accident, contact us as soon as possible. The experienced car accident lawyers at Robinson LLP can help.
This article was originally posted in January 2017 but was updated in July 2019.