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Mistakes to Avoid After A Car Accident in Michigan

October 27, 2021

If you’re involved in an accident—even if you think it’s minor—it can be an extremely traumatic experience. Once you come to a stop and make sure you and your passengers aren’t in danger, there are a number of things you must do… and another list of six things you shouldn’t do.

If you do any of the things you shouldn’t after a motor vehicle accident, it can be potentially disastrous to a third-party accident claim and may prevent you or your passengers from receiving the compensation that’s deserved.

Here are the top 6  mistakes Michiganders make after a car accident and advice on how you can avoid them so you’re not singing a sad song:

“Everybody Hurts” – Underestimating Your Injuries

It was just a scratch.

Many motor vehicle accident victims believe their injuries aren’t too serious. A few bruises, maybe a headache, and a sore arm. Just take a few ibuprofen, right?

That might do it the first night, but a victim’s injuries can get worse, and they may not go to the hospital or a doctor after an accident. Then it turns out some time later that they have a serious injury that will require medical treatment and cause them to miss work.

If you underestimate your injuries, it can mean a delay in getting medical treatment… and that can make your recovery more difficult. When you delay seeking medical attention, you may make your injury worse, and the insurance company might say that your injury wasn’t caused by the accident.

Instead, get checked out immediately after an accident to make sure any injury is identified and treated immediately.

“Right Here Waiting” – Waiting Too Long To Act

You only have a set amount of time in which to initiate a third-party lawsuit against an at-fault driver. If you’ve been injured in a Michigan auto accident, you have three years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver. Three years may seem like a long time, but in order to preserve evidence, you must seek an experienced Michigan auto accident attorney right away. Time is of the essence in personal injury cases, so don’t wait to act.

“I Want To Tell You” – Providing Too Much Info To The Insurance Company

The insurance company has its adjusters or claim representatives try to elicit as much information as they can from an accident victim. Remember, your insurance company doesn’t want to pay your medical expenses, and the other party’s insurance company definitely doesn’t want to pay you for your pain and suffering.

When an insurance investigator or insurance adjuster interviews an accident victim, their objective is to get him or her talking in the hopes that they’ll say the wrong thing and damage any claim.

Just like the casinos in Las Vegas, the insurance company is not in the business of giving away free money. Insurance companies hire adjusters to save them money. Their job is to find anything to use against you. So, remember, if you talk to the insurance company about your accident:

  • Keep to the facts;
  • Don’t guess the answer to something or speculate;
  • Don’t discuss your injuries… just say that you’re seeking treatment;
  • Do NOT admit fault; and
  • Do NOT give a recorded statement.

Your best course of action is to make the process easier by referring the insurance investigator or adjuster to your attorney. He or she can handle these communications on your behalf and do so with many years of experience dealing with insurance companies and preparing for litigation.

“Don’t Worry Be Happy” – Failing To Collect Evidence

You can’t simply think that the police will take care of all of the evidence and get the necessary witness statements so you have everything necessary for a lawsuit.

Even though you may be injured and disoriented, you may only have one opportunity to gather evidence to support your claim. It’s amazing how quickly this evidence can disappear immediately after an auto accident. If you are able, try to do the following:

  • Exchange contact and insurance info with the other driver(s);
  • Obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses at the scene of the crash;
  • Take pictures of the accident scene—this should include any visible damage to your vehicle, damage to the other party’s vehicle, and note the direction each vehicle was traveling; and
  • Obtain a copy of the accident report.

“Take The Money and Run” – Agreeing to a Quick Settlement

If an accident renders you unable to return to work, and therefore you are not making money, you might be tempted to take the first settlement offer made by the insurance company. But a quick settlement is usually not in the victim’s best interests. That’s because when you work with an experienced attorney, he or she will help you determine and document the full extent of the injuries you’ve suffered because of the accident. And you may even have more expenses and lost income in the weeks, months, and years to come.

If you accept a settlement now, you forfeit the right to additional compensation in the future.

“Shout It Out Loud” – Sharing The Details Of Your Accident on Social Media

Everyone looks at social media—including insurance adjusters and insurance defense attorneys. They aren’t interested in the latest concert you attended, but rather they want to find anything you’ve posted that can be used against you in a claim against the at-fault driver. So, posting about any activity or feeling may be construed as you not suffering a serious injury in the accident.

It’s a good idea to just stay off social media completely after an accident. Assume the insurance adjuster is reading everything you post. An experienced attorney can give you previous examples of how social media postings can damage claims.

Takeaway

It is critical that you speak with an experienced Michigan or Grand Rapids car accident attorney immediately after an accident to make certain that:

  • Evidence is preserved;
  • You don’t accept a quick, minimal settlement;
  • You seek proper medical treatment;
  • You don’t run out of time to file a lawsuit; and
  • The recollections of the witnesses remain strong.

CONTACT US

If you or a family member has been seriously injured in an auto accident in Michigan, contact Buchanan Firm. We will help you pursue compensation against those who are responsible.

For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury accident attorney in Grand Rapids, contact Buchanan Firm. Our firm proudly serves people all across Michigan, including major cities like Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Detroit, Lansing, Holland, St. Joe, and Ann Arbor, and rural towns such as Lowell, Ada, Fremont, Newaygo, Grand Haven, Rockford, and Cedar Springs. We will meet you after-hours, at home or in the hospital, to accommodate you.

Contact us today!