Personal injury Lawyer Matt Arnold answers the question: “If I am injured in a car accident or at work what should I do?”
If you’ve been involved in an auto accident, chances are you’re confused about exactly what comes next. If you’re like most people, you haven’t been involved in any lawsuits before and are unfamiliar not only with the legal system generally, but with the personal injury process specifically. To help guide you through the complex process, consider the following bits of advice. These are suggestions of things not to do and are accumulated from various experts who understand personal injury and car accident cases well.
You need to be careful with what you say following a car accident. First, start by being careful what you say to the other person involved in the accident. It’s possible that your words could be misconstrued by the other side and used to imply acceptance of responsibility even if you were just trying to be polite or show concern. Instead of getting yourself in trouble, try and avoid discussing the accident at all and make small talk instead.
Don’t accept too quickly
Another thing to avoid is agreeing to accept the first deal offered by the other side or the other insurance company. This is the way that most people lose out after an accident, eagerly jumping at the first (and lowest) offer of the insurance company. Rather than sign on the dotted line right away, take time to consider the offer fully. Understand that the first offer made is almost always the lowest and includes plenty of room to increase. Also try and determine whether the amount offered is actually enough to make you whole. Will it pay your existing bills? Lost wages? What about future medical expenses? If not, then don’t accept. Once you do, you’ll lose your ability to bring future claims.
Resist the temptation to discuss your accident or injury online. No matter how much you want to post on social media, don’t do it. Everything you reveal online, including photos, videos or your own words describing the accident and it’s aftermath can be used against you. To be safe, avoid posting about yourself at all following an accident, as even innocuous posts can be twisted against you. A photo on a family vacation or enjoying a good time with friends might be taken as evidence that your injuries are not severe or, worse, fictitious.
Don’t go it alone
Rather than endure this process on your own, reach out to an attorney who knows the ropes. A lawyer will understand how to gather evidence, prepare a case, write motions, respond to questions from the insurance company, talk to a judge and ultimately reach a fair settlement. Don’t put yourself through all the stress and anxiety when you have so many resources available to help ease the burden.
Finally, don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake. You aren’t an expert after all and you might miss a deadline or say the wrong thing or forget to fully document your injuries or the accident scene. In the aftermath of a car crash, your adrenaline is pumping and your judgment may not be at its best. We’re all humans and one mistake likely won’t be enough to destroy your case. If you’re ever concerned that you’ve said or done the wrong thing, take the time to talk to a lawyer who handles these kinds of cases all the time.
If you or someone close to you has been injured, contact an experienced personal injury attorney today who can help you receive the compensation to which you may be entitled. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC for a free consultation, call at 704-370-2828 or click here for additional resources.
About the Author
Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.
Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.
A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.
In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.
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