Often car accident victims contact a Gainesville personal injury attorney as a last resort. They have tried to file their accident claim on their own and negotiated with an insurance adjuster or even with the other driver. These are all mistakes – even if they do not appear so to the average person. The fact that you know that you are right does not mean that you can prove it without the assistance of an attorney.
In most of cases, car accident victims find out the hard way that insurance companies are not interested in their well-being and in being fair. Or, they find out that the other driver was uninsured. This is against the law – but it happens more frequently than you think. Do you still have any chance of recovery in such a case? If you bring your case to a Gainesville personal injury attorney at H Groves Law as soon as possible after the crash, the answer is yes.
How Can Simple Mistakes Hurt Your Case in Georgia?
Car accident victims do not know that stakes start building against them as soon as the crash occurs. Everything they say or do after the accident can give an insurance company the grounds they need to dismiss the claim or reduce the amount of damages.
The fact is that our state uses a modified comparative fault principle in all personal injury cases. This means that you must not be more than 49% at fault for your accident in order to be eligible to collect compensation. That’s right, if you are deemed to be equally at fault as the other driver, your claim is dismissed.
The modified comparative fault principle stipulates another aspect: your actual damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. Thus, it is always in your best interests to avoid making mistakes that may give insurers the opportunity to heap up more responsibility in your charge.
The Mistakes that Hurt Car Accident Victims’ Cases
What can you possibly do so wrong after being hit by another car that can get your claim amount reduced or even the entire case dismissed? Here are the most frequent situations an Gainesville personal injury attorney will encounter:
1. Leaving the Accident Scene Too Early
After a crash you want to get a hospital to seek medical care and then take your car to a repair shop to evaluate damages. Your day is ruined anyway, so why wait around by the side of the road?
Nevertheless, you must wait until the police arrive to investigate the accident scene. They need to:
- See both cars in the original position after the crash
- Take both drivers’ statement
- Get contact details from both drivers
- Get statements from eyewitnesses.
As your personal injury attorney knows, the accident report prepared by the police is one of the most valuable pieces of evidence for evaluating the merits of a case.
2. Failing to Seek Medical Attention Immediately after the Crash
In many cases, you won’t feel any significant pain immediately after a car accident. This is the result of shock and adrenaline pumping through your body. However, you may be seriously injured. You may have internal bleeding, organ damage or even traumatic brain injury.
Car accident victims who do not seek medical attention as soon as possible after a crash are putting their lives in danger. Any of the injuries listed above can have life-changing or even fatal consequences if it is left untreated. At the same time, a personal injury attorney in Georgia will have a hard time proving that you were hurt in the accident and not elsewhere.
And you can be certain that an insurance adjuster will make the most of the fact that you did not ask for an ambulance or drove yourself to the nearest hospital after the crash.
3. Reaching an Agreement with the Other Driver
Some car accident victims make the mistake of closing an informal deal with the other driver. In some cases, they even accept money from the at-fault driver to cover the cost of the ambulance ride and the initial medical examination by ER doctors.
Their insurance company will pounce on this aspect and use it as a justification to dismiss your claim – you already settled with the driver. Later, if you get to the phase of a personal injury lawsuit, the driver will use this initial agreement as proof that you don’t have a valid case. It is even worse if there are eyewitnesses to your roadside agreement.
4. Discussing Your Accident on the Social Media
Here is a golden rule for all car accident victims: stay off of social media until your claim settles. The worst offense is posting updates about “feeling well” and “doing better” accompanied by photos showing you smiling.
Even sharing funny memes can hurt your case. When you claim non-economic damages for emotional trauma and mental anguish, an insurance adjuster will reply that you are in a sufficiently happy mood to share funny posts on Facebook or Instagram. In the end, it is for a jury to determine which party they believe more.
5. Waiting Too Long to File a Claim
A car accident can keep you in hospital for weeks. Next, you may need months of physical therapy. During this entire time, you are focused on getting better. Thus, you may forget that time is running out in terms of statute of limitations.
All car accident victims need to know that they only have 2 years starting from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. This is usually the last resort, after the settlement negotiations with the insurance company fail. And insurers know that most people are not aware of the statute of limitations.
For this reason, they will try to delay making a decision with regard to your accident claim for as long as possible. If you had a personal injury attorney in Gainesville on your side from the very beginning of your case, such delays would not be tolerated.
Contact H Groves Law Today for Exceptional Auto Accident Representation
Harmon Groves, and the team at H Groves Law, believe only in success in every case they take. Car accident victims have the strongest advocate with H Groves Law and the assurance that, once we take a case, we win it. But you must be aware that even the best Gainesville personal injury attorney cannot do very much if you’ve already made one of the mistakes above.
For this reason, you should always make sure that you report the car accident, go to the hospital as soon as possible, and talk to no one, except for your personal injury attorney. We offer you a free case evaluation, so you do not have to worry about extra expenses for legal representation. Bring your case to us as soon as possible after your car accident, call us at (770) 847-6849 today!