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Mistakes people make during the car accident claims process

The claims process really begins in the immediate aftermath of a car accident. At this point, it does not matter who was at fault. What matters is that you take certain steps to protect your rights.

If you have never been in a collision before, you may not know everything you need to do. You do need to touch base with the your insurance provider to start the process, but you need to be careful not to make mistakes that could hurt your claim.

Avoid these three common mistakes

People who have been in an auto accident may inadvertently make mistakes that come back to haunt them later.

1. Failing to gather enough evidence

You need to be able to back up your claim with sufficient evidence. If you are in a crash, take pictures at the scene if possible. Ideally, get a photo of the vehicles before they are moved. Capture the license plate and get close-ups of the damage to the vehicle. Also get photographs of visible injuries that you or your passenger suffered.

Over the coming weeks and months, you need to retain all of your receipts. You need to show how much it cost to repair your vehicle and see a doctor. You do not want to wait until it is too late before you start recording everything.

2. Waiting too long to see a doctor

You should see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. You may feel fine immediately afterward, but the rush of adrenaline could mask an underlying injury. Your doctor may prescribe a treatment plan, and you need to follow these guidelines precisely.

You need to document when you see the doctor for follow-up appointments, when you take any medication, and your ongoing symptoms and limitations. This evidence will help you make a strong case for compensation. Waiting too long to get medical treatment casts doubt on the degree of injuries and whether they were really caused by the crash.

3. Discussing the accident online

The claims process can take months to complete. It can take even longer if you need to take the insurance agency to court to get compensation. Throughout all of this, you need to refrain from posting details of your case on social media. You could inadvertently post something that limits the validity of your claim. It is in your best interest to say nothing at all.

If you must post, stick to the bare bones - that you were in a collision. Do not discuss fault on social media. Do not tell your friends and family that you are "okay" or "fine." Do not post smiling pictures of you doing active things if you are making a claim that you are recovering from serious injuries.

4. Failing to get legal help

There is a fourth mistake that people commonly make - handling their injury claim without an attorney. Take advantage of a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer before you make errors that could permanent hamper your legal case.

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