Getting compensation from a car accident insurance claim hinges on proving liability as well as demonstrating your damages. A number of other factors play a role when it comes to how large of a settlement you receive, however. In addition to producing evidence such as medical bills, our Washington personal injury attorney advises you also need to avoid taking certain actions to ensure you get the settlement you deserve. Three ways to ruin your personal injury claim include:
Using Social Media Irresponsibility
Many lawyers advise clients to shut down any social media accounts while they have an ongoing car accident claim or pending personal injury lawsuit. While this is becoming more and more difficult, remember that anything you post online cannot help your claim, only hurt it.
It feels good to have friends rally behind you, but reach out in person and only to trusted individuals for this kind of support. Keep details of your accident off the Internet, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Moreover, do not just use caution when it comes to talking about your accident. Use caution before posting anything about paddleboarding in Puget Sound or before checking in for a hike in the Snoqualmie Pass as the insurer can use even the most innocuous post against you.
Giving a Recorded Statement Right Away
While insurance adjusters may try to make you believe otherwise, you do not have to give a recorded statement right away. You have time to discuss your case with a lawyer and determine if a recorded statement is necessary at all.
This is especially important because adjusters often look to trip up claimants. Any inconsistency on your part allows them to question your claim. When this happens, the insurer may decrease your potential settlement amount or deny your claim outright.
It pays to remember that the insurance adjuster is not on your side. She works for an insurance company, and as such, wants to save her company as much money as possible. Unless you have a knowledgeable Seattle car accident lawyer by your side, you are the only person looking out for your best interests.
Signing Anything Without Consulting an Attorney
Insurance companies often try to trick claimants into signing statements admitting liability, medical record releases, settlement offers, and other documents. An attorney knows these tricks and will help you to avoid them. For this reason, it is paramount to never sign anything without the advice of a lawyer.
While giving the insurance company access to your medical records may seem benign, insurers use this information against claimants. It may claim your injuries were pre-existing or deny the seriousness of your injuries. Since Washington law limits access to your medical records without your signature, it is easy to prevent them from using these documents against you.
Even if you believe a settlement offer meets your needs, it is a bad idea to agree without first discussing it with your lawyer. It is easy to overlook costs, such as lost potential future income, or to fail to consider how quickly medical bills can add up for ongoing care. If you sign an offer, you will not be able to go back later and ask for more money.