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4 Common Mistakes People Make After Being Involved in a Car Wreck

Article written by Peyton Derrow on 01/11/2021


Durham, North Carolina and the entire Triangle area is one of the best places to live in America. It also is one of the fastest growing regions in the United States. As a result, our roadways are increasingly congested, contributing to the number and severity of serious injuries and deaths from traffic wrecks.
If you got hurt in a car wreck in North Carolina, you might make the mistake of trying to resolve your injury claim without a lawyer on your side. You might think that you cannot afford to hire an attorney to handle your case.
Lawyers generally handle car wreck cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that they get paid at the end of the case, out of the settlement proceeds or award. You should not have any upfront attorney fees. A North Carolina attorney can explain how contingent fees work.
If you do not work with a lawyer, you will have to deal with the at-fault driver’s insurance company by yourself, including the claims adjuster, investigators, and possibly defense attorneys. Here are four common mistakes people make after a car wreck when they are not represented by a lawyer:
1.- Not Getting Immediate Medical Attention
You should always get medical attention right away when you get hurt in a car wreck. If you do not do so, you might have hidden injuries, like internal bleeding, that do not display symptoms until you are in a medical crisis. Injuries heal better with prompt medical treatment.
Your medical records are strong evidence of the extent and severity of your injuries. Your doctor or hospital file will also link the injuries to the wreck that caused them. If you wait a few days to go to the emergency room, the defendant could argue that you got hurt from something other than the car wreck.
2.- Agreeing to Give a Recorded Statement
The claims adjuster will likely contact you shortly after the wreck and ask if you will provide a recorded statement. He might say that the recorded statement is your opportunity to tell your side of the story, but these statements only help the insurer, not you.
The insurance company will get a transcript of the questions the adjuster asked you and your responses. The adjuster can then “cherry-pick” the transcript and take your words out of context, twisting them into something you did not intend. The insurer uses this tactic to try to pay you less money than you deserve. Remember: you have the right to remain silent, and with insurance companies, you should always do so.
3.- Accepting a Low-Ball Offer
Unless you work in the legal or liability insurance fields, you are unlikely to know how much money you should get from the at-fault driver’s insurer for your injury claim. Claims adjusters count on this and throw out a low-ball offer early in the case, hoping that the injured person will accept the offer. People often find out later that they should have received much more money, but then it is too late.
4.- Settling Your Case Before Completing Medical Treatment
You might be near the end of the physical therapy regimen your doctor prescribed. Claims adjusters often make a settlement offer at this point, knowing that people are tired of the inconvenience and eager to put the wreck behind them.
You should never settle your injury claim until you complete all of your medical treatment and get released by your doctor.  If you accept a settlement offer while still in physical therapy and your doctor later says that you need surgery to restore full range of motion, you will be unable to add that to your claim.  The insurer will not pay for that surgery, and your health insurance might not either since health insurance often excludes motor vehicle wreck injuries. You will have to pay for the surgery out of your own pocket. Also, your settlement should have been higher because of the higher medical bills.
These are but a few examples of the many pitfalls that can cause you to receive less money than you deserve. A North Carolina attorney can protect your rights and advocate for you so that you can focus on getting better. Contact us today.
If you or a family member have just been hurt and need help understanding the process or have worked with an insurer and found that they are not treating you fairly, we can help you get justice and fair compensation.  Insurance companies will pressure you to accept a quick lowball settlement offer before you know the true cost of your injuries and the value of your case. 
Each car wreck case is unique, and the Taibi Law Group consists of litigation attorneys that provide custom legal services.
Contact the attorneys at Taibi Law Group at 919-916-6000 or fill out the following online form to protect your rights.  Your initial injury consultation is Free.