Car crashes are never convenient, but they are inevitable. When a collision occurs, there are steps you can take to help. Likewise, there are always things you can do to make the situation worse. Here are five unproductive things you should not do following a car crash:
- DON’T give a statement to the insurance company.
Insurance companies will take your words and spin them and twist them and make it seem like you admitted or said something you didn’t. This rule even applies to your own insurance company.
If the other driver is uninsured and you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company can become your opponent. They’ll sound friendly and sympathetic. They’ll act like they’re going to resolve the case, and then they’ll offer you a tiny amount of money. And by that point? You’re already locked into to the statements you’ve made, and there’s very little you can do.
- DON’T seek medical treatment from a chiropractor or a medical facility that’s reached out to you.
Unfortunately, there are some opportunistic chiropractors and medical providers in Indiana who make a point of reaching out to people who have been in a crash. They get access to police reports or somehow find out who’s been in a crash. They might call you, or even show up at your house and leave a note on the door.
These solicitors are going to leave you with the impression that the at-fault driver’s insurance company is going to pay for this treatment. Everything will be taken care of! Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t work that way. These chiropractors are just trying to latch on to a case to make some money.
The chiropractor’s office might even try to get you to sign with the chiropractor’s preferred attorney. As you can imagine, insurance companies don’t think very highly of these types of relationships between lawyers and medical providers. Going through them will hurt your case.
- DON’T ignore a medical professional’s advice.
If you skip medical appointments, the insurance company is going to argue one of two things: either (a) you must not have been hurt that badly; or (b) you’ve failed to mitigate your damages. In Indiana, a plaintiff who’s been hurt has a duty to seek medical treatment. You have to take affirmative steps to address the problem. If you skip appointments or you don’t follow your doctor’s instructions, you’re giving the insurance company ammunition to use against you. Don’t do that.
- DON’T post about your crash and injuries on social media.
Under the rules of evidence, insurance companies sometimes have access to social media posts. They might just see it later. Either way, you’re better off not posting anything, because the insurance company will take your words and twist them.
If you’ve already posted something, however, it’s best to leave it up. You can change your settings to private, but don’t delete anything. You don’t want to have to deal with accusations of destroying evidence.
- DON’T negotiate the claim yourself.
The insurance company adjusters are experts at this type of negotiation. They’ll tell you that you don’t need an attorney and that you’ll get less money if you hire one, but all the independent studies say otherwise. If you have an attorney, you’ll end up with more money in your pocket at the end of the day. At minimum, you should consult with an experienced attorney so you can be prepared for dealing with the insurance company.
The number one purpose of injury law is safety. Let’s all do our part and make the world a safer place. If you have any questions, give us a call, 317-632-3642.