An Ohio car accident attorney will always strive to win the highest compensation amount you deserve after a car crash. However, there are situations when what our clients say and do immediately and in the days after the accident can limit an attorney’s ability to reach the most favorable conclusion in your car accident claim.
Unfortunately, in the moments after an accident, people are in shock and not fully in control of their emotions and actions. This is exactly what insurance adjusters count on – getting to talk to you as soon as possible after the car accident.
One way or another, they hope to make you accept a quick settlement, decline filing a claim, or say something that hurts your future car accident claim. This is why getting legal representation from an experienced Ohio car accident attorney should be one of your main priorities after this type of accident.
If They Can’t Pay You Off, Insurance Agents Try to Increase Your Proportion of Fault
These are basically the two tactics auto insurance companies apply. Once they did an investigation of the accident, they know that you have an iron-clad personal injury claim. So they try to get you to settle without even knowing how badly hurt you actually are.
The fact of the matter is simple: if you sign the deal, you also accept to waive taking any legal actions in the future. This is something no Ohio car accident attorney can fight and get overturned.
The other tactic is to try to make you the at-fault driver in the crash. According to the contributory fault principle applicable in Ohio, if you are more than 50% at fault for your crash, you are not eligible to file a car accident claim.
Even if they cannot possibly do that, the insurance adjuster will try to increase your percentage of fault as much as possible – because your total damages are reduced by this percentage. In the case of a large claim, there is a consistent difference between getting your damages reduced by 10% or by 40%.
Unfortunately, many accident victims make it easier for insurance companies to place a larger proportion of blame on them.
Avoid These Car Accident Claim Mistakes
Before you meet with an Ohio car accident attorney to evaluate your case, remember to avoid doing the following things.
1. Accepting a Private Settlement from the At-Fault Driver
Sometimes, the at-fault driver will try to persuade you not to report the accident at all. They will offer you money to cover the cost of car repairs and going to the ER for a quick check-up. Never accept such a deal!
First of all, you are breaking the law. All Ohio drivers are obliged to report an accident to the police if:
- At least one person suffered injuries requiring medical attention
- The accident resulted in a death
- The accident resulted in more than $1,000 in property damage.
Secondly, the driver will definitely get the deal in writing and this will hurt your chances to win fair compensation in a car accident claim. The insurer will deny your claim, hoping that a jury will not be sympathetic when they hear that you already collected money for your injuries and property damage.
2. Arguing With the Driver at the Crash Scene
After a car accident, each driver will tell the police a version of the story that suits their best interests. But even if you realize that the other driver is not telling the truth, do not engage in an argument or altercation with them.
They may sue you for assault and battery. And even if they don’t, once your Ohio car accident attorney starts negotiating economic and non-economic damages with the insurer, they will point out that you could not have been so badly hurt if you were capable to start a fight.
The only type of fight you can win in a car accident claim is the legal one, with the help of an experienced attorney.
3. Delaying the Moment When You Seek Medical Attention
Even if you believe that you were only slightly injured in the accident, you should still seek medical attention. The best option is to ask for an ambulance when you call 9-1-1 to report the accident. In this way, the initial medical report will be prepared at the accident scene, and there will be no doubt that this is when and where you got hurt.
Going to the nearest ER is another option if you can drive yourself and do it as soon as the police finished investigating the crash. Never put it off for several days. As your Ohio car accident attorney will explain to you, it will be very hard to prove that you were injured in the respective accident.
After all, you walked away. You may have suffered an unrelated accident and now you want to defraud the insurance company. Of course that is not what happened – but this is the argument of all insurers in this situation.
4. Negotiating the Settlement on Your Own
As we explained at the beginning of the article, you are in no position to negotiate a fair settlement amount immediately after the crash. You will need weeks or months to recover from severe injuries. On top of the hospital bills and costs of treatment, you are losing wages.
But you cannot fully appreciate the value of your losses. And, anyway, the insurance adjuster’s offer represents just a small fraction of a fair compensation amount.
The best course of action is to refrain from discussing your accident or negotiating with the adjuster. Let them know that your Ohio car accident attorney will contact them shortly to file your claim.
5. Posting About the Accident on the Social Media
Finally, you can hurt your chances of winning the maximum settlement amount for your car accident claim if you share photos, videos and status updates on your social media pages. Insurance companies can access this information and will make the most of it.
Any statement such as “getting better”, “the pain is gone now” or anything similar will be used as proof that you are exaggerating your injuries – especially if they are accompanied by photos where you are trying to smile to reassure your family and friends.
Hire a Dedicated Car Accident Law Firm to Win Your Claim!
At Ohio Car Accident Lawyers, you will find the best legal team to represent you and win your car accident claim. What makes us different from other lawyers? First of all, we really care about getting the best results for our clients. Secondly, we are not afraid to take your case to court if we don’t get the desired results through negotiations.
We will put our negotiation and trial experience at your service and guide you through the entire process. Do not let time pass and do not try to figure out your claim on your own. Call us now at 844-853-7373 to schedule a free case review with a dedicated Ohio car accident attorney!