If you've been injured by the actions of a careless driver, you may initially be relieved to find that they had insurance coverage. Auto insurance can serve a need: getting your car repaired or replaced and taking care of your medical bills.
To make the assumption that auto insurance is the complete solution would be a mistake, however. Insurance carriers are not acting in your best interest, and you may be selling yourself short if you count on it alone. If you are considering to file a personal injury claim to be properly compensated for your injuries, read on to debunk some common misconceptions that happen during this process.
Myth One: You have nothing to hide, so you have no problem speaking to the insurance adjuster for the other side. You must keep in mind that insurance carriers, and the adjusters they employ, have a duty to pay out as little as possible on accident claims. You may be told that if you give a recorded statement about the accident over the phone, a nice check will be in the mail to you shortly. Unfortunately, speaking to an adjuster can cause irreparable harm to your chances of getting a good settlement offer. Never speak to an insurance representative for the other side, and only speak to your own insurance carrier's adjuster after consulting with a personal injury attorney. What you say could come back to haunt you, so keep silent.
Myth Two: You have prevailed and won the claim because the accident report proves the other driver was at fault. Make no mistake, the accident report is a prime piece of evidence and will be chock-full of valuable information. Often, you will find the names and contact information for all parties, the names of any eye-witnesses, and more. In many cases, the responding officer will offer a preliminary opinion as to the cause of the accident, and sometimes you can even find information about any driving citations issued and a drawing of the accident. While this report is important, it can not stand alone when it comes to evidence of fault. In fact, accident reports are not even admissible in a court of law, should your case come to that.
Myth Three: You felt that your injuries were too minor to pursue a personal injury claim, and now that you are still in pain, you believe it is too late to file. Undeniably, the sooner you take action against the at-fault driver, the greater your chances of getting a fair amount of compensation. If you did not file right away, however, you may still have time. Every state has a statute of limitations, which can vary from a year on up to several years, so check with a personal injury attorney in your locale to find out if you still have time to file.
Contact trial lawyers for more information about your personal injury case and how to proceed.