When you've been injured in a car wreck, it's only natural to focus on getting your life back to normal again. Recovering from your physical injuries and getting your car repaired or replaced so that you can return to your normal activities can take a lot of energy, especially when you consider the trauma you have already experienced. It's easy to have your attention taken away from your insurance claim, however, since you may be placing your confidence in the insurance company to do the right thing and provide you with adequate and fair compensation for your injuries. You may be making a mistake if you do that; insurance companies are not on your side. Read on to learn how to avoid these car wreck myths.
The other driver is a very nice person; everyone has a bad day once in a while and it was just an accident.
You may be initially relieved to find that while the other driver has adequate insurance, they feel absolutely terrible about the accident. Make sure that you don't allow your sympathetic nature prompt you to say something that could later jeopardize your claim, either at the accident scene or later on. Be especially cautious about admitting any partial fault for the accident. For example, you may feel the urge to say, "I was probably going too fast also". Admitting even partial fault could reduce your compensation amount. It's best to say very little or nothing to the other driver.
The accident report has already assigned fault in the accident.
The police officer who responded to the accident will be filing an accident report of the incident, and it will likely contain a lot of valuable information. Most reports list the contact information of involved parties, a listing of any traffic citations issued, drawings of the scene and sometimes the officer's opinion of the cause of the accident. Don't let the inclusion of that last bit of information throw you off, no matter what the officer's opinion may be. Fault is not determined by the officer at the scene, but by a package of evidence that includes photographs, video, witness statements and more. It's interesting to note that the accident report is not admissible as evidence in a personal injury trial.
I have waited too long to file a claim.
While there is statute of limitations that could bar you from filing a claim, in many cases the time frame is at least two years. This rule, which ensures that lawsuits are brought in a timely manner, sets out timelines that vary depending on the state the accident occurred in. The best course of action is to consult with a personal injury lawyer and allow a legal professional to review your case and determine how much time you have to file a claim.