Immediately following a car accident, victims are often extremely disoriented and struggle to make informed quick decisions about what to do next. Still rattled from the collision that happened only moments earlier, drivers will sometimes make poor choices that could negatively affect their chances of obtaining sufficient compensation for vehicle repairs, medical bills, and any other type of damage that resulted from the crash. I've compiled the following list to explain the top 5 mistakes people make after a car accident in South Carolina. Avoiding these mistakes will ensure you are given the fairest chance at receiving crucial monetary assistance to manage the financial hardships that may come your way.
1. Giving a recorded statement to the insurance company
After a crash, you will probably begin receiving phone calls from the insurance companies. In most instances, these insurance companies will ask for a recorded statement. When I say, “ask,” what I really mean is that they will mislead you into believing you must give a statement.
If you have been told a recorded statement is required after a car accident in South Carolina, you have probably been deceived. Trusting the insurance adjuster is a costly mistake. The adjuster's efforts to obtain a statement is nothing more than an attempt to collect evidence against you. Your words can be twisted and exploited to decrease the value of your case. With that in mind, think twice before talking to an insurance adjuster.
2. Signing the insurance carrier’s medical records release
Along with requests for recorded statements, the insurance carriers will also request that victims sign health authorization forms. By signing these forms, you allow access to much of your medical history. The majority of the records that they request have nothing to do with the accident, but are instead designed to find some trace of pre-existing conditions or poor health.
3. Choosing not to file medical bills with your health insurance company, Medicaid, Medicare, or Tricare
If you do not file your medical bills with your health insurance provider, or request that the medical provider does so for you, you will be charged as an uninsured person. That means you could be facing thousands of dollars in unpaid medical expenses rather than a small co-pay. To avoid having your medical bills being sent to collections, make sure all medical expenses from the accident are billed to your health insurer.
4. Mentioning your wreck or injuries on a social media site
Everything you say on a social media site, you say to the world. Insurance companies, defense lawyers, judges, and juries may all one day see the way you described your accident, injuries, sleeplessness, and anger. Much like giving a recorded statement, your social media posts can be turned against you.
5. Signing a release before speaking to a car wreck lawyer
Once you sign the release and mail it off, your case is almost certainly over. There is very little that an attorney can do after a release has been executed. That is why they call it a release. You are “releasing” the insurance carrier, driver, and everyone else, including your own insurance company, from ever having to pay you another dime for your harms and losses.
Columbia Car Accident Attorney Kenny Berger Can Help
I handle auto accidents across South Carolina. Unfortunately, I have seen these mistakes made by unrepresented people again and again. So before damaging your case or signing away your rights, find out how an experienced car wreck lawyer can help. Call me today at 803-790-2800 for a free consultation as well as free copies of my books.