Car accidents in Massachusetts are a common occurrence, and the aftermath can be highly stressful and overwhelming. Even seemingly minor crashes can cause injuries and significant property damage. Fortunately, if you’ve been involved in a car accident due to another’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation for any resulting damages.
One important aspect of recovering from a car accident is dealing with insurance claims. Making mistakes during this process can significantly impact your ability to receive compensation. To ensure a smooth and successful insurance claim, it’s important to avoid certain mistakes during the claims process.
Common Mistakes People Make Following an Auto Accident
According to data collected by MassDOT, there were a total of 29,437 car accidents involving injuries in Massachusetts in 2023. That’s equivalent to more than 80 accidents per day. Considering these numbers, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the steps to take — and not to take — in the minutes, hours, days, and weeks following a car crash. Some of the most common mistakes people make following a car accident include:
Delaying Reporting the Accident
Time is of the essence when it comes to reporting a car accident. Many insurance policies have specific deadlines for reporting incidents. Failing to report the accident promptly may give the insurance company a reason to deny your claim. As soon as it is safe to do so, report the accident to your insurance company and the local authorities.
Not Seeking Immediate Medical Attention
Even if your injuries seem minor initially, it’s in your best interest to seek medical attention promptly. Delaying medical treatment not only jeopardizes your health but also weakens your claim. Insurance companies often question the severity of injuries if there is a significant gap between the accident and seeking medical help.
Providing Incomplete Information
When filing an insurance claim, be thorough and provide all necessary information. Failing to disclose relevant details or providing incomplete information can be detrimental to your case. Include details such as the names and contact information of all parties involved, witness statements, and a detailed account of the accident.
Accepting a Quick Settlement
Insurance companies may offer a quick settlement to resolve the claim swiftly. While it might be tempting to accept, this can lead to receiving significantly less compensation than you deserve. Consult with a personal injury attorney before accepting any settlement offer to ensure it adequately covers your medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Neglecting to Document the Scene
Gathering evidence is essential for a successful insurance claim. If it’s safe to do so, document the accident scene by taking photographs or videos. Capture the positions of the vehicles, damage sustained, visible injuries, and any relevant road signs or signals. This documentation can serve as valuable evidence during the claims process.
Not Consulting with an Attorney
The insurance claims process is challenging. Without legal guidance, you risk receiving a reduced settlement or no settlement at all. An experienced car accident attorney will help you understand your rights, assess the true value of your claim, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
Altman & Altman, LLP — Your Massachusetts Car Accident Legal Team
Avoiding these common insurance claim mistakes is essential for a successful recovery after a car accident. Taking the right steps early on can make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim. If you find yourself facing challenges or have questions about your case, the car accident team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. Our experienced injury attorneys are here to protect your legal rights and help you receive the full compensation you deserve.