Three Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Auto Accident Case

Posted on: 24 September 2015

If you are involved in an auto accident, then you may become injured and need to pay for repairs that have occurred to your vehicle. Complete reimbursement might involve filing a lawsuit. A legal professional can definitely help you with the lawsuit claim, but you can start the entire process on your own if you desire. If you decide to go this route, then you need to make sure that you do not make one of the following mistakes.

Quickly Completing Insurance Forms

You likely need to start the accident and injury reimbursement process by filing an insurance claim. Paperwork must be filed with either your own insurance provider or with the insurance company utilized by the individual who caused the accident. Typically, a third party claim will be required, and this means filing paperwork with the other driver's insurer. Usually, you are required to do this within one day of the incident. An investigation will occur after the initial claim is filed.

You may rush to complete the initial paperwork. Unfortunately, if you rush and omit details or add information that you did not provide to the police officer on the scene of the accident who drafted the police report, then the investigator may determine that you are lying about the incident. While this may not be true, this may lead to a complete dismissal of your claim. In some cases, the claim may be deemed fraudulent if the insurance investigation revealed facts that were omitted or completely different from the ones you provided. Not only will you not receive money for the accident and your medical bills, but you may be on the hook for costs associated with the insurance company's claim investigation.

Using Social Media

If you use social media sites, then you are part of a 1.73 billion group of people who enjoy sharing private moments with others. Many people do not think about what they post on these sites or what others post about them, but an insurance investigation is very likely to involve your social media posts. Even if you think your social media account is private, it likely is not. Privacy settings should be set so that only your friends can access your page. However, an investigator can access your information through your friend's pages if they are unconcerned about their privacy settings. Furthermore, experienced individuals can get into your account through social engineering and the cracking of weak passwords or relatively easy password security answers. 

To avoid any investigation issues, refrain from providing any and all details that relate to your accident, injuries, or lawsuit claims on social media. Try not to post pictures of yourself and do not create posts that show you involved in parties or activities. These photos may be used as evidence to suggest that you are not nearly as injured as you say you are. If possible, try to keep your family members and friends from posting pictures of you on their own social media accounts as well until the claims process has completed.

Signing Paperwork

An insurance company may offer a settlement or indicate that they need you to sign a document that states the basic facts of your case. Unfortunately, much of the paperwork you see will include some form of legal language that you are not likely to understand. In some cases, this language may include "fine print" that will give the insurance company access to your medical records or other personal information. This may not seem like a big deal, but your medical records are considered private and protected under HIPAA.

HIPAA allows you to sign paperwork to allow individuals access to your medical records. If the signature is attached to the paperwork that allows for full access, then the insurance company can go through both your recent and past medical history. Investigators may then determine that an accident injury is really considered a past injury based on ailments or injuries that you have seen doctors for in the past few years. It is a much better option to ask a legal professional to look over the "fine print" before signing anything so you know exactly what the paperwork says. 

You can read more here about how an auto accident attorney will help you get the compensation you deserve.


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