The moments after a serious wreck can feel like a whirlwind—especially if you’ve suffered a painful injury. Your emotions are likely running high, so it’s difficult to stay composed. However, it’s important to take a deep breath and consider your next actions carefully.
Any mistakes you make at the accident scene and in the weeks that follow could come back to haunt you, making it impossible for you to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and other losses. In this article, we take a look at a few common errors you should avoid if you’re planning to file a personal injury claim:
1. You Didn’t Report the Accident
In Ohio, car accident victims are required to contact authorities and file a police report after any accident that leads to someone’s death, injury, or property damage totaling $1,000 or more. When you call the police, they will usually arrive to clear the scene and investigate what happened.
The responding officers will typically note down their observations in an official report, which—while it isn’t admissible as evidence during litigation or trial—can be useful during settlement negotiations. Your attorney might also use this report to identify evidence and eyewitnesses that could help support your claim.
2. You Didn’t Document the Scene
Our smartphones have armed us with a high-resolution camera wherever we are in the world, including the aftermath of a serious wreck. This device could play a crucial role in your case, giving you the tools to document every part of the accident scene. You should take pictures of the vehicles involved, your injuries, road markings, street signs, weather conditions, debris from the wreckage, street faults (such as potholes), and any other aspect of the scene that could help you piece together what happened.
3. You Didn’t Visit the Doctor
Seeking medical attention isn’t just important to your health, it’ll also help you avoid disputes during proceedings. As a claimant, you have a responsibility to take reasonable measures to mitigate damages. Visiting the doctor is the first step in fulfilling this duty. Once you’ve received a diagnosis, you should make sure you take your recovery seriously as any signs that you deviated from your treatment plan could lead to the insurance company challenging your case.
4. You Didn’t Track Your Damages
In a personal injury case, you can only receive compensation for the losses you are able to prove. As such, you will need to provide financial documents to demonstrate the extent of such damages. Evidence can include invoices for your medical treatments, receipts for alternative transportation, estimates for home modifications, or paystubs showing lost income. You should make copies of any relevant documentation and keep these in a safe place so that they’re ready to share with your attorney during the initial consultation.
Speak to a Car Accident Attorney in Cleveland Today
Were you seriously hurt in a road wreck? A personal injury attorney can help you navigate proceedings, advising you of potential mistakes and how to avoid them.
At Obral, Silk & Pal Personal Injury Lawyers, we can grab the reins, overseeing the logistics of your case so that you can focus on your health and making sure you don’t do anything that might hurt your claim. Contact us today at 216-502-4281 or head over to our contact form HERE to request a free case evaluation with an Ohio car accident attorney.