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Common Myths about Car Accidents – and the Real Truth You Need to Know

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Common Myths about Car Accidents – and the Real Truth You Need to Know

No one goes through life expecting to be in an accident.

So, it is not uncommon for individuals to be under-informed about the process of filing a claim or even their rights. Unfortunately, this paves the way for myths to seep into our brains and make us assume things that are not true – and sometimes can derail our chances of receiving compensation entirely.

While there is nothing wrong with turning to friends and family for advice, you must realize that if they have not been in an accident, they might be using the information they have heard elsewhere and not always from a reliable source.

The best way to receive accurate information is to contact an accident attorney – like those at Malman Law.

Our advocates educate our clients on their rights and what to expect from the accident claim process, including what may occur if we proceed with a lawsuit. We advise anyone who has been in an accident to contact an attorney and schedule a consultation.

While you wait for that appointment, let us go over the common car accident myths and the facts you should know.

Common Car Accident Myths Chicago Injury Attorneys Need to Set Straight

Myths are out there for just about anything in life – and car accidents are no different.

Whether it is the accident itself, the insurance claims process later, or filing a lawsuit, be informed about car accidents here in Chicago by understanding these common myths and the real truth.

Myth #1: Your Insurance Company Works for You – They Will Resolve the Claim with the Other Party’s Insurance

In theory, you pay your insurance company, you are the client, so that must mean that they work for you.

In reality, it is rarely the case.

Even if your insurance company calls you saying that they will fight for your compensation and resolve the issue, you must realize all insurance companies have a single goal: to preserve their bottom line. The more time they invest, and the more money they pay out, the less money in their company reserves.

Your insurance company is legally obligated to provide payments when requested, but they are still a business. And like all businesses, they drive on profits. Treating your insurance company as though they are a friend or family member working for you is the biggest mistake you can make.

Insurance companies avoid liability at all costs. They have no problem using tricks and legal maneuvers to get out of paying for a claim, and they will gladly take advantage of anyone trying to negotiate a settlement without professional help.

When your insurance company or the other side offers you a settlement, realize that the amount offered is likely much less than what you deserve. The only issue is it could take you a few months or years afterwards to figure that out – and by then it is too late.

Myth #2: Any Personal Injury Attorney Can File a Lawsuit and Help Me Get Compensation

Yes, any attorney can technically file a lawsuit and seek compensation.

However, the amount of compensation, the time it takes, and the results vary, depending on the quality of representation you have.

One attorney might have just as much experience handling injury claims as another, but their record for settlement amounts and success can vary significantly from another. Also, whether they are willing to go to court or not matters in the eyes of an insurance company.

If the insurance company knows an attorney is unlikely to take them to court, they will push that attorney around until they settle – and the person that suffers here is the victim. On the other hand, if an insurance company knows an attorney has experience and will go to trial if necessary, they are more likely to settle out of court for the amount you need.

Do not hire the first attorney you find. Instead, consider all your options, have consultations with a few, and hire the one that not only has a good reputation but one you are comfortable with as well.

Myth #3: The Accident Was Minor, I Don’t Need a Police Report or to File a Claim

Leaving the scene of the accident or not reporting an accident not only hurts your case later but might result in criminal charges, too.

You cannot leave the scene of an accident when property damage is more than $500 – which is the case for most fender benders. Furthermore, you might not feel injured at the time, but even a rear-end collision with minimal vehicle damage could result in painful injuries. The only catch is that these injuries don’t manifest right away (sometimes days).

If you do not take the right steps at the scene of the accident, you could face numerous issues when you are ready to file a lawsuit or request compensation from your insurance company.

Any time you are in an accident, regardless of the injuries you may feel, you need to do the following:

  • Pull over and assess. Make sure everyone in your car, as well as in the other car, are okay and no one needs immediate medical attention.
  • Call the police and report the accident.
  • Get the other party’s insurance and contact information and give them yours for reference.
  • Take photographs of the accident scene if you can. You’ll want pictures of the area, the condition of the vehicles, and your injuries.
  • Talk to the police and give them a statement, but never admit fault.
  • See a doctor right away – even if you feel fine. The human body is notorious for masking pain as a survival mechanism, but that doesn’t mean you are without injuries. You could have traumatic brain injuries, internal bleeding, or even something minor like soft tissue damage. The issue is that these injuries will manifest symptoms later – and by then, you could be too late.

Myth #4: I Feel Fine, So I Don’t Need a Doctor

After the initial accident and even a few days later, you feel fine.

The reality is that car accident injuries can take time to manifest. Traumatic brain injuries, soft tissue injuries, back injuries, nerve damage, and other complications take some time to display. Without diagnostic testing, you might not realize the severity of your injuries until days after the incident.

Regardless of how you feel at the accident, you need to see a physician. If you do not want to incur the costs of an emergency room visit, you can see your family physician and make sure everything is okay. Furthermore, if you notice pain (even slightly) after the accident, you should seek treatment to make sure nothing more serious is going on.

If you see the doctor, follow all treatment plans they give you as well. In the event you file a lawsuit later, failure to follow through with doctors’ orders could result in the court not approving all medical costs you request compensation for.

Myth #5: All Auto Accident Laws Are the Same – Regardless of Where You Live

Every state has different auto accident laws, because these agencies run how car insurance is sold in their state.

Filing a car insurance claim itself is complicated, and it becomes more complicated if you don’t know your state laws. Some states allow no-fault insurance, but Illinois is not one of those states. Instead, accidents in Illinois fall under fault laws, which means the financial responsibility for the accident falls on the party who caused the crash.

Hire the Right Attorney for Your Accident

No one wants to be the victim of a car accident. But when it happens, you want to rest assured you have an advocate by your side ready to fight for you and your right to compensation.

You want an experienced attorney that handles car accident claims, like the advocates at Malman Law.

Our attorneys understand how confusing it can be after an accident. We also know that information from all sides (family, friends, co-workers, and the internet) can become confusing.

We are here to advise you on your rights, walk you through the process of filing a claim, and negotiate the compensation you need so that you can cover your expenses.

We help our clients receive compensation for:

  • Medical expenses – including any future medical care related to your accident
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity (in the event you cannot work because of your injuries)
  • Loss of enjoyment after a disabling injury
  • Loss of companionship when a loved one dies because of their accident injury

To get started, meet with one of our attorneys for a no obligation case evaluation. Schedule an appointment now at 888-625-6265. You can also ask our team a question online by completing the online contact form.

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2 years ago I was involved in a trucking accident involving a 14-wheeler truck that nearly disabled me for life. Steve fought to make sure that I received the most possible compensation for my injuries. I was about to take the insurance company’s lowball offer, but decided to call Steve first – it was the best decision I’ve made yet

NOAH TAFFELPersonal Injury Victim