Most people who have been involved in car accidents can easily find information online about all the things you should do after a car crash. Just as important as what you do is what you do not do, and the concept of avoiding certain actions deserves just as much stress.
You should never try to tackle financial compensation for a car accident on your own. You should always get a Billings personal injury attorney on your side so you can have the best chance of making the biggest possible recovery of damages.
If you suffered serious injuries in a car accident caused by another party’s negligence in Montana, make sure that you secure legal representation right away. Scheveck & Salminen Law handles all kinds of car crash claims in the Billings area and works to make sure clients obtain fair and full compensation.
Our firm works tirelessly to make sure that people get some measure of justice for the situations they did not ask to be placed in. You can call our firm at (406) 894-2121 or contact us online to receive a free consultation that will allow us to perform a complete review of your case and discuss all of your legal options with you.
You want to avoid making recorded statements to any insurance adjuster after a car accident, even if it is a statement to your own insurer. It can be too easy for a person to say the wrong thing or use the improper word in a recorded statement, and an insurance company can then turn around and use those words against you later on.
Your insurance company probably does not need a recorded statement, but most insurers generally require people to cooperate with them after accidents. Your statement does not always have to be recorded, so you could be able to just provide a written statement instead and be far more careful with the words you choose to use.
You should always speak with a car accident attorney before providing any kind of statement to any insurer. Insurance companies want recorded statements because they are easier and faster than waiting for written statements.
The big problem with a recorded statement you make to your own insurer is that it could still be used by another driver’s insurance company against you.
A good example of the problem with posting to social media after an accident is probably the case Largent v. Reed, PICS Case No. 11-4463 (C.P. Franklin Nov. 8, 2011), in which a plaintiff claimed that an accident left her with severe physical and mental pain had the defendants present the court with post-accident photos the plaintiff posted to her Facebook account demonstrating that she was feeling well enough to engage in daily activities such as attending the gym. The court then ordered the plaintiff to hand over her Facebook login information because it concluded that the information contained on her Facebook profile was discoverable because it was relevant and not covered by any privilege.
This simply means that after an accident, you should always avoid posting about the accident, specifically on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media account, and you should even avoid posting about what you are doing because that too can be used against you. Also, be aware that lawyers know how to uncover posts that you delete after the fact.
While an insurance company may imply that an initial settlement offer is a sort of “now or never” agreement and a victim rejecting the proposal means they will get nothing, nothing could be farther from the truth. You do not have to accept any offer from an insurance company, and you should never agree to any offer without first running it by a personal injury lawyer.
As the Legal Information Institute at the Cornell Law School notes, a plaintiff needs to seriously consider a settlement offer because, in many jurisdictions, the plaintiff cannot recover costs when their judgment is less than the settlement offer. The problem with accepting a settlement is that it will be final and binding, meaning that if you learn later on that you will need more money, you will have no legal recourse to obtain any more damages.
Many people who receive settlement offers are only thinking about the bills they are currently facing but do not account for the future costs. An attorney will take all of these factors into consideration when negotiating an amount that provides far more fair amounts of compensation.
Did you recently suffer major injuries, or was your loved one killed in a car accident caused by another party’s negligence? Make sure that you speak to Scheveck & Salminen Law before taking any action on your own.
Our firm can be by your side throughout the entire legal process. We will be your advocates in court when you call us at (406) 894-2121 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.