A car accident can inflict severe, extensive damage on numerous aspects of one’s life. Obtaining legal compensation can mitigate a great deal of that damage, helping you get medical treatments and pay bills when your injuries affect your earning power.
Unfortunately, many people fall into the trap of believing harmful myths that hinder them from pursuing the full extent of potentially available legal recovery. Avoiding the following three pitfalls is important in the aftermath of your accident.
1. Settling quickly is the best choice
Insurance companies often call with a settlement offer soon after the accident. No matter how friendly and knowledgeable the representative sounds, it is important to know that the insurer’s top priority is saving money on the payout, not treating you fairly. In fact, you yourself may not yet be fully aware of the extent of your injuries and how they will affect your life. A settlement offer that actually makes sense is far more likely to come at a later stage in the process. Discussing any offer with your attorney before making a commitment either way can help you avoid shortchanging yourself.
2. I cannot recover if the crash was partly my fault
In a car crash, fault and causation are not always black-and-white. In addition to the other driver’s negligence, contributing factors may include the weather, road maintenance, defective car parts and the conduct of additional parties. This last category may sometimes include you, the plaintiff. The good news is that New York law does not require you to have acted perfectly to be able to recover financial compensation. Under its comparative negligence principle, you can still get damages even if you were also at fault; an amount corresponding to the percentage of your fault will be subtracted from the award.
3. Going to the doctor is not worth my time
Many people have the tendency to minimize their suffering and try to get on with their lives, taking over-the-counter pain medicine and going to work instead of making an appointment with their doctor. However, in the long run, this approach can exacerbate injuries and harm a personal injury case.