Statistically, every single person in the United States will be involved
in a car collision at least once in their lives. Despite this staggering
estimate, most people are genuinely unprepared for the reality of a car
accident. Car accidents can be startling events, and even the most composed
person may have trouble navigating the aftermath. The various myths surrounding
car accidents and personal injury lawsuits often make these situations
To alleviate your concerns, the
Austin car accident attorneys at The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC have compiled a list of 4 common myths to
help you separate fact from fiction.
Myth #1: It’s Okay to Leave the Scene
Even if an accident doesn’t cause property damage or physical injuries,
it’s still important to call emergency services and complete an
accident report with a law enforcement officer. Leaving the scene of an
accident can put you in a delicate legal situation that may result in
a misdemeanor charge.
Before leaving an accident scene, it’s important to complete the
following steps, especially if you want to file a claim:
- Make sure all vehicles safely pull over
- Do not admit fault
- Call 911
- Note the other driver’s insurance information, license plate number,
and car model
- Take photos of the vehicles involved, the accident scene, and any injuries
- Write down witness names and information
- Make a statement to the police officer
You can leave the scene once the police say that it’s safe to go.
If you can, seek immediate medical attention and notify your insurance
company about the accident within 24 hours.
Myth #2: I Don’t Need a Doctor
You are incredibly lucky if you’re able to walk away from an accident
without a serious injury. However, it can take days or even weeks for
injury symptoms to manifest after a car collision. It’s imperative
that you seek medical attention immediately after a car collision because
doctors are trained to look for signs of head, neck and back injuries.
These injuries are notoriously difficult to detect without diagnostic
testing, and forgoing medical care often leads to exacerbated health complications.
Even minor aches and pains can be the early symptoms of dangerous chronic
conditions that require treatment.
Plus, if you don’t visit the doctor within 7 days, the defendant’s
insurance company may claim that your personal injury case does not warrant damages.
Myth #3: Insurance Companies Offer Fair Settlements
An insurance company is just that—a company. Its key priority is
making and saving money. Once the accident is reported, the defendant’s
insurance company is already investigating the case and planning various
ways to undermine your claim if you don’t accept their substandard
settlement. The only way you can avoid being under-compensated is to hire
an experienced car accident lawyer.
Myth #4: Whiplash Doesn’t Exist
Whiplash is a non-medical term that indicates the collective symptoms a
person may experience when their head and neck are violently jerked back
and forth. This sudden motion can cause extreme and lasting damage to
the soft tissues in a victim’s neck. Whiplash is a common car accident
injury, but for some reason many people refuse to believe that it’s
an actual condition. Interestingly, 60% of all car accident claims include
neck injuries related to whiplash.
Symptoms of whiplash typically appear within 24 hours but can affect a
victim for months. If you haven’t recovered after 6 months, you
may be suffering from “chronic whiplash.” This is a condition
that a medical professional will need to address.
Injured by a Negligent Driver? Contact an Experienced Attorney
There are countless myths surrounding car accidents, insurance companies,
and personal injury claims. It can be overwhelming to sift through the
various misconceptions when you’re also trying to recover from your
injuries. The only way to truly protect your interests and secure compensation
is to retain the services of an experienced car accident lawyer. At The
Stewart Law Firm, PLLC, our Austin car accident attorneys can address
all your questions and help you file an effective claim. We can be by
your side through each step of this complicated legal process and negotiate
with insurance companies on your behalf.
Don’t leave your future to chance. Contact The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC
at (512) 271-5112 if you require legal representation.