The Sacramento attorneys of Guenard & Bozarth have represented victims of motor vehicle accidents for more than 25 years. Although we have obtained notable results in difficult cases, sometimes we are not able to recover the full value of a claim because injured parties have made critical mistakes that cannot be undone.
Don't take chances with something so important. Talk to the professionals at 916-226-9098.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
10 Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Case
To protect your rights and maximize your compensation, you need to be informed and wary. We encourage you to download our free booklet that describes in detail 10 serious mistakes that we see again and again:
(1) Failing To Obtain A Police Report
The 911 operator will ask if anyone is injured. The best response is to say you do not need an ambulance but you do want a police officer to respond to the scene. Firmly insist that the officer fill out a Traffic Collision Report, which will contain valuable observations and witness statements that otherwise might be lost.
(2) Not Seeking Prompt Medical Attention
Many injuries are not immediately apparent. But failing to go to the emergency room or a delay in seeing a doctor or chiropractor puts your health at risk and potentially reduces your compensation by making your injuries seem less serious than they are.
(3) Failing To Tell The Doctor Everything
It is important to report each and every symptom you experience in the aftermath of an accident. If your aches, limitations and side effects are not documented in the medical records, you may not be fully compensated for your pain and suffering.
(4) Not Seeking Legal Advice Early On
Our personal injury lawyers offer a free, no-obligation consultation. Many people miss important details or do irreparable harm to their case by trying to handle it themselves. Before you say the wrong thing or get in over your head, call in the professionals. We will ask specific questions relating to your injuries and damage to your vehicle that may later have great bearing on the outcome.
(5) Giving A Recorded Statement To The Insurance Company
Insurance adjusters sound friendly and helpful, but they are trained to get information that can later be used to deny or reduce your compensation. You must report your accident to your insurer. But before giving a formal statement or signing anything, talk to an attorney who can tell you what you should and should not say.
(6) Taking Your Damaged Vehicle To Their "Preferred" Body Shop
The insurance company's priority is to save money. Their recommended repair center may offer a quick and convenient estimate, but you will almost surely be shortchanged of the full repair or replacement value. You have the right to get several estimates and take your car to any shop you choose.
(7) Failing To Disclose Previous Accidents Or Injuries
Did your car accident re-injure a prior injury or aggravate a pre-existing medical condition? It is a big mistake to try to hide this from your doctor, your attorney or the insurance company. An old injury will not bar you from receiving compensation, but withholding information will.
(8) Failing To Follow Through On Medical Treatment
The insurance companies will deduct money for gaps in treatment. Skipping physical therapy or doctor appointments signals that you are healed and don't need care, when you may have chronic pain and disabilities. Ongoing treatment and monitoring are critical to your medical recovery and your legal claims.
(9) Failing To Seek A Permanent Impairment Rating
Many accident victims have lingering back pain, neck pain and other symptoms for years after the fact. If you have residual physical problems from a collision, you should ask your doctor to evaluate you for a permanent impairment rating. A documented rating can greatly increase your personal injury compensation.
(10) Declining Uninsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Hundreds of thousands of California drivers have little or no insurance. If such a driver is at fault, you may be covered through your own auto insurance by a provision called uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist. This coverage is not required by law, but it is very affordable and worth every penny to purchase as much UM/UIM as you can. It may be the only protection for you and your family if the other guy is not covered.
Knowledge Is Power — And Dollars
From offices in Sacramento and Elk Grove, our accident attorneys handle cases throughout Northern California. We have tried cases before juries and seen every insurance company tactic. Download the full "10 Mistakes" booklet to educate yourself about your rights and how an attorney can help, or contact us now to get answers for your specific situation in a free attorney consultation.