Car accidents can be traumatic events, and dealing with insurance companies afterward can add to the stress. Insurance companies are businesses, and their primary goal is to minimize payouts.

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They often use tactics to achieve this, including encouraging claimants to make mistakes that could harm their claims. Knowing what these mistakes are and how to avoid them can help protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation.

Consulting a Norfolk car accident lawyer early in the process can also help you avoid these pitfalls and navigate the claims process successfully.

1. Admitting Fault

Importance of Caution

One of the most crucial mistakes to avoid after a car accident is admitting fault. Even if you believe you may have contributed to the accident, refrain from making any statements that could be interpreted as an admission of fault. Let the authorities and insurance companies investigate and determine fault based on the evidence.

Admitting fault can have serious legal implications and may jeopardize your ability to recover compensation for your injuries and damages. It’s best to stick to the facts when discussing the accident and avoid making any statements that could be misconstrued.

Request for Statements

Insurance adjusters may request recorded statements from you shortly after the accident. While they may seem harmless, these statements can be used against you later. Insurance companies may try to use your words out of context or to minimize your injuries.

Before providing any recorded statements, it’s crucial to consult with a Norfolk car accident lawyer. An attorney can advise you on what to say and ensure your rights are protected during the process. They can also handle communications with the insurance company on your behalf.

3. Accepting the First Settlement Offer

Lowball Settlement Offers

Insurance companies often make lowball settlement offers in the hopes that claimants will accept them out of desperation or lack of knowledge. These offers may not fully cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

Evaluating Settlement Offers

Before accepting any settlement offer, it’s essential to evaluate the offer carefully. Consider the extent of your injuries, the long-term impact on your life, and the total cost of your damages. A Norfolk car accident lawyer can help you assess the offer and negotiate for a fair settlement.

4. Delaying Medical Treatment

Importance of Prompt Medical Attention

Delaying medical treatment after a car accident can have serious consequences for your health and your claim. Some injuries, such as whiplash or internal injuries, may not show symptoms immediately but can worsen over time. Seeking prompt medical attention ensures your injuries are properly diagnosed and treated.

Documenting Injuries

Prompt medical treatment also provides official documentation of your injuries, which is crucial for your claim. Insurance companies may dispute your injuries if there is a significant delay between the accident and seeking medical care.

5. Not Following Doctor’s Orders

Compliance with Treatment Plans

Following your doctor’s orders is essential for your recovery and your claim. Failing to follow through with prescribed treatments or attending follow-up appointments can be used by insurance companies to argue that your injuries are not as severe as claimed.

Impact on Your Claim

Not following doctor’s orders can weaken your claim and reduce the amount of compensation you may receive. It’s important to prioritize your health and adhere to your treatment plan to ensure the best possible outcome for your claim.

Understanding Release Forms

Insurance companies may ask you to sign release forms as part of a settlement offer. These forms typically release the insurance company from any further liability related to the accident. Once signed, you may lose the right to pursue additional compensation.

Before signing any release forms, it’s crucial to have them reviewed by a Norfolk car accident lawyer. An attorney can ensure that your rights are protected and that the settlement offer is fair and adequate for your injuries and damages.


Insurance companies often employ tactics to minimize payouts to car accident victims. By avoiding these common mistakes and seeking legal guidance from a Norfolk car accident lawyer, you can protect your rights and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages. Remember to avoid admitting fault, provide recorded statements only with legal representation, carefully evaluate settlement offers, seek prompt medical attention, follow your doctor’s orders, and review release forms with an attorney before signing. These steps can help you navigate the claims process successfully and achieve a favorable outcome.

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