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Crash victims: Never downplay injuries after a crash

Distracted driving poses a threat to everyone on the road. You might have noticed the driver approaching you wasn’t looking up. She was looking down, and you can only assume that she was on her phone or looking at her radio. That short time looking away from the road was enough time for her to strike you. It wasn’t a serious accident, but you did suffer injuries. Should you make a big deal out of the crash? You aren’t severely hurt, and she’s upset.

Remember this: The way you act at the scene may impact the award you receive later. If you say you’re fine, you’re likely to be faced with a problem when the insurance company has witnesses that say you said you didn’t suffer any injuries. Be clear that you will seek compensation for your injuries, go to the hospital for a check-up and don’t say anything that could be used against you later.

Why would a person even downplay injuries? Here’s a scenario where you might. If a new driver with a parent in the car hits you, you might feel guilty about the young teen facing the impact of the collision on his insurance. Additionally, he could face criminal charges or citations if you point out what he was doing before the accident.

Most people would hesitate before telling the police that information, considering how it could affect a young driver. You shouldn’t, though. It’s an important lesson for the driver to learn, and it’s one you’re paying for with injuries, lost wages and other financial impacts.

Why shouldn’t you downplay your injuries? Here are a few thoughts.

It hurts your case when you seek compensation

Even though you have medical documentation to show that you suffered an injury, an insurance company may argue that you suffered those injuries before, or following, the accident instead of from it if you say you’re okay when you’re at the scene.

It hurts your credibility

How can anyone believe a person who continues to change his or her story? If you say you’re okay at the scene and then later change your tune, that might seem unusual to the insurance company and to others who witnessed the way you acted at the scene. Don’t say or do anything at the scene that makes it look like you’ve suffered less than you have. You don’t need to protect anyone from the repercussions of the accident, and it is your right to seek compensation for any and all injuries you suffer.

Your attorney can help you file a claim for an appropriate settlement after you seek medical help. Having an accurate diagnosis of your medical state, information on your lost wages and other information can help you get what you need.

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