When it comes to car accidents, it is easy to make crucial mistakes in the aftermath. Keep in mind, making these mistakes can not only jeopardize your car insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, but also can be physically and emotionally costly.
The following are the most common mistakes people make after a car accident:
- Not contacting law enforcement – A police report is an objective document of what transpired in the crash. Such a report can prevent false claims from the other driver or witnesses. The police report can be used as sufficient evidence.
- Admitting guilt – Do not say “I’m sorry” after a car accident. While it may be polite to apologize after accidentally bumping into another person on the sidewalk, that doesn’t apply to car accidents. Saying sorry can be viewed as an admission of fault in the eyes of insurance companies, who are dedicated to doing everything they can to deny your claim and protect their bottom line.
- Failing to gather evidence – While you wait for the police to arrive, collect as much evidence as you can. The best thing to do is take pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, the people involved, and the injuries suffered. Having the evidence you need will help ensure a positive outcome in your case.
- Failing to exchange insurance information – No matter how minor or serious the accident is, you need to obtain the other party’s contact information. You must get the name, address, phone number, license number, insurance information, and the make and model of the other driver’s vehicle. Even if you think you are fine, is it possible that an injury can develop later on.
- Failing to get medical attention – Even if you don’t immediately feel any pain, you still need to seek prompt medical treatment after the accident. As we mentioned above, symptoms of some injuries do not appear until later on. Furthermore, the opposing insurance provider will try to later minimize a victim’s injuries if he/she failed to get medical care after the crash.
- Not contacting the insurance company – You must always contact the insurer after a collision. Failing to notify your insurance provider could prevent you from recovering compensation for your injuries.
- Accepting the first settlement offer – When an insurance company initially offers a settlement, it is typically less than what you actually deserve. Once you accept the deal, you are not allowed to reopen your case with the insurance company if the money doesn’t cover your future medical expenses.
- Not hiring a lawyer – If you or someone else suffered a serious injury in a car accident, you need to retain legal representation to help protect your rights and best interests. Without an attorney on your side, you could be vulnerable to any of the mistakes mentioned above. Your lawyer can investigate your case, collect evidence, negotiate with insurance adjusters, and build an effective case on your behalf, while you recover from your injuries.
At the Law Office of James M. Stanley, we are committed to helping you recover the monetary damages you deserve. If you are able to avoid any of the mistakes mentioned above, you will have a strong chance of winning your case.
For more information, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.