When you are hurt in a auto accident, your response to the situation can impact whether you can pursue litigation for your injuries. While you may understand the steps you should take after an accident, it’s also essential to know what not to do. The decisions and steps you take in the minutes, hours, and days after an accident can impact your eligibility for compensation or decrease the value of your claim. Read on for mistakes to avoid after a car accident.
Not Calling Law Enforcement
Some accident victims do not call the police after an accident. They figure their car is still drivable, or the damage is too minor to even bother. Unfortunately, most states require you to call the police after most traffic accidents. If an accident is minor and there are no claims to be filed, it’s not always required. But it’s a good idea to call the police anyway if there might be a future claim.
Additionally, a police report is proof that the accident happened. The insurance company, driver, or their attorney may have a more difficult time denying the accident or arguing that you had pre-existing injuries when law enforcement comes to the scene of the accident, investigates the crash, and files an official report.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Even if you didn’t cause the accident, leaving the scene of an accident undermines your credibility and potentially damages your claim. Anyone involved in a car accident has a legal obligation to stay at the scene, exchange information, and help get needed medical care. Leaving the scene of an accident when injury or death occurs can result in fines and prison time.
You can contact an attorney or your insurance company from the scene but never leave. Also, remaining at the scene preserves evidence that investigators use to determine liability. Proving fault is key to recovering compensation for losses related to injuries.
Not Seeking Medical Attention
A common strategy for insurance companies is to deny claims or reduce the value of a claim by arguing pre-existing injuries or that injuries are not as serious as a victim claims. Letting a physician examine you for common car accident injuries makes pain, discomfort, and physical injuries part of your medical record. This proof of your injuries makes it much harder for insurance companies to dispute your claim.
It’s natural to want to resolve things as quickly as possible. One of the ways you might try and do that is apologizing for the accident. You may want yourself or the other people to feel better by saying, “I’m sorry.” The at-fault driver is financially liable for all damages related to an accidental injury claim. Let law enforcement and your lawyer determine the facts of the accident. In situations where you think you are 100 percent at fault, you might be only partially to blame because of the actions of other drivers.
Not Gathering Evidence at the Scene
Photographs of the scene of the accident are one of the best types of evidence you can gather. They can help show how the accident happened and who is at fault. Try to take photos before the vehicles are moved from the positions they got in after the accident. Be sure to get images of all points of view and include skid marks, lane marks, or objects that could block a driver’s view.
Failing To Report the Accident To Your Insurance Company
Car accident victims often fail to report their accident to their insurance company. In some cases, the driver feels fine, and the property damage is minor, so the driver does not want to go through the trouble. The driver at fault may have begged you not to report the accident to your insurance company. In other cases, a victim figures that the other driver caused the crash, so they only need to report the accident to the other driver’s carrier. Most insurance carriers require drivers to report an accident if the driver’s coverage might apply, even if you are sure the other driver is at fault. Failing to report the accident can result in a denied claim or policy cancellation in some cases.
Posting On Social Media Networks
Investigators from the insurance company will leave no stone left unturned to try and de-value your claim. This includes extracting information from your social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Posting on social media after a car accident is a severe mistake. Seemingly innocent facts can be used against you. The same is true about posting pictures of the accident or injuries. It’s best to keep the evidence between you and your lawyers.
Taking the Insurance Company’s Word for It
For every dollar the insurance company refuses to pay you, they keep a dollar in profits. Insurance companies have incentives to deny quality claims. They also have a reason to convince you that the settlement they are offering is sufficient, but it may be just pennies on the dollar. It’s worth your while to ask an injury lawyer to evaluate your claim. They can give you the confidence to know whether you are getting a good deal.
Skipping Parts Of Your Story
Your attorney is your teammate. They’re there to help you get the best settlement in court. For that to happen, you need to be completely honest at all times. If you tell your attorney the good stuff and bad, they have time to react to it and prepare the best case possible on your behalf.
Hiring a car accident attorney to handle your claim can be one of the most beneficial things that you do. Call The Patel Firm. In southern Texas, you need the best car accident lawyer in Corpus Christi. When we accept a case, we work hard to provide our clients with the support they deserve following a severe car accident. Our clients appreciate our willingness to jump in and answer questions, negotiate with the insurance company that covers the liable driver, and walk clients through the claim.
At The Patel Firm, our goal is to make the process as easy as possible while maximizing the compensation you receive for your injuries. We hope these tips on mistakes to avoid after a car accident will help you get the compensation you deserve.