Car accidents are very common on the roads in America and even the rest of the world today. In the US alone, there are over 6 million car accidents recorded each year. Out of these accidents, almost 3 million end up with a major or minor injury, and 2 million end up with a permanent injury.
Whether you have been involved in a major or minor accident, it is important to know the things not to do following the accident. Knowing what to do will help prevent any further injury and you will also be able to successfully claim for compensation.
It is quite normal to be confused and overwhelmed after a car accident. Also, while in this state, it is easy to make mistakes that can otherwise be avoided just by staying calm. Here are some of the mistakes that you should avoid making after a car wreck.
1. Fleeing the Scene of the Accident
It is illegal to leave the scene of the accident. Whether or not there is an injury, fatality, or damage to property, do not drive away. You should also avoid moving the car after an accident, even if it is obstructing other cars until the right authorities arrive at the scene.
Remember, car accident injuries can become worse when the victims try to move. Therefore, in case of any injured people, try not to move them. Only move injured victims to a safe distance if there is a risk of an explosion.
2. Failing to Call the Police
The first call that you should make when you have been involved in a car accident is to the police. In some states, failing to report a car crash is against the law. The police gather evidence that is valuable to insurance companies when handling claims.
It is also the work of the police to help determine who is at fault. Your lawyer will also need the police report to investigate your claim and calculate how much compensation you should get. Once you call the police, do not give any false information, stick to the acts as they are.
3. Admitting Fault
One of the very common mistakes that many people do after a car accident is apologizing to the other driver or any other victim on the scene. An apology means you are feeling guilty and responsible for the accident. In other words, you’re accepting liability.
Whether you feel partially or fully responsible for the accident, do not admit it. This can seriously hurt your case and ruin your chances of fair compensation.
4. Not Collecting Evidence at the Scene
Gather as much evidence as you can before the vehicles are towed away or moved by the police. Take pictures of the cars and the scene from different angles. However, do not tamper with the scene while doing so.
You can also take a video if possible. Make sure that you capture anything that might be relevant to the accident such as tire marks. Do not assume that the police have the right record, you might just end up capturing something that they failed to and this can help with the case.
5. Talking to the Driver and Witnesses
This is one of the things not to do after a car crash. Quite often, people feel the need to explain themselves to the other driver and any witness, especially if you are being blamed. Do not talk to the witnesses, the driver of the other car and their insurance company representatives.
Do not try to describe how hurt you are to others, and neither should you say that you are not injured. You can never tell the extent of car accident injuries at a glance. It is important to always watch what to say.
If you are not sure of what to say, just keep quiet and only talk to the police or your attorney.
6. Not Going to the Hospital
This is yet another mistake that many make just because they do not feel hurt. It is important to seek medical attention immediately after an accident. Only a qualified practitioner can help detect any hidden injuries. You might just end up saving your life.
If there are paramedics on the scene, get on the ambulance and go to the hospital or have someone take you to the nearest hospital as soon as possible. Taking long to see a doctor will give the at-fault insurance company reason to dismiss the medical record as not being related to the accident.
7. Accepting the First Offer
The at-fault insurance company can be very quick to offer a statement, especially if they suspect that you might end up getting high compensation. Keep in mind that the first settlement is always less than what you deserve. Try not to accept any offer without consulting your car accident attorney.
8. Failing to Report to Your Insurance Company
Every insurance company has its own rules when it comes to reporting accidents. You need to report and comply with the set rules whether you are at fault or not. This will help so that your claim is not denied.
Again, stick to the facts when reporting the accident to your insurance company or have your lawyer call them. Remember, not to talk about any on-going case or post the pictures on your social media accounts. Anything you do after the accident can ruin your chances for compensation, therefore, always be keen.
Consider Consulting with Your Attorney to Know the Things Not to Do After an Accident
If you have been in an accident and you are wondering what you should do or not, always speak to an experienced attorney to know the things not to do following an accident. This way, you will avoid making mistakes that can end up being costly. Knowing the right thing to do can make or break your case.
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