After a car accident, you may be in a position to pursue a claim to get compensation for injuries and damages. What you do immediately after the accident has an impact on the outcome of your case. Many road users are unaware of the steps to take after an accident and most end up making mistakes that compromise the compensation they should get.
This article highlights some of the key mistakes you should avoid after a car accident.
Not Calling the Police
In most states, individuals involved in an accident are expected to call the police where there are injuries and vehicle damage. A police officer will help in collecting evidence and documenting the accident. Such information can be helpful, especially in cases where the accident leads to a lawsuit. Having an officer come to the scene of the accident is also essential to prevent further accidents. Ensure that you give the officer all the information they ask for. Also, don’t forget to get the details of the officer or officers who come to the scene of the accident.
Not Collecting Evidence
Another mistake you should avoid is leaving the scene or moving vehicles without collecting evidence. Gathering enough evidence at the scene of the accident strengthens your case. There are three key pieces of evidence you should collect at the scene.
One, you should take photographs showing the damage and injuries. Take lots of photos from different angles. Two, get the contact information for any witnesses. Three, get the details for the other party involved in the incident. If it was a hit and run, take note of the model and color of the car, and the plate number if possible.
Not Seeing a Doctor Immediately
Not seeing a doctor immediately has two negative effects. One, if the injuries are not treated immediately after the accident, they could get worse and cause more serious issues. Two, when you delay treatment, the other driver’s insurance company can use that against you. They can argue that the injuries were as a result of something else and not the accident. Thus, you should get help immediately, even for minor accidents as you may have whiplash. Tell your doctor that you were involved in an accident so they can give you a complete exam. You never know, you could be injured and not even realize it. Your doctor will be able to prepare a medical report that you can use for your case.
Giving a Statement to the Party’s Insurance Company
After the incident, the other party’s insurance company may contact you to ask some questions about the accident. A big mistake you should avoid is talking to them before consulting a car accident attorney. If the insurers need any information, have them talk to your lawyer. Also, you should avoid sharing details of the accident on social media. If you have to inform friends and family that you were in an accident, call them or send them private messages.
Not Hiring a Good Attorney
A good attorney is essential in getting the compensation that you deserve. To find the right one, start by making a list of car accident lawyers who are licensed to operate in your state. You can ask for recommendations or search the internet. For instance, if you’re based in California then you may come across the accredited Arash Law Injury Lawyers who are a car accident law firm who can give you a free consultation. You should check the qualifications and experience of the firm you use, their BBB listings, and reviews from people who have used their services. Looking at the same example of Arash Law, they have a success record page on their website where you can find testimonials and results. Finally, talk to the lawyer in person. This will give you a better view of their character, reputation and ability to represent you. Don’t forget to ask about the charges. Once you find a good lawyer, they will handle all the details for you including putting the evidence together, calculating the settlement amount and negotiating your claim.
Waiting Too Long to File a Claim
When you wait too long before initiating a case, you weaken your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. Soon after the incident, you should contact a car accident attorney to get the claims process started. Also, note that each state has a time limitation for filing damage and injury claims.
Settling without Consulting
The first offer you get from the insurance company may seem like a good offer, but it may not be the right amount to cover the damages and injuries you suffered. Thus, before you accept an offer, talk to your lawyer. A lawyer experienced in handling car accident claims is in a better position to determine how much the insurance company should be paying you.
By avoiding these mistakes, you will be able to complete your car accident injury and damage claims smoothly. If you were in an accident and already made some of these mistakes, talk to a lawyer and they will help you in determining whether you have some basis for filing a claim.