It’s never any fun being in a car accident, but the whole ordeal can be a lot less stressful if you know what to do after a wreck. Here are 6 common mistakes you definitely don’t want to make.
1. Not Seeking Legal Advice
Whether you are injured or not, you should seek legal advice from an attorney. You may be surprised to learn that you can get free legal advice after a car accident in most states. An attorney can make sure that you don’t make avoidable mistakes that could weaken or hurt your claim as well as make sure you are aware of all the laws and regulations in your state.
Never admit that you are the cause of the accident. Any admission you make can be used against you. So, be careful of what you say and do your best to stay calm. In fact, it’s probably best to say nothing. Silence sounds harsh and inhumane but it can be invaluable to your outcome.
3. Not Seeking Medical Attention
Whether you think you’re seriously hurt or not, it is very important that you get evaluated by a medical professional. A doctor can document your injuries however small or significant to help support any possible recovery claims.
4. Not Involving the Police
After an accident, you need to call the police so that a police report can be filed. This is considered official proof that the accident took place and of the parties involved. They collect evidence, track down witnesses, take photographs and prepare an accident report. This report has critical details that can be used to support your insurance and legal claims.
5. Settling Too Quickly
It’s only natural to want to come to a quick and easy resolution. But far too often, taking the insurance company’s word and first offer can leave a lot of what is owed to you on the negotiating table. Getting a fair settlement takes time, so don’t be too hasty. Not to mention, when you jump at the first offer, it looks like you are not serious about your case.
6. Waiting to File Your Claim
There is a statute of limitations in many states. This means that you may not have an indefinite amount of time to file your claim. Insurance companies know this and may try to take advantage of the ticking clock. You don’t have to wait until you recover from your injuries to file your claim. If you need help filing, due to your injuries, be sure to get it. Otherwise, you will have missed your chance for compensation.
It’s a fact of life, accidents do happen, but when you are mentally prepared for the possibility, your outcome won’t have to be an accident, regardless of how things pan out. Keep these tips in mind and remember that a detailed paper trail can be used in your favor. If you are involved in an accident make sure you get the proper care and help you need to be made whole.