Car accidents are a common occurrence.
If you commute to and from work, you likely see a handful of accidents every week, if not seeing one or two every day.
Most of them are fender benders and people move on with their lives rather quickly, but others are more severe and can set back your commute for hours.
Even though car accidents are prevalent, there are still several mistakes people make after being involved in one.
Either way, those mistakes can hurt their ability to secure full and fair compensation for their injuries, compensation they really need.
In the article below, we will discuss a few of those mistakes you need to avoid if you are involved in a car accident if you want to win your claim and maximize your compensation.
Table of Contents
- Not Reporting The Accident
- Leaving The Scene of the Accident
- Declining Medical Treatment
- Accepting Your First Settlement Offer
- Talking To The Defendant's Insurance Company
- Handling The Accident By Yourself
Not Reporting The Accident
On many occasions, someone will be involved in a minor accident and shrug it off, thinking they have made it out unscathed.
But when they wake up the next morning, they are in severe pain.
Without an accident report, you will likely be on your own to cover your medical expenses, which can add up to thousands of dollars very quickly.
If the other driver doesn't want to exchange information, make sure you jot down their license plate number and the make/model/color of their car.
Leaving The Scene Of The Accident
This mistake is careless as well as illegal.
It's against the law to leave the scene of any car accident where there has been an injury or damage to someone else's property.
You are required to stop and exchange information with everyone else involved.
If you are the one who gets hurt or sustains damage to their vehicle, you obviously should stop and get all the information you can from the other parties.
If the other party leaves the scene, try to get a license plate number and description of the vehicle, and then call the police.
Declining Medical Treatment
If you're hurt during an accident, you need to get medical attention as soon as possible.
Even if you don't think you are injured, you should still get medical attention because some injuries take hours or days to become apparent.
You need to do this for two reasons.
Second, if you don't seek medical attention right away, the defendant and their lawyer can argue that you weren't actually injured in the accident, or that your injuries aren't very serious.
Accepting Your First Settlement Offer
In most car accident injury cases, compensation comes from the at-fault driver's insurance company.
The insurance company might even take the initiative and send a settlement offer, sometimes even a check.
Never accept the first offer.
Insurance companies are in business to make money, and they make money by paying out as little as possible.
It's best to have an attorney review your case and your settlement offers before you even think about accepting an offer.
Talking To The Defendant's Insurance Company
Not only do you want to decline the first offer from the defendant's insurance company, but you also don't even want to talk to them.
They will typically call you to ask you for your side of the story and request a written or recorded statement.
You are not required to do this.
Any misplaced word during these statements can be used against you to deny or lessen your compensation.
If you don't remember something correctly, leave something out, or misspeak, the defendant's lawyer will use all of that against you when you're trying to settle.
Any and all communication with the defendant's insurance company should go through your lawyer.
Handling The Accident By Yourself
Hiring an experienced car accident attorney to help you handle your claim and navigate the legal system is not only recommended, but it's also almost necessary.
Your attorney will handle all communications with the insurance company and any paperwork for you, so your only concern is your health and wellbeing.
They will also be able to help you quantify the damages you have suffered to ensure you receive maximum compensation.
Any mistake you make during this process when you are doing it on your own can cripple your injury claim.
Your lawyer won't let that happen.
If you need an experienced car accident attorney to help you with your claim, contact the Car Wreck Doctor today.
They will put you in contact with the best attorneys in your area.