Typical Mistakes People Make After an Auto Accident
Being involved in a car accident is a traumatic experience for everyone involved.
In the heat of the moment, even the most insignificant fender benders can feel like the world around you is collapsing.
It seems like there's an infinite amount of things that have to be taken care of immediately after your accident.
Were you on your way to work? Time to tell your boss you might not make it.
On your way to pick up the kids? Now you're going to have to find someone else to get them for you.
Those are just two of many, many situations your car accident might put you in.
You can only start worrying about those things after you're sure you and everyone else involved are safe and out of harm's way.
While it's important to know what to do immediately after a car accident, it is just as important to know what not to do after a car accident.
Doing something you shouldn't could be even more damaging than forgetting to do something you should.
In the article below, we will discuss ten common mistakes people make after being involved in a car accident.
Table Of Contents
- Choosing Not To Get Police Involved
- Admitting Guilt
- Leaving The Scene Of The Accident
- Choosing Not To Seek Medical Attention
- Failing To Gather Evidence
- Telling Insurance Companies Too Much
- Not Following Doctors Orders
- Settling Too Quickly
- Posting Information About The Case Publicly
- Choosing Not To Hire An Attorney
1. Choosing Not To Get The Police Involved
The police officer that arrives on the scene of your accident will collect valuable evidence that can work to your favor.
Even though the police aren't there to help you build a case, the work they do at the crash site can be beneficial as a launching point for your recovery.
The police will track down witnesses, take pictures, and look at the scene on the road. The police will collect evidence on the scene that no one else can.
They'll prepare a crash report that documents all the critical information dealing with your accident.
Also, if the officer issues a traffic ticket to the other party involved, that can be a great start in proving that they are at fault for the crash.
If you don't call the police, none of that happens.
Your claim will typically turn into a "he said, she said" argument, and you will likely never get what's owed to you.
2. Admitting Guilt
Saying sorry may seem innocent enough, but doing so after a car accident can be seen as an admission of guilt.
Even if you think you're at fault, if all the signs are pointing to you being the one who caused the accident, the other party may still be to blame somehow.
There is no way to know all the details surrounding the accident immediately after it happens, so there's no way to immediately know who is at fault.
Never admit guilt. Let your lawyer handle that.
3. Leaving The Scene Of The Accident
No one is going to blame you for panicking after a car accident.
But if you leave the scene during that panic, you've broken the law.
If you are involved in a car accident, try to remain as calm as possible and remain on the scene until law enforcement can get there.
Even if the other driver doesn't want to report the accident, or claims they can simply wave off the accident, if you leave without exchanging information the other driver can falsely accuse you of a hit and run.
Always stay on the scene until the police arrive.
4. Choosing Not To Seek Medical Treatment
When your adrenaline is running high during the chaos of the accident, it is easy to assume you aren't injured.
However, you should never turn down medical attention.
Sometimes injuries are worse than they look or feel, and it can take hours or days for certain symptoms to be recognized.
If you eventually file an insurance claim, waiting to seek medical attention can be a red flag.
Waiting for treatment implies that your injuries aren't very serious, and that is the exact opposite impression you want to give if you're seeking legal or financial compensation.
5. Failing To Gather Evidence
Gathering all the evidence you can at the accident scene is a great way to get your case off to a fast start.
If you have serious injuries, receiving medical attention should be priority one. But, after that, you should do everything you can to gather as much evidence as possible.
Take pictures of the scene. Take pictures of the damage to the vehicles and your injuries. Get the names of all of the witnesses and their information.
Gathering evidence at the scene of the accident gives your lawyer a great place to start when they launch their investigation.
However, always be sure not to interfere with the police investigation.
6. Telling The Insurance Company Too Much
If the at-fault party's insurance provider contacts you for a recorded statement, you shouldn't give it to them.
Their insurance provider has to look out for their best interests, and they are not on your side no matter how friendly they might appear.
When it comes to your auto insurance policy, provide them with the most basic information while trying to avoid going into too much detail.
Your lawyer is best left to handle the insurance companies. Learn more about insurance adjusters here.
7. Not Following The Doctor's Orders
When you seek medical attention, you should tell the doctor about all of the symptoms you're experiencing so he can provide you with a proper treatment plan.
Once he gives you the treatment plan, you need to follow it step by step until he gives you the go-ahead to stop.
You need to make it look like you're doing everything you can to recover from your injuries, and that they are indeed serious.
In the eye of the law, by ignoring your doctor's orders and failing to keep appointments, you're acting like your injuries aren't serious.
8. Settling Too Quickly
99.9% of the time, the first settlement you're offered isn't the best.
You likely want to resolve your case as soon as possible so you can move on with your life, but you're more likely to get the settlement you deserve if the other side believes you're ready to pursue your case to the fullest extent of the law.
Taking the time to build your case can convince the other party that you deserve much more than what they first offered to pay.
9. Posting Public Information About The Accident
In today's age of social media, our first instinct might be to post pictures of your car, injuries, or the scene of the accident.
You need to be very careful about what you say and post publicly on social media regarding the accident as well as any injuries you sustained.
Don't downplay or make light any part of it.
If you're wondering if you should post a certain picture, or say a certain thing, you probably shouldn't.
Anything you say can be used against you in your case.
10. Choosing Not To Seek The Advice Of An Experienced Attorney
You might think that because you have good insurance, or because you weren't injured (that you know of), that you don't need to worry about contacting an attorney.
That is not the case.
Seeking compensation or filing an insurance claim after even the smallest accident can be very complex and confusing.
An experienced attorney from The Brown Firm has the legal knowledge to represent you and guide you through the complicated process of getting what you deserve after an accident.
Wondering what a Personal Injury Attorney does? Check out this infographic.
The Georgia Car Accident Attorneys at The Brown Firm handle the extensive paperwork, talk to the insurance companies, communicate with the other party's lawyer, and handle all the intricate details of your case.
All you have to do is click the button below to get started with them, and they'll handle the rest.