Friday, April 12, 2024

The 7 Worst Mistakes to Make After a Car Accident

Getting into a car accident can be incredibly stressful for everyone involved. Even a minor fender bender can feel emotionally devastating – especially when you have no idea what to do next.

There’s a long list of things you need to do right after a car accident. If you were driving to work, you’d need to let your boss know you won’t be coming in. If you were on your way to fetch your kids, you’d need to make alternative arrangements.

Those are just two scenarios that will make the whole situation that much more complicated – but you can only start worrying about details once you’ve made sure everyone involved in the accident is okay.

Although knowing what to do after a car accident is essential, knowing what not to do is just as important.

Here are the seven worst mistakes to make after a car accident so you can avoid making them.  

1. Admitting Guilt

While a simple “I’m sorry” to the other party may be an instinctual reaction after a car crash, avoid apologizing at all costs – even if you think it’s your fault.

Apologizing to the other party may seem innocuous enough, but it can be seen as an admission of guilt. Even if you believe the car accident was your fault, the other driver could still be at fault somehow. When an accident happens, there is no way to know all the details immediately. Instead of interacting with the other party, call your lawyer at Szakacs Injury Law to handle everything for you.

2. Not Calling the Police

When a police officer arrives at the car accident scene, they will gather evidence. Although the officer isn’t expressly there to help your case, this evidence can be advantageous to you later.

The officer will take pictures, inspect the scene, and track down witnesses. Then, they will prepare a car accident report that contains critical information. Suppose the officer issues a ticket to the other person involved. In that case, this evidence is extremely helpful for determining which party was at fault.

If you fail to call the police, all this information may not be documented, which will lower your chances of winning your claim.

3. Leaving the Scene of the Accident

While it’s natural for you to panic after having a car accident, you must not leave the scene until it is reported. Leaving the scene of a car accident before the authorities have arrived is prohibited by law.

After a car accident, try to remain calm and wait for law enforcement to arrive. Even if the other driver says that the accident doesn’t need to be reported, leaving without exchanging the relevant information can result in a hit and run charge.

4. Not Seeking Medical Treatment

During an accident, adrenaline rushes through your system. The adrenaline and stress can make it difficult to tell whether you’ve been injured or not.

Even if you feel fine, don’t turn down medical attention. Injuries can be more severe than you realize. Sometimes injuries only make themselves known after hours or even days after the accident.

If you did not seek medical attention following the accident and decide to file an insurance claim, your application might be denied. Waiting to get medical treatment can hurt your case when seeking legal or financial compensation.

5. Neglecting to Gather Evidence

Gathering all the evidence at the accident scene yourself is the best way to get a head start on your case. However, getting medical treatment should be your first priority if you are injured. Your second priority is gathering as much evidence about the accident as possible.

Take pictures of the scene and all the damage caused, and don’t forget to get the names and details of the people who witnessed the crash. This evidence will help your lawyer immensely when they begin their investigation.

6. Not Following Your Doctor’s Advice

When seeking medical attention after the accident, be thorough when explaining your symptoms to your healthcare provider. Detailing all of your symptoms will help your healthcare provider compile a comprehensive treatment plan.

When you receive your treatment plan, you must follow it to the letter. You need to follow your doctor’s instructions and do everything you can to recover. Ignoring your treatment plan or missing follow-up appointments can give the impression that your injuries are minor and harm your case.

7. Settling Too Hastily

Chances are, the first settlement offer you receive will be too low.

While you may want to resolve your case and move on with your life as quickly as possible, you need to show the other party that you’re serious about getting the compensation you deserve. Don’t settle on the first settlement offer you receive. Instead, build a strong case and see it through.

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