A car accident can be an extremely traumatic experience. The initial shock and overwhelming nature of the scene can make it hard to think clearly and take the necessary steps to file an accident claim or take care of injuries. There are many mistakes that people often make which can have a negative impact on their ability to recover financial compensation to pay for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and even pain and suffering.
The following are the most common mistakes people often make after a car accident:
- Accidently admitting fault – While it is natural to say “I’m sorry” when you bump into another person on accident while walking the street, but apologizing after a collision can be misconstrued as an admission of fault. Even if you think you were to blame for the accident, it is possible that the other driver shares fault as well.
- Not seeing a doctor – Even if you only ended up with minor injuries from the crash, you still need to seek medical care. The truth is that adrenaline can mask the pain and symptoms of many injuries, so it may be hours or even days later that you feel the brunt of your injuries. Not only does visiting a doctor ensure you receive the proper treatment to recover from your injuries, but your medical records can be used as evidence in your auto accident claim or personal injury lawsuit.
- Failing to collect evidence at the scene – The best types of evidence in a car accident case are photographs from the accident scene. Pictures can provide details of how the accident occurs and who is to blame. Another important piece of evidence is a police report, which requires you to contact law enforcement after the crash. Without any evidence supporting your side of the story, the at-fault party’s insurance company may reduce your settlement or deny your claim altogether.
- Accepting the first settlement offer – When you receive an offer from the at-fault party’s insurance company, it is important to understand that they are not looking out for your best interests. Their goal is to pay as little as possible—or nothing at all—in order to protect their bottom line. This means the first settlement offer is often less than what you are really entitled to
- Not hiring a lawyer – To ensure you do not make any of the mistakes mentioned above, you must hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to protect your rights and best interests. While you recover from injury, your attorney can investigate your accident, collect evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and help you maximize your entitled settlement.