After a car accident, it is natural to feel fear, confusion, and even anger. However, it is important to remember that these emotions can cloud your judgment and lead to decisions that could jeopardize your case. If you are involved in a car accident, it is just as important to know what NOT to do as it is to know what to do. Following the wrong steps can jeopardize your chances of receiving compensation for your injuries.
At Speaks Law Firm, we understand how stressful being in a car accident can be. In this blog, one of our car accident lawyers shares five things that you should avoid doing after a car accident. If you or a loved one gets in a car accident or if you have any questions, contact our team at Speaks Law Firm to schedule your free case review at (910) 341-7570 or complete our online form. Let us speak for you!
1. Do NOT Admit Fault
One of the most important steps you can take after a car accident is staying quiet. In the stress and chaos of the moments after the accident, you may be tempted to say something you don't mean. However, saying anything an insurance company could view as admitting fault can hurt your claim.
Even if you think the accident was 100% your fault, you should never say so. There may have been other circumstances at play that you do not realize in the moments after the crash. However, admitting fault at the accident scene can prevent you from receiving any money from the other driver's insurance company.
Aside from not saying, "that was my fault," you also should not apologize. Saying "I'm sorry" to the other driver can look like an admission of fault, even if you do not mean it that way.
Altogether, it's best to keep the conversation to a minimum when talking to the other driver, the police officer, and the insurance company. Your car accident attorney can help you understand what to say and what not to say to improve your case’s outcome.
2. Do NOT Forget to Document the Accident
Taking photos of the accident scene may be the furthest thought from your mind when dealing with the aftermath of a car crash. However, taking photos can significantly assist your insurance claim if you can safely do so.
Your photos can act as evidence that you were not at fault for the accident. You can submit these photos with your insurance claim to paint a fuller picture of the accident.
However, it would be best if you also documented the accident in other ways. Gathering the contact information of witnesses, recording the time and date of the crash, and contacting the police to create a police report are all important steps in supporting your claim.
3. Do NOT Refuse Medical Treatment
You may feel okay in the days after your accident and attribute any pain to normal bruises and sore muscles. However, even if you think you are fine, you should always seek medical treatment after a car accident.
Sometimes, the initial shock of the accident can mask underlying injuries that require immediate medical attention. Seeking medical treatment in the days following your accident can ensure that you do not overlook something serious.
However, you should also receive a medical exam for insurance purposes. You can submit the records of your exam and medical bills with your insurance claim to ensure that you receive enough compensation to cover these treatments.
4. Do NOT Provide a Recorded Statement
If you were not at fault for the accident, the at-fault driver's insurance company will contact you to gather information about the claim. The company may call you and ask for your permission to record the conversation. It may also ask for a recorded statement outright.
However, insurance companies ask for recorded statements for one reason: to obtain evidence that they can use to deny your claim and reduce your payout. If you accidentally say the wrong thing during your recorded conversation, you risk losing the money you need to move forward from your accident.
You must be very careful when talking to the insurance company to avoid hurting your claim. As a result, we do not recommend talking to the insurer without first consulting a personal injury lawyer. You can also have your lawyer speak with the insurance company on your behalf.
5. Do NOT Settle Too Quickly
Once you submit your insurance claim, the insurance company will review the details of your case and present you with an offer.
Many accident victims are tempted to take the first offer they receive. However, insurance companies are in the business of making money. As a result, they typically try to minimize their payouts as much as possible to maximize their profits.
The insurance company may not offer you sufficient funds for your accident claim. If so, your car accident lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to increase your offer. If the insurer refuses to budge, you may need to begin a lawsuit.
Contact Speaks Law Firm in Wilmington, North Carolina If You Have Been in a Car Accident
Being in a car accident is a stressful experience, but unfortunately, car accidents happen far too often. If you or a loved one gets in a car accident, there are certain things that you should avoid doing as they could complicate your case later on. Our car accident lawyer shared five of those things with you today.
When adversity strikes, who speaks for you? Let Speaks Law Firm speak for you! Contact our qualified car accident lawyer team today at (910) 341-7570 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free case review.