Motor vehicle accidents are extremely stressful. When stressed, people often make mistakes and potentially miss opportunities to protect their rights. Some of the most common mistakes made following an accident are easily avoidable. Never do these ten things after an accident:
- Fail to call police or 911 – even if the accident is “minor,” it is important to have an accurate summary of the events. If after the fact, you find you are suffering injuries, you will be grateful you have the police report confirming the accident happened.
- Fail to notify your auto insurer – not reporting the accident to your insurance company delays the claims process and in turn, can delay payment for repairs to your vehicle or medical treatment.
- Underestimate injuries – many times accident victims claim they are uninjured at the scene. However, however, many accident victims do not feel the full impact of injuries until a bit after the accident. Never tell authorities or the other parties you are not injured. You may not know yet.
- Fail to seek medical treatment – people sometimes assume aches, pains and/or bruises are minor. It is best to seek medical attention immediately to document any injuries and make sure nothing potentially dangerous goes unnoticed.
- Admit fault – even if the accident was your fault never admit fault. Wait for authorities to arrive at the scene and complete their report.
- Confront the other driver – do not under any circumstances engage with the other driver. Confrontations are dangerous and could lead to divulging information, admitting fault, or possible bodily harm.
- Give personal information to someone other than authorities – this seems fairly obvious but do not share personal contact information including phone numbers, email, and so on with the other driver. Provide your license and insurance information to the police. They will document what is needed. The only information you should share with the other driver is your insurer’s name.
- Fail to gather your own evidence – take your own photos of the accident scene, injuries, and aftermath. It helps to support your side of the story if the other driver pursues legal action or refuses to admit fault later on.
- Speak with the other driver’s insurance company – do not under any circumstances speak with the other driver’s insurance company. They may try to get you to settle your claim, admit fault or otherwise say something to negatively impact your claim. If you are not represented by an attorney, the insurance company is allowed to speak with you directly.
- Fail to contact an attorney – many people assume they can handle the claims process, obtain medical treatment, and navigate the steps involved following an auto accident on their own. This is a huge mistake. Once you are represented by an attorney, the other driver’s auto insurer must speak with your attorney. Your own auto insurer must speak with your attorney. Your experienced attorney knows how to best navigate this entire process and help protect your rights.
Do not delay. Contact Rick Stock Law today for a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys. We are here to help you.