Common Mistakes Made After Car Accidents
The actions that you take after a car accident can change your life. Those actions can directly affect how much compensation you receive for the insurance claim. Unfortunately, most people don’t know the proper procedures to take after car accidents.
1. Leaving Out the Police
After a small car accident, you might be tempted to skip the police. However, failing to call the police could hurt you. The police report is one of the strongest pieces of evidence in a personal injury claim. Because the police are unbiased, the report gives an accurate description of events. It can prove to a court that you were not to blame for the accident.
Whether you are in a small fender bender or a major accident, you should call the police. You can never know how serious an accident could be. If you need to take legal action, the police report will help you.
2. Forgetting to Take Pictures
After car accidents, victims should always take pictures. Use your smartphone and take pictures of your vehicle and the other vehicles. Additionally, you should take pictures of the road and any relevant road signs. If you need to go to court, then the pictures could help you build a case.
The only exception to this rule is in the event of a serious injury. You should never put taking pictures of your health or another individual’s health. If there are no injuries that require immediate medical help, then you can proceed with your pictures.
3. Taking the Blame
For most individuals, there is a strong desire to apologize after a car accident. However, this is the last thing that you should do. If you apologize, then you’re taking the blame for the accident. Doing so can hurt you in court. You might want to collect damages for the accident, but your apologetic words could prevent you from a payout.
Avoid saying anything incriminating until you have time to process the accident. Often, the shock of car accidents makes people say the wrong thing. Take the time to collect your thoughts before you speak.
4. Not Exchanging Information
In some cases, car accidents have minor effects on vehicles and individuals. When this occurs, some people are tempted to avoid exchanging information. This is a major mistake. Although no one might have immediate injuries, injuries could develop later on. Likewise, your vehicle could have damage that doesn’t manifest until later. Without the insurance information of the other driver, you have no course of action.
After your accident, you should speak with the other driver. Collect the following information from the other driver or drivers:
- Full name
- Phone number
- Driver’s license number
- Insurance information
- License plate number
- Make and model of the other vehicle
If you do suffer an injury or need auto repairs after your accident, this information can help. It’s enough for you to file an insurance claim and to collect damages if necessary.
5. Trusting the Insurance Company
An insurance company is not always out to protect your personal interests. In fact, the insurance company may work hard to prevent you from collecting money that you deserve. Some people make the mistake of putting all of their trust in the insurance company. This could leave you with piles of bills in your name.
Instead of trusting the insurance company, you should seek help. An experienced lawyer can tell you whether or not the insurance company is acting in your best interests. If they aren’t then he can help you get the money for your claim.
6. Hesitating to File a Claim
If you wait too long to file your claim, then you could miss the opportunity to recoup your losses. There are time limits on insurance claims. To ensure that you don’t miss the small window of opportunity to file, you should file immediately. Speak to a lawyer soon after any car accidents and take action quickly.
How Can These Mistakes After Car Accidents Impact You?
After a car accident, your life could turn upside-down. You might have mountains of medical bills to pay or mountains of auto repair bills to pay. In either case, insurance might not pay out. You could need the help of a lawyer to get the money that you deserve.
If you want a good chance of getting compensation, then you need to build a strong case. This means that you need to avoid making these common mistakes. You also need to contact a lawyer.