Confusion is a major part of the aftermath of any car accident. Most people feel a mix of panic, shock, fear, and remorse. But as devastating and chaotic it can be, if you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to remember that what you say and do from here on out can make matters worse.
This article will help you understand the common mistakes people make after accidents, and what their implications are to the progression of the situation and, possibly, in the lawsuit that follows.
And if you or someone you know needs legal advice after a crash, our car accident lawyers at Haffner Law are ready to help.
Why It Matters
People who were injured during a car accident may have the right to some compensation for damages and losses they suffered. However, since the process of getting that compensation may be contested, some careful steps should be taken to strengthen the claim.
At worst, you may not be able to receive any compensation at all because of what you say or do after an accident.
What Not to Do
Mistake #1: Downplay your injuries.
Without comprehensive testing by a medical professional, you may not realize the extent of your injuries. Disorientation or confusion, for example, may be dismissed as stress- or shock-related, but they can also be signs of a concussion, which is a traumatic brain injury with lasting effects.
Underestimating your injuries can cause two major problems:
- You are effectively placing a wedge between you and your recovery, which can lead to more loss of income and more costly treatment.
- Insurance companies and responsible parties may have room to question your claim if you present these injuries later.
Mistake #2: Wait to take action.
Aside from the statute of limitations that govern your particular situation, there are steps you absolutely need to take right now:
- Get medical attention. Doing so right now will help you document the full extent of your injuries and help your recovery rate.
- Investigate the accident. Critical pieces of evidence that can help build your case may disappear if you wait too long. Video surveillance from nearby establishments, for example, may be deleted after some time.
- Talk to a lawyer. Attorneys may avoid taking your case if they feel that there isn’t enough time to prepare.
Mistake #3: Readily trust your insurer.
No matter how friendly or accommodating their representatives may seem, they are not looking out for your best interest in this situation. Unfortunately, insurance companies are incentivized to lessen the compensation their claimants receive. In fact, they can even go as far as to actively disprove your claims.
Hold off on signing anything from your insurer until you consult with a car accident attorney.
In some cases, insurance companies may also be keeping tabs on you after the accident, looking for clues to help them reduce your compensation. Extra care should be taken when disclosing information about your accident. This includes not sharing anything pertaining to the case on Facebook or Twitter.
Mistake #4: Forget to call 911.
You may be tempted not to involve the authorities, especially if there are no life-threatening injuries. However, even if the damage seems minor or the other driver appears genuinely apologetic, calling 911 is your best step.
Not only will you get the benefit of being examined by the emergency medical team, in states like California, you are required by state law to report these kinds of accidents.
Get Fairly Compensated Today
For more helpful advice about accidents and personal injury claims, call us at 1-844-HAFFNER. At Haffner Law, we have successfully helped our clients receive millions in compensation from similar situations like yours.
(This is an attorney advertisement by Joshua Haffner)