Car accidents are chaotic events that often leave the people involved, confused, and upset. Accidents also cause a range of emotions. It is very important that you try to put aside the emotions at the scene of the accident. Things that you do, or do not do, at the accident scene can have an impact on your compensation.
There are five things that you should never do when you have been involved in a car accident. Avoiding these mistakes can help you make a successful claim for compensation. Contacting a car accident attorney is one of the first things you should do…here are some things you shouldn’t do.
Never Assume Any Responsibility for the Accident
The most important thing to remember is that you should never claim any responsibility for the accident, even partially. It is human nature to want to assume partial responsibility for any type of accident in an effort to make the other person feel better. You should avoid this temptation at all costs.
It is also important that you avoid saying things like “I’m sorry” to the other person or even to the police. Even saying that you are sorry for the accident or the injuries the other person received can be viewed by the insurance company as an admittance of fault.
It is always in your best interest to just provide basic information to the police about the event and remain quiet otherwise. Talk about fault for the accident when you are with your attorney.
Never Leave the Scene of the Accident
When you are involved in an accident, it is crucial that you do not leave the scene. Leaving the scene of the accident is against the law in many states and can have you labeled as a hit-and-run driver, even if you are not officially the at-fault party. In some states, leaving the scene of an accident is considered a felony, and you can be arrested and charged accordingly.
It is always beneficial to remain at the scene so that accurate information and evidence can be gathered to determine the cause of the accident.
Fail to Gather Important Evidence
If at all possible, you should take video or pictures of the accident scene and the immediate surrounding area. Picture evidence is very important to your claim. However, if your injuries will not allow you to take pictures, you can take pictures of your vehicle and any of your injuries at a later date.
Refuse A Medical Exam
Many people do not want to leave the scene in an ambulance, so they refuse medical care. It is important to understand that you do not have to go to the emergency room in an ambulance to get a medical exam.
It is in your best interest to go to the ER right after the accident, even if you think that your injuries are minor. Many injuries are not apparent at the accident scene. The headache that you have or upset stomach may not be your “nerves” from the accident but, in fact, an injury. Concussions, hairline fractures, and internal bleeding are not easily recognizable at the scene.
Protect your health by seeking an immediate medical exam. Although you have seven days to seek care, insurance companies often start denying these claims after 24 hours because they say there is a chance the injuries happened elsewhere.
Fail to Notify Your Insurance Company
It is crucial that you notify your insurance company as soon as possible about your accident. Even if you are going to seek compensation from the other party for your losses, your insurance company must be notified of the accident. What Happens If I Forget To Report An Accident To My Insurance Company?