Sometimes car accidents are truly unavoidable, especially when you are the driver not at fault. But though you can’t always prevent an accident from happening, you can prevent a few common misjudgments that people often make after the incident takes place.
Here are a few of the most often-made mistakes that occur after an auto accident:
1. Neglecting to contact the cops.
If you’ve fallen victim to a car accident due to another person’s negligence, you want the police to be able to provide evidence about who or what caused the accident. The police will be able to prove if the other driver was driving irresponsibly, without working safety features, etc., and can issue a citation if this is the case. And if a police report isn’t filed, it might seem suspicious to your/the other driver’s insurance company that you may be trying to hide something.
2. Admitting fault immediately.
Though it might seem like you are at fault for the crash, or even partially at fault, you don’t know all the circumstances that caused the accident to happen. By not admitting fault right away, you could be preventing or limiting the other driver from collecting recovery money, should they choose to sue you later by claiming you caused the accident. Know what your rights are after a car accident, and you’ll be prepared to know what is required of you and what you can omit from discussing at the accident scene (and after).
3. Not collecting information at the accident scene.
While the police will certainly document everything needed after a car accident, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be collecting your own documentation for yourself. If you want to fill out any insurance claim forms, you’ll need all the proof you can give to make sure you get the most in return. You should also take photos of every angle of your vehicle (and the other vehicle involved), as well as the air bags, the odometer, the scene of the accident itself, and anything else that could help you later when dealing with insurance companies.
4. Postponing seeing a doctor.
Whether you think you’ve been injured or not, it’s extremely important to see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident—even a minor one. Sometimes it takes days, weeks and even months for the full effects of an injury to be felt or seen, so having an exam done right away will help you be able to treat it and recover quickly.
5. Not telling your insurance company about the accident.
Many insurance policies require claims to be made within a specific timeframe of an accident to be eligible for recovery money. By not informing your insurance company of the accident, you are risking your chance for compensation that may be needed for medical bills, ongoing physical therapy, vehicle repairs and more.
6. Accepting an adjuster’s settlement right away.
More often than not, claims adjusters are quick to offer a settlement. Before accepting this money immediately (as it may seem like a large sum at first), be sure to consider your options, because your medical bills, vehicle repairs and other expenses related to the crash will likely cost a lot more than what they offer. There may be several people responsible for paying your bills after your accident, so it’s best to know what rules and specifications apply for each accident scenario.
For more help with dealing with the aftermath of your car accident, let The Law Firm of Cohen & Cohen provide you with the information and resources you need to get back on track. Contact us online or call 1-800-33-COHEN to speak to a member of our team today.