When someone is severely injured in a car accident, they’re not only going through a lot of pain, but they’re also going through a great deal of stress. It can also be an extremely confusing time. An accident victim can be incredibly vulnerable and make a mistake that could damage their case beyond repair. This article details some common post-car accident mistakes. Please don’t let any of these happen to you.
If you’ve suffered a serious injury in a wreck caused by someone else, talk to a car accident attorney with The Eberst Law firm as soon as possible. We’ll help you avoid doing something that could ruin your chances of obtaining the maximum compensation you deserve. We’ll also take care of all of the hassles associated with a lawsuit, working to achieve a fair settlement offer. You just concentrate on recovering – we’ll handle the rest.
1. Don’t Forget to Take Pictures & Video at the Scene
Using your phone to get photographs and videos of the accident scene can go a long way toward strengthening your case. As a matter of fact, these will be among the most powerful pieces of evidence you could have.
Of course, you should make your top priority getting medical help, not only for you but for anyone else who may have been injured. But, if at all possible, you should use your phone to document what happened as well. If you can do so safely, take pictures of the damage to all of the vehicles involved, as well as the road surface. There could be skid marks that show the at-fault driver was speeding and had to slam on their brakes.
Also, take pictures of your injuries if you can, and also get the contact information of any witnesses who might be present. Don’t worry about interviewing them – that will be your attorney’s job. Your attorney will also get the footage from nearby surveillance cameras that might have caught footage of the accident.
2. File a Police Report
After you get medical help, your next call should be to the police. An officer will be dispatched to the scene and begin an investigation to determine the cause of the collision. It’s not the officer’s job to help strengthen your case, but the report that stems from the investigation could very well do just that.
The report will contain extremely important information. For example, it may show that the at-fault driver received a ticket. This could help show they were to blame for the accident and make your case even more credible. Not only that, but police will speak to any witnesses, and a police report with witnesses on your side will be extremely valuable to your case.
3. Always Seek Medical Attention
This is probably one of the biggest car accident mistakes committed. If you fail to get medical help, you’re going to be taking a huge risk.
A car accident can lead to a surge of adrenaline coursing through your body. Adrenaline is an incredible substance in that it can mask the symptoms of a serious injury. You might go through the wreck and think you’re just fine. You won’t realize how badly you’ve been injured for hours – possibly even days. This is especially common with soft tissue injuries and internal injuries. If you misjudge the severity of your injury, that could mean you’ll need extra treatment you might not have needed otherwise.
Even if you feel stiff or sore in the aftermath of your accident, don’t assume it’s normal. Get yourself checked out immediately, whether or not you think it’s necessary.
There’s another reason to get help – your case. Failing to get medical attention as soon as possible will damage your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve. The insurance company of the at-fault driver – and possibly even your own insurer – may deny your claim. They could argue that you’re not really as injured as you say you are since you didn’t believe you were hurt badly enough to see a doctor as fast as you could. Unfortunately, that argument will have a great deal of merit.
4. Don’t Admit Fault to Anyone
Most people are very empathetic. When they’re in a wreck, they may reflexively apologize for what happened – even though they’re 100% sure they weren’t to blame. But this natural reaction could be very detrimental to your case.
Never apologize. If you do, that will be used against you. Don’t say anything to anyone that could be construed as an admission of fault. Once you say it, you can’t take it back. Let the police and your attorney investigate the accident, and let them bring the facts to light.
A good rule of thumb is to not discuss the accident with anyone – and definitely don’t post anything about it on social media. Insurance companies are incredibly thorough. Not only will they very likely try to talk to your friends and family members, but there’s also a very good chance they’ll scour your Facebook, Instagram, and other social media feeds. They’ll look for the tiniest thing they can use in order to deny you your just compensation.
5. Don’t Speak to an Insurance Company Before Meeting with an Attorney
Once you’ve received the medical help you need, and you’ve called the police, your next call should be to an attorney. This will be critically important because your legal representative will immediately begin an investigation. This will help uncover the evidence needed to make your case its strongest.
An attorney will also shield you from insurance company adjusters who will try to get you to admit fault. If you do, you’ll have no chance of getting what you have coming. Don’t speak with any insurance company representative – refer all calls to your attorney instead.
Contact Eberst Law Before Speaking with the Insurance Company to Avoid Car Accident Mistakes
The attorneys with The Eberst Law Firm know all the tricks that insurance company professionals try to play – and we also know how to defeat them. Get in touch with us for a free consultation by calling 1-888-CALL-JON or using our online form. We’ll be with you every step of the way, helping you avoid post-car accident mistakes and answering any questions you may have.