A car accident—especially if it is your first time—can be confusing, scary, and shocking, especially when significant damage and injuries are involved. Unfortunately, many people do not know how to react when they are involved in a collision. There are several common mistakes which could have a negative impact on your car accident claim or personal injury lawsuit, hurting your chances of recovering the financial compensation you deserve to make the best recovery possible from injury. Understanding the proper steps and what errors to avoid can ensure you obtain the outcome you desire. The following are six common ways you can harm your car accident:
- Say “I’m sorry!” – No matter if you believe you did or didn’t cause the crash, you must never apologize soon after it occurs. Saying sorry could be interpreted as an admission of fault, which could jeopardize your case. You do have not gathered all the facts and details to determine if the other driver is partially or completely to blame. While it may be second nature, do not say you’re sorry.
- Not gather evidence – While smartphones are the main cause of distracted driving accidents, they can be used as effective tools to document a car accident scene. Take pictures of the damages, injuries, and the overall scene of the crash. You can even snap photos of the other driver’s contact and insurance information. Photos and videos of a collision can be used as evidence to support your claim.
- Not call the police – A police officer can provide a detailed, objective report on the car accident, which could deter the other driver—or any witnesses—from making false claims. Insurance companies require valid documentation of the damages and injuries involved in the accident, which is why a police report is considered an important piece of evidence.
- Not see a doctor – In addition to helping you understand the full extent of your injuries and how to treat them, a doctor can also provide detailed and objective medical records which can be used as evidence in your claim. If you delay or fail to seek immediate medical treatment following a collision, the insurance company may assume that the injuries you claim to have are not as serious as you declare or do not exist at all.
- Trust the insurance company – From revealing too much information to insurers to accepting their first settlement offer, you must understand that insurance companies are only looking out for their own best interests—not yours. They will do whatever it takes to reduce your claim or deny it entirely in order to protect their bottom line.
- Not hire a lawyer – If you suffered serious injuries, having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side protect your rights and best interests against the other party and insurers. Your attorney can investigate your case, collect evidence on your behalf, negotiate with insurance adjusters, and maximize your settlement. Without skilled legal representation, you could be taken advantage of by insurers.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Toledo, contact our experienced legal team at Williams DeClark Tuschman Co., L.P.A. to request a free consultation today.