It is more likely than not you will be in a car accident at some point in your life. Do you know what to do when the inevitable happens? Most people do not. This post will go over the four biggest mistakes people make when they try to wing it after being in a car accident.
- Failing to seek medical treatment.
Unless you have been seriously injured and need to call an ambulance, you may not think it is important to see a doctor after you have been involved in an accident. This is a mistake.
Every single person who survives a car accident should immediately seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, call your primary physician or head to the nearest urgent care to get checked out.
Many people are in shock following an accident and do not realize they have been injured. A doctor will be able to perform tests to see if you have any non-visible injuries like soft tissue damage and alert you if you may have a concussion.
From a legal perspective, this initial medical exam is important because it becomes evidence in your case. You cannot recover money if you have not suffered an injury, and you cannot prove you have suffered an injury without evidence.
- Failing to call the police.
It may seem silly to call the police after getting into a fender bender, but notifying the authorities is always important. In many states, including New Jersey, it’s against the law NOT to call the police when an accident has occurred.
The responding officer will know whether to call an ambulance or a hazmat team to the scene and will also help keep you safe from passing motorists who might not otherwise see the accident in time to slow down and avoid it.
The officer will also write up an accident report. In many personal injury cases, this report is a key piece of evidence.
- Failing to gather evidence.
Even though you have called the police, and they are going to write up an accident report, you should not hesitate to gather your own evidence if you feel up to doing so.
Most of us are walking around with smartphones that double as cameras and recording devices. Take photos and videos of the vehicles involved in the accident and their positioning, witnesses who are in the area, and the general scene. These can be incredibly valuable later, especially if the police report is not very detailed.
You may also want to make an audio recording of what you remember happening before, during, and after the accident. Some people are also taking screenshots of their weather apps in order to help document the road conditions.
- Believing your insurance company has your best interests at heart.
We are all inundated with ads from insurance companies that assure us they will be there to take care of us if we are ever in an accident. It has lulled us into thinking that insurance companies exist to pay out claims. The truth is they make money when they deny claims or pay out the minimum amounts possible.
We’ve Got Your Back
If you want to get the best settlement offer from your insurance company, you should consider having an experienced personal injury attorney negotiate with them on your behalf. Our firm Levin & Malkin, PC has helped many drivers in Hackensack and the surrounding area get the settlements they deserve, and we are here to help you if you need assistance.
Posted in: Car Accidents