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Common Mistakes to Avoid After a Car Accident

By Evan L. Kaine

Stressful events can cause us to neglect things that we normally would’ve thought about doing. Additionally, we can make even more mistakes because our minds are scattered and anxiety runs high. In the event of a car accident — whether you are at fault or not – mistakes are easy to make. Statistically, we are all likely to be involved in a car accident at some point in our lives. Therefore, be prepared to avoid making mistakes.

Here are some helpful tips about some common mistakes following a car accident:

  1. No Documentation.

Once the accident occurs, it is vital to take pictures of the scene, injuries, damages and surrounding area. This will only help your case later because your memory can seem to jog away in stressful moments. Make sure you have a pad of paper and pen in your vehicle as well for these unfortunate events because writing down details can also help.

  1. Internet discussion.

In our high-tech world and social media frenzied society, it is easy to post your frustrations and details of the car accident. We encourage you to NOT do this. Insurance companies regularly search your social media postings and can easily use them against you.

  1. Not visiting a healthcare provider.

In the hours immediately following the accident, you may feel okay, however you have no idea what complications can develop in the coming days, weeks or even months. Therefore, speaking to your healthcare provider is crucial because this not only provides a paper-trail, it also provides evidence that you pursued medical attention after the accident.  After an accident, time is of the essence so get medical care quickly.

  1. Acting out in anger.

No matter what occurred always be respectful and gracious to the authorities and the other driver. Even if the accident was not your fault, it is important to remain calm and answer questions in a calm and polite manner.  If you act out in anger, words can be twisted and taken differently—resulting in severe repercussions later.

Remember, citizens and police officers now audio and video record everything so don’t ever let your guard down.

  1. Police Report.

While it takes a number of days for the official police report to be completed and filed, make sure that you never leave the scene without the police officer’s card which contains the name of the responding police department and accident case number. Keeping all records in one place is essential in building a case if a claim is pursued or a lawsuit is filed.

  1. Pick up the phone and call your insurance company.

Even if the accident was the other driver’s fault, and presumably the other driver’s insurance company is responsible for covering the losses/expenses, it is still necessary that you file a claim with your own insurance provider. Remember, your contract/policy with your own insurance company requires you to notify your own insurance company anytime that you’ve been involved in a collision.  Not doing so can void your insurance coverage and potentially limit your recovery options.

Don’t accept the first offer that the insurance company makes.  As insurance companies tend to make verbal promises and then not keep them.  Many individuals who have been involved in a car accident want to get it over with as soon as possible. However, it is important to speak with an attorney so that you know your legal rights and can explore all of your options before settling. If you settle too quickly, additional or future medical bills and damages may not be paid or recovered.  Insurance companies work for big business; not you.

 

These types of mistakes can be prevented if you take a moment, gather your thoughts and contact the right legal team. At Kaine Law, we are dedicated to our clients and their well-being. Please contact us if you have been involved in a car accident and need the best legal advice.  There is no fee unless we recover money for you.

Published November 04, 2015
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