Getting into a car accident is a frightening experience. Most people experience lapses in judgement from the associated trauma and stress, which can lead them to make costly mistakes. Here are eight of the most common actions to avoid right after your accident.
1. Not Receiving a Medical Examination
You might feel okay after the wreck, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are alright. Receiving a medical examination is vital to uncovering hidden damage caused by car accidents. Brain trauma, for instance, is nearly undetectable until weeks later without a proper evaluation.
Not only is this step vital for your health and wellbeing, but it also provides hard evidence of your injuries in court. Any statement made by your doctor allows you to make an insurance claim with clear proof of your injuries, too.
2. Admitting Blame
Even if you are 100% sure that you caused the accident, you should never admit blame at the scene. It’s tempting, especially when you want to apologize to the other party involved, but you can worry about that later. Instead, let police and your attorney conduct an investigation of the accident to determine who is at fault. You might be surprised to learn that other factors or even the other party is actually responsible.
3. Not Calling Either the Police or Your Insurance Company
As soon as the accident takes place, it is in your best interest to dial 911. If you are unable to do so, then call out for help until someone does. A police report is invaluable to your insurance claim and any disputes. Your second call should be to your insurance company to get the claim process started as soon as possible.
4. Singing Anything Without Knowing Your Rights
While you will have to sign some documents, you should never do so without fully understanding your legal rights. It isn’t uncommon for insurance companies, courts, and police to push you to sign something you do not understand, especially when a language barrier is present.
Make sure you allow your personal injury lawyer to go over every document you are asked to sign before you do so. If you need a bilingual car accident attorney to translate for you, then it is imperative that you hire one. More drivers fall into this trap than you might think. Don’t feel pressured to sign anything. You have the right to understand any documents before providing your signature.
5. Giving Too Much Information
You might feel that it’s helpful to give the other party’s insurance company as much information as possible. However, you should only tell them what’s absolutely necessary to avoid liability. Wait to speak them with your lawyer present to avoid giving them information that could be used against you. Companies routinely try to spin the information you give them to make the accident your fault.