10 Most Common Mistakes People Make in Auto Accidents
While no one plans on being in a car accident, you should always be prepared in the event that such an unfortunate situation occurs. There are many mistakes people make right after an accident that can hurt their claim and hurt their chances of being compensated fairly and with maximum value by the other driver or insurance company. Knowing these mistakes before an accident can help you avoid costly mistakes, helping you save hundreds or thousands of dollars in damages.
Below are the top 10 most common mistakes:
- Not calling the police. Even in minor accidents, A police report is always helpful to have when dealing with your insurance company and other drivers. A police report is an objective record of what took place in the accident. The police report will tell what happened, which will prevent the other driver or witnesses from making false claims. Also, if you or someone else in the car accident suffered a potential injury, there must be valid documentation, especially if a lawsuit is going to be filed. That police report will be a key and valuable document in a car accident case.
- Admitting guilt. When you are discussing the accident it is important not to admit fault or even say “I’m sorry.” Admitting fault can be used against you later when you are trying to collect compensation for your car of injuries. Even if you think it was your fault, you could be wrong since you yourself do not have all the details surrounding the accident, especially with the immediate stress and shock from the accident. Instead, cooperate but let the police objectively judge events and determine who, if anyone, is at fault in the accident.
- Not exchanging insurance information at the scene. Even in accidents that seem to be minor, you should always exchange insurance information with the other drivers. Even if you think there is no damage, and nobody seems to be hurt, you may not know what could develop later. You need to get the other drivers’ names, addresses, phone numbers, car details, license plate numbers, and insurance information. This is what will be used if you are going to seek any legal help.
- Not taking photographs at the scene. Take photos of damage done to all cars, not just yours. Also take photos of the road conditions, traffic, signs, signals, and anything else in the area you think might be useful. They may come in handy during the claims process. For instance, if there are any disagreements on how the accident occurred, you will have documentation to help support your claim.
- Not contacting your car insurance company right away. You must contact your insurance company after an accident. If you don’t do this right away, you may not be able to recover property damage and any costs associated with your injuries. Make sure to seek legal advice before giving the insurance company any written or recorded statements about the accident.
- Not receiving medical treatment right away. After a car accident, you should seek medical treatment from your general physician or primary care provider as soon as possible. That doctor will refer you to any specialists, including a chiropractor, if you are in medical need. Even if you think you are fine, it may be difficult to tell the type of injuries that you have sustained. When the body is in shock, you may not feel the pain until later. It is important to have your injuries diagnosed as soon as possible in case you will pursue an auto injury claim later.
- Blindly trusting your own insurance company. Unfortunately after an accident, the insurance company’s interests may be different from yours. Often, even your own insurance company will try to find ways to avoid paying anything at all. They may even attempt to prove that you were violating the terms of your insurance policy so they will not have to defend you or pay your legal bills. This is not always the case, but you should not automatically assume that they will be acting on your behalf every step of the way. Be smart, and seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer.
- Not understanding your rights. Many people are unaware of the types of expenses and damages they can seek compensation for after a car accident. Damage may be claimed for property loss, medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. Finding the right attorney will ensure that you are compensated properly and fairly.
- Not contacting a personal injury lawyer. If you or someone else was injured, a car accident attorney is your best bet on protecting your rights. The AAA Group can help you file and navigate your way through an insurance claim, protecting your rights and helping you get the financial compensation you deserve. We provide free consultations, so you have nothing to lose when contacting us. You never pay unless we win for you.
- Waiting too long to pursue an insurance claim. There is a limited amount of time set for you to pursue a claim after a car accident. Depending on the facts, you may need to act relatively quickly. It is always best to contact a lawyer as soon as you can so the lawyer can ensure that your right to pursue a claim is properly protected. Contact us today for a free consultation.
At The AAA Group, we specialize in helping car accident victims in Georgia and California.