5 Mistakes to Avoid After a Car Accident
If you have been in a car accident, the stakes are high, and you want to avoid making any mistakes. Taking the wrong course of action after a car accident can ruin your odds of getting compensation. Therefore, you must know which steps to take to protect your legal rights.
The moments after an accident can be confusing, but after the shock wears off, you need to take the right steps to protect your eligibility for compensation. Read on to discover five mistakes to avoid after a car accident.
1. Underestimating Your Injuries
After a car accident, most people underestimate their injuries. Even if you don’t have visible physical injuries, you must see a doctor to ensure that you don’t have internal injuries. Often, people assume it is normal to feel dizzy, sore, or stiff after an accident. However, stiffness may indicate a soft tissue injury, while dizziness may be a sign of a head or neck injury.
In other cases, symptoms of an injury may delay showing up, and by the time you get to the hospital, the damage may have worsened. This may prolong your treatment and recovery and increase your medical expenses.
Besides, underestimating your injuries can harm the credibility of your claim. In this case, insurance companies and liable parties may later question your claims on the extent of your injuries.
2. Not Calling the Police
You will need a police report when filing an accident liability claim, so having a police officer at the accident scene will help your case. A police officer will gather evidence at the scene, which will be vital when presenting your compensation claim.
Sometimes, the liable party may try to convince you not to get the police involved. They may give sob stories or promise to pay for the damage. The parties responsible for an accident may sound very convincing. But, no matter how many promises they make, ensure you report the accident to establish liability and get the compensation you deserve.
3. Leaving the Scene of the Accident Before the Police Arrive
Leaving an accident scene before police arrive is illegal, especially if the accident involved extensive property damage or injury. Leaving the scene before the authorities arrive may make you seem guilty. Additionally, a court may charge you with a misdemeanor or, in serious cases, a felony.
If you leave the scene before the police arrive, you may not get the information you need to file for compensation. Therefore, only leave an accident scene if you need medical treatment, or the other party threatens your safety. In this case, contact the police dispatch before you leave and tell them why you need to leave and how they can reach you.
4. Admitting Fault
The scene after an accident is often chaotic. You will have many people asking questions and talking to you. You will want to know that everyone involved is okay and may find yourself talking to the other parties involved. But, no matter what, do not apologize for the accident or make any statements that may sound like you are admitting responsibility for the accident.
5. Talking to the Insurance Company Without Consulting Your Lawyer
After an accident, your insurance company may seem concerned about your case. But, telling them all the accident details may work against you when the time comes to claim compensation.
Before talking to your insurance company, consult your attorney to discuss what you should and shouldn’t tell them. That way, you will avoid saying anything that may give your insurers the incentive to deny your claim.
Hiring a car accident from the onset of an accident will help you avoid some of the errors mentioned above. Your attorney will coach you on what to say and inform you of what you need to make a successful claim. If you have been in an accident, do not wait until you go to court to consult an attorney. Contact us today for a consultation and legal representation in your car accident liability case in Metairie and Harvey.
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