The aftermath of a car accident can be chaotic, with so many things going on at once. Emergency services are often called, and police officers and medical personnel handle the most critical immediate details. Still, you have some control over certain things.
Most people know to call 911 and their auto insurance providers, but things you should not go after a car accident are just as important. Mistakes during this time can affect how things play out later. Here are things that should not be done after a car accident.
Some motorists do this to avoid the consequences of an accident, but this is never recommended. Not only is it an automatic misdemeanor, but it could also lead to fines and jail time. It is best to exchange information with the other parties and wait for help.
Going to the hospital after an accident might not seem necessary, but it is essential to rule out internal injuries. Besides getting needed treatment, it is vital to have evidence of your injuries in case the insurance provider or other driver questions your claim.
Before leaving the scene, take and exchange photos of driver’s licenses, auto insurance, and registration cards with the other driver. If possible, snap photos of both vehicles where they stopped, property damage, and your injuries. Pictures of skid marks, traffic signs, and traffic camera locations can also help.
People do this without being aware of what they say, so keeping your opinions to yourself after an accident is vital. Whether you say the wrong thing to the other driver, law enforcement officer, or an insurance representative, the comments could be remembered, recorded, and used against you. Answer questions without elaborating – the opinions can be saved for a confidential consultation with a car accident lawyer.
Always call your auto insurance provider after a car accident, even if you do not want to make a claim. Insurance companies get suspicious when these calls come in days or weeks after a crash or not at all.
It is challenging to remain patient when waiting for an auto insurance claim to get straightened out, especially when hospital and auto body shop bills keep piling up. The other insurance company might not have your best interests in mind and might not operate in good faith, so resist the urge to call them.
This is another difficult situation, an easy mistake that happens often. When a car accident survivor sees an offer or a check from an insurance company, they may want to cash in immediately. Yet, insurers often lowball claimants, making fast offers that do not reflect the true amount of economic and non-economic damages. Cashing that first offer can make it difficult to seek damages later if you have medical complications or other unforeseen costs.
Mistakes after an accident can affect the outcome of your case. If you need help after an accident, speak with our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Call 302-656-5445 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.