4 Legal Mistakes to Avoid After a Car Accident

No one ever plans to have a car accident; it’s an occurrence that typically happens in split seconds. But it can change your life forever. Apart from the hefty medical bills, you could lose a significant amount of time from work. And you may have lower wages if you can no longer work long hours or if you need to get a different job from the one you had before the accident. On top of that, you may sustain physical injuries that could take months or years to heal. These challenges could leave you with emotional and physical trauma that may shake you deeply.

Additionally, your car could be damaged to the extent that fixing it will be too expensive, so you may be contemplating replacing your damaged vehicle. All these expenses and emotional challenges can make you feel your life is completely ruined. But that shouldn’t be the case. Even if a car accident changes your plans for the day or week since you could spend several hours at the accident scene, hospital, insurance company, or police station, it shouldn’t ruin your life and finances. That’s why you must check all the boxes pertaining to the legal angle of the accident so that you can get the highest claim possible.

Unfortunately, some car accident victims make mistakes that can spell serious legal troubles for them. For example, they may unintentionally admit guilt or accept liability by apologizing to the other party without even verifying the facts surrounding the accident. Here are mistakes to avoid after a car accident to prevent legal pitfalls.

1. Forgetting to Document the Incident

The first few minutes after a car accident are usually very confusing for victims. As a result, they forget to gather sufficient details about the incident. Immediately after an accident occurs, try to get information from the other party or parties involved and other people at the scene. Some of the information to obtain are the other driver’s name, license plate number, telephone number, insurance information, vehicle make and model, and address.

Also, try to get the contact information of other witnesses at the scene. If you overlook this aspect, you might end up struggling to prove the other party’s fault. And you may be unable to get a favorable settlement. Denmon Pearlman, a car accident lawyer in Tampa, emphasizes that ”the clearer it is that the other side caused the accident, the higher the value of your claim.” If you have a smartphone with a camera, use it to record as much information as possible. It would be much easier to prove negligence on the part of the other party if there’s proof that they engaged in activities such as reckless driving, distracted driving, or drunk driving.

2. Getting Confrontational

Many car accident victims get confrontational, especially when it’s obvious that the other party was at fault. But this is one of the worst mistakes you could make after an accident. Unless you’re defending yourself, losing your temper and getting aggressive towards the other party can significantly reduce your chances of winning maximum compensation. A physical altercation can result in injuries to the other party, which can worsen the case for you when trying to prove the other person’s liability.

Besides, getting confrontational can make you say things or admit facts that could be used against you. Anything you say to someone else about the car accident has the potential to be presented as evidence. The only people you should talk to about your car accident are your lawyer and medical provider.

3. Not Seeing a Doctor Immediately

The first thing to do after leaving a car accident scene is to seek medical attention even if you don’t notice any visible sign of injury. The medical report is one of the most valuable pieces of evidence you need in securing your claims after an accident.

Waiting days or weeks after the incident before seeing a doctor may make an insurance company doubt the cause of your injuries. Also, ensure you get the police involved right on the scene to create an accident report.

4. Talking to the Other Party’s Insurance Company

Avoid disclosing any information to the other party’s insurance company when approached by a claims adjuster. It may seem like they’re trying to help you, but that’s not the case.

The other insurance company may try to find ways to blame you for all or part of the car accident. So, be careful what you say to them. Consider having a personal injury lawyer communicate with the insurance company on your behalf.

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