No one expects to get into a car accident. When they do, they often make mistakes during the chaotic experience. Some of the top mistakes include leaving the scene of the accident, forgoing medical treatment, and waiting too long to take legal action.
You can avoid these mistakes by being aware of them ahead of time. Next time you find yourself in a car accident, consider the following.
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Leaving the Accident Scene
Fleeing the scene of an accident is illegal and exposes you to more troubles, like facing a hit-and-run charge, which carries serious repercussions. Leaving the scene can also make it challenging to gather the information necessary to support a personal injury claim.
However, there are exceptional circumstances where leaving an accident scene is okay, including:
- Seeking immediate medical intervention
- Ensuring your safety if someone is threatening to harm you
- Contacting the authorities through a payphone if you don’t have your phone
Forgoing Medical Attention
A simple fender bender may not bring about serious harm to you and your passengers, but some accidents can cause severe injuries, some of which can be fatal. You may not notice symptoms of certain injuries for days or weeks, either.
A rear-end collision, head-on crash, side-impact crash, and other significant accidents often cause grave harm. You may suffer broken limbs, whiplash, concussion, dislocated spinal disks, lacerations, etc. Ignoring these injuries is a disservice to your wellbeing, and they could worsen if you don’t get medical treatment.
You may not be aware of the full extent of your injuries until a physician carries out a few tests. Seek medical attention immediately so you can get a clear picture of the incoming economic losses—document the recovery process by collecting receipts, x-rays, and any relevant medical records. If you do not follow through with your treatment plan, an insurer could argue that you contributed to your losses, as well.
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Not Documenting the Scene
Failure to document the scene weakens your claim or lawsuit. If you’re in a position to, take pictures of your vehicle, other cars involved, and the area in general. Notice the exact location where the accident happened, side streets, and other notable things, like the traffic direction. The police will launch an investigation and document the scene as per protocol, but it doesn’t hurt to have your own evidence.
You can also obtain a copy of the police report. A lawyer from our firm can help you gather pertinent evidence.
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Waiting Too Long to Take Legal Action
Waiting to file a claim or lawsuit is another mistake that can affect the outcome. The process entails discovering crucial evidence to prove what transpired before, during, and after the accident. Delays in taking legal recourse can mean losing necessary evidence. For instance, video surveillance footage could go missing or get taped over as time goes on. Witnesses might forget vital details about the incident, as well.
Furthermore, you have a deadline to meet when taking legal action. If you fail to file your lawsuit on time, you could see the court dismiss your case entirely.
Waiting to Contact Your Insurance Company
You’ll need to report the accident to your insurance carrier as soon as possible. Do not delay contacting your provider because it can cause them to question your claim. They may consider any delay grounds to undervalue or deny your claim.
Discussing Fault With Your Insurer
After filing an insurance claim, an adjuster will likely reach out to you for a recorded statement. During this conversation, they will ask for a description of the accident. Make sure you stick to the facts and avoid speculating about who bears the fault for the accident.
Insurance adjusters may take your words out of context and later undervalue or deny your claim. If they ask about your injuries or how you feel, just say that you are seeing a doctor. A lawyer from our firm can communicate with the insurer going forward.
Not Gathering Witness Information
Eyewitness testimony can be invaluable to your case, but you have to get their contact information before they leave the scene of the accident. Make sure you have the contact information for any passengers who were in the car at the time of the accident, as well as anyone standing by. A lawyer from our firm may decide to interview them later on.
Contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine To Learn More
Were you recently involved in a car accident? The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help handle all the aspects of your case.
Our legal team can keep you abreast of case developments, answer all your questions, and promptly respond to your calls and emails. Let us sort out your legal woes as you focus on recuperating. Contact us at 1-800-747-3733 for a free consultation and more information.