If you’re involved in an automobile accident, call 911 if you’re seriously injured. If your injuries are minor, try to stay calm and collected. What you do or don’t do immediately after the accident could have a big impact on the result of your lawsuit and how much you can recover for your injuries. Read on to learn 10 mistakes you should avoid making following an auto accident.
Failing to Call the Police
Don’t let the other driver talk you into not calling the police. Minor damage to your car could be expensive, and you may not know if you’re injured right away. The police can gather evidence that may help you later. They may draw a conclusion as to who or what caused the accident. They can get the names of witnesses and take photos. The police will make an accident report. Be polite and tell your version of the accident.
You may feel bad because someone was injured in the accident. You can feel empathy and get the injured person medical help, but don’t say something that the other side or the insurance company can use against you at a later time.
Failing to Gather Evidence
Crucial evidence can be obtained right after the accident. Snap photos of the accident scene before the vehicles are moved. Take pictures of the surroundings, any skid marks, any debris, and any road obstructions. Get contact information from the other driver as well as any witnesses to the crash. Take pictures of your injuries.
Refusing or Delaying Medical Treatment
Get medical treatment if you’re injured, even if you don’t think it’s serious. If you later claim an injury, your failure to get medical attention can be used against you. Even a delay in getting medical treatment may hurt your case. The insurance company or the other side may claim your injury occurred after the accident.
Trusting the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
The insurance company is looking out for its interest, not yours. Don’t sign a settlement or release without speaking to an attorney.
Agreeing to Take the Insurance Company’s First Offer
The insurance company for the at-fault party may contact you shortly after the accident with a settlement offer. The insurance company’s first offer probably won’t be its highest. An attorney can negotiate to get you more compensation.
Leaving Out Facts When Talking to Your Attorney
Your attorney needs to know what happened. Be candid and tell your attorney the good and the bad. Your attorney doesn’t need to learn something negative during settlement negotiations or at trial.
Posting on Social Media
Don’t post anything about the case on social media. Be careful what you post in general. For example, a photo showing you lifting items or partying could cast doubt on the extent of your injury.
Failing to File a Timely Suit
In Florida, you have four years to file a personal injury suit. If you fail to file the suit on time, you can’t recover damages no matter how serious your injuries are.
Failing to Hire a Lawyer
Call an auto accident attorney in Bradenton if you’re injured in a traffic crash. While you concentrate on your recovery, an attorney can gather evidence and negotiate with the insurance company for a reasonable settlement.
If you’re injured in a traffic accident, call a personal injury accident attorney at Erjavec Injury Law at (941) 907-1133 for a free case evaluation.