1. Not Involving a Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer
Many things can go wrong without an experienced accident lawyer on your case. Insurance companies will blame you for the accident because they don’t want to pay for the compensation claim. It’s almost impossible to beat insurance carriers without proper counsel representing your interests.
A lawyer will immediately begin gathering evidence and vetting witnesses to get credible statements for the case. Car accident attorneys represent you during court proceedings should the case go to trial. They can also help you settle cases out of court and have profound knowledge of the laws and procedures involved.
2. Leaving the Accident Scene
It’s not advisable to leave the scene of the accident before the police arrive. You could be charged with a hit-and-run if you flee without informing the police about why you need to leave. It’s also harder to gather enough information and evidence supporting your innocence. The only times you can leave the scene of the accident are:
- You need to receive emergency medical care
- Your safety is threatened by the at-fault driver or other reasons
- You need to leave to contact the police
Leaving the accident scene for any other reason without contacting police dispatch can paint you as the guilty party. It also makes it easier for the at-fault team to play down your bodily injuries and other damages. There’s no clear way to tell if the accident caused your damages because you fled the scene before validating them.
3. Not Reporting to Police Officers
You are legally required to contact the police dispatch unit immediately after an accident unless you need emergency medical care. Police officers arriving at the accident scene will take statements from involved drivers and other people. Your counsel can use the police reports as evidence later should the case go to trial.
Some people believe they don’t need to involve the police if convinced of their innocence. Others fear the extra points on their license, and minors may want to keep the incident from reaching their families. At-fault drivers may also offer to settle the damages without involving the police.
It’s common for people who cause serious accidents to develop sob stories, but you still need to involve the police. When determining fault, your car accident lawyer and the jury assigned to handle the compensation claim will review police reports. If you have to leave the scene, inform the police and make sure you call the attorney.
4. Skipping Doctor Visits/Instructions
Not all accidents are serious, but you still need to visit a licensed physician for a thorough medical examination. The doctor will document your injuries and help validate them during the trial. They’ll also determine specific treatments to begin your recovery. Failing to visit the doctor can hinder your healing and make it harder to claim the compensation you deserve.
In addition to getting a medical examination, you should follow through with all instructions provided. Make sure you keep all receipts and documents from the hospital because courts use them to calculate the compensation. Visiting a physician tends to your medical needs, aids recovery, and acquires documentation of the injuries and expenses suffered.
5. Accepting Fault for the Accident
Admitting guilt for the accident is one of the biggest mistakes you can make after a car accident. It’s common to want to resolve things as soon as possible, and you might apologize to make the other driver feel better. Statements like “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t see you” are uncalled for since courts allow drivers to tell their lawyers what you said at the scene of the accident.
If you apologize, you effectively accept fault for the accident and may find it difficult to claim compensation. Accident victims should be mindful of every statement you give at the scene of the accident, including accounts shared with the police. Over-sharing can put you at risk of compromising your case and admitting fault.
6. Accepting the First Settlement
For injured plaintiffs, settling might seem convenient to cover the unexpected medical bills and visible damage to your car. Lawyers strongly advise against settling too quickly or accepting the first offer from the at-fault driver. Car accidents can result in short-term and long-term injuries, and treatment may not be over just yet.
You should work with a lawyer to help you review all aspects of the case and determine the deserved settlement. Most guilty parties offer quick payments to avoid trial or paying higher compensations. If they realize you are willing to pursue the case in court, they may increase the offer. You shouldn’t settle for the first offer.
7. Posting on Social Media Platforms
Posting on social media platforms is another mistake many people make after an accident. Pictures and videos of you hanging out with family members at dinner may seem innocent to your followers. They may also downplay the severity of your injuries, especially if you look comfortable and cheerful.
You can still post on social media, but make sure you don’t over-share. Avoid posts about your bodily injuries and recovery, fun activities with family and friends, and descriptions of the accident. If possible, skip on social media until you receive compensation. You can talk to your car accident lawyer about your social media habits to assess what to avoid.
Reputable Car Accident Lawyers
There are various other mistakes to avoid after a car accident. Don’t forget to file the claim on time, ask questions, and defend your traffic ticket. You should also avoid skipping parts of the story or taking the insurance company’s word. After an accident, the critical thing to do is contact the police, contact your lawyer, and start gathering evidence.
At Ping an Attorney, we connect injured parties to highly experienced car accident attorneys. If you are not at fault, you need a reliable lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve. The earlier you involve a car accident attorney, the more likely you’ll build a solid case to support your innocence.