Car accidents are a common occurrence, and they can be scary and stressful. If you find yourself in a car accident, it’s essential to know what to do and what not to do. Unfortunately, many people make mistakes after an accident that can harm their health, finances, and legal rights. In this article, we’ll go over the ten biggest mistakes to avoid after a car accident.
Not Calling the Police
After a car accident, the first thing you should do is call the police. Even if the accident seems minor, it’s essential to have an official police report documenting what happened. This report will be helpful when dealing with your insurance company and any legal proceedings that may arise.
Leaving the Scene
If you’re involved in a car accident, don’t leave the scene. Leaving the scene of an accident, also known as a hit-and-run, is a criminal offense that can result in fines, license suspension, and even jail time. Stay at the scene until the police arrive and give you permission to leave.
Even if you think your car is ok and you are not injured, the scene of the accident is your only opportunity to gather evidence of the collision. Once you and other parties leave, you lose the best opportunity to gather photos, videos and witnesses. Unless you need to leave by ambulance, you should remain to talk to the police and gather evidence as long as possible. Your personal injury attorney will use the evidence you collect to pursue a settlement or lawsuit.
Not Seeking Medical Attention
Even if you don’t feel injured after a car accident, it’s still essential to seek medical attention. Some injuries, such as whiplash or a concussion, may not show symptoms right away. Seeing a doctor after an accident can also help you identify any injuries that you may not have noticed.
After a car accident, it’s important to avoid admitting fault. Even if you think you were at fault, admitting fault can hurt your chances of receiving compensation from your insurance company or from the other driver’s insurance company. Instead, stick to the facts and let the police and insurance companies determine who is at fault.
Not Exchanging Information
After a car accident, it’s essential to exchange information with the other driver. This includes names, phone numbers, insurance information, and license plate numbers. Having this information will be helpful when filing a claim with your insurance company or when pursuing legal action. Refusing to exchange information also risks a criminal offense in Colorado.
Not Taking Pictures and Video
Taking pictures and videos of the accident scene can be helpful when filing a claim with your insurance company. Take pictures of the damage to your car and the other car, as well as any injuries you or the other driver may have sustained. Be sure to get pictures from multiple angles and distances. Visual evidence is a powerful tool when settling an insurance claim or presenting your case to a jury.
Photos and videos can be critical evidence of how the accident occurred. Accident reconstruction experts can use visual evidence to determine how an accident occurred and important facts like speed, points of collision, and how your body was affected by the physical force of impact.
Not Notifying Your Insurance Company
After a car accident, it’s essential to notify your insurance company. Your insurance policy may require you to report any accidents, even if you’re not at fault. Failing to report an accident could result in a denial of coverage. Filing insurance claims against an at-fault driver or owner also gives you an opportunity to settle your case without filing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver.
Not Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important to hire a lawyer. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. They can also help you deal with insurance companies and any legal proceedings that may arise. A car accident lawyer can help you throughout the process to obtain the best possible results.
Not Keeping Track of Expenses
After a car accident, keep track of all your expenses related to the accident. This includes medical bills, car repairs, and any other expenses related to the accident. Having this information will be helpful when filing a claim with your insurance company or when pursuing legal action. Under Colorado personal injury law, one form of damages you should pursue are your economic damages. These include financial burdens caused by the car crash, such as medical bills, prescriptions, physical therapy, future medical costs, lost wages and lost earning capacity.
Settling Too Quickly
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important not to settle too quickly. Insurance companies may try to settle for less than you deserve, and it’s essential to have a lawyer on your side to ensure that you receive fair compensation. In Colorado you must file a lawsuit or settle your case before the statute of limitations. For most car accidents you have three years to file a lawsuit. Although many people want to resolve their collision claim quickly, it is better to fully develop your case to ensure you receive all necessary treatment and receive fair compensation for your damages. Your car accident attorney can determine the legal deadlines in your case to make sure you can pursue your case for the best outcome.
In conclusion, car accidents can be scary and stressful, but it’s essential to avoid making mistakes that could harm your health, finances, and legal rights. Remember to call the police, seek medical attention, exchange information with the other driver, take pictures, notify your insurance company, hire a lawyer, and keep track of expenses. Avoid admitting fault and settling too quickly, and let the professionals handle the legal and insurance matters. By avoiding these ten mistakes, you’ll be better equipped to deal with the aftermath of a car accident. Talk to a car accident attorney in a free consultation to learn more about how you can get maximum compensation for your injuries.
- What should I do if I’m in a car accident? If you’re in a car accident, the first thing you should do is call the police and seek medical attention. Exchange information with the other driver and take pictures of the accident scene. Notify your insurance company and hire a lawyer if necessary.
- Should I admit fault if I caused the accident? No, you should not admit fault after a car accident. Stick to the facts and let the police and insurance companies determine who is at fault.
- How do I know if I need a lawyer after a car accident? If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
- What expenses should I keep track of after a car accident? After a car accident, keep track of all your expenses related to the accident. This includes medical bills, car repairs, and any other expenses related to the accident.
- How long do I have to file a claim after a car accident? The time limit for filing a claim after a car accident varies by state and by insurance policy. Contact your insurance company or a lawyer for more information.