Most people know what do after a car accident: call the police, document the scene, collect insurance information, and so forth. But especially if you’ve been injured, there are a few things it’s important to avoid, as well — if you need to work with an auto accident injury attorney later, he or she will thank you (and be able to help you build a stronger case). Here’s what not to do after a car accident:
- Don’t Admit Fault
At the scene of an accident, some people instinctively apologize, whether or not they actually caused the accident. Don’t do this; in fact, don’t admit fault even if you believe that you are to blame for the collision, as this may seriously hurt your personal injury case later. Instead, get a police report (which will include the officer’s assessment of which driver was at fault) and get as much photo and written documentation of the accident as you can.
- Don’t Cave to Pressure
The other driver, as well as his or her insurance company and lawyers, may put pressure on you not to file a police report or make a claim. They may even offer you small sums of money to do so. Don’t let this pressure intimidate you; just give accurate information about the incident to the appropriate authorities and take legal action if necessary.
- Don’t Settle Too Early
If it becomes necessary to file an auto accident injury claim, you may want to hire an auto accident injury attorney, as well. One of the major reasons for this is that it’s hard to know what dollar amount constitutes a fair settlement for your situation. When you are facing medical bills and lost wages, it can be tempting to accept the first check someone offers you, but this can prevent you from getting the car accident compensation you actually deserve. In particular, you should never settle before you have completed your medical treatment, since it’s almost impossible to estimate what your costs will be.
Have you worked with auto injury attorneys? How else do drivers sometimes sabotage cases before they even begin?