Being in a car accident can cause a lot of stress and confusion, especially if you were injured in any way. However, you still need to keep your wits about you directly after the accident, as well as in the days that follow, to ensure that any claim that you make with your and the other driver's insurance company does not get denied. If you are involved in an auto accident, avoid making the following mistakes that could jeopardize your claim.
1. Saying Too Much to the Other Driver
Right after an accident, you may be concerned about the safety of your passengers, as well as have concerns about the well-being of the other driver. As a result, you may either go over to them or try to speak to them through your car window if you are unable to move without pain.
While this may be the neighborly thing to do, you need to be very careful in what you say. If you say too much, your words could come back to haunt you. For example, even if the accident was clearly not your fault, if you say anything that remotely sounds like an apology, this could be misconstrued as an admission of guilt. If you even inadvertently apologize, your claim may be denied, or you may find yourself fighting the insurance company just to get even the most basic compensation.
Also, do not go into details about the accident with the other driver, such as saying that you did not even see them or discuss the conditions of the road if it was raining. Any details could be picked out and used against you when you try to file an insurance claim, which could cause you to have to pay your own medical bills.
2. Forgetting to Get a Police Report
While you do not want to say too much to the other driver, you should not forget to speak to the police so that you can get a police report. As part of this police report, your and the other driver's statements will be taken. Also, the police will provide an unbiased, third-party account of the accident scene.
Depending on how badly you were injured, you may either get a copy of this police report at the scene or pick up a copy at the police station. The police officer may even wait to get your statement afterward while you are in the emergency room and give you a copy then. Even then, you need to take responsibility for making sure you get a copy so that you can show it to your attorney.
3. Refusing to Go to the Emergency Room Right Away
Another major mistake that you should not make after being hurt in an auto accident is refusing to go to the emergency room right away. You may think you have whiplash but consider it a minor injury, even though it could lead to permanent nerve damage. Or, you may have a few bumps and bruises, but you never know what types of internal injuries you may have.
It is vital that you request an ambulance to take you to the emergency room from the accident scene. This is true not only for your own well-being but it is also important for any future claims you make with the insurance company.
If you do not go to the hospital directly after the accident, the insurance company may try to say that you were not hurt enough to make immediate medical treatment necessary. Or, they may try to say that you did not receive the injuries in the accident at all.
If you were injured in a car accident, care must be taken to ensure that you receive the money you need to pay for your wrecked vehicle, medical bills, and any personal suffering you may experience. For more information on what you should and should not do when filing a claim after an accident, contact an auto accident attorney service to set up a consultation.